In about 2014, several companies were started to provide a service to replace Debt Settlement. They call it Debt Invalidation or Debt Validation. They are very effective at what they do. They allow you to enroll any debt with them. They wait until each account is sold to a third party debt buyer, and the force the third party to validate the debt, which they cannot do.
The downside of this program is that they cannot deal with accounts still with an original creditor, like Bank of America as an example. If the credit card or loan is still with BofA, the debt invalidation company cannot do anything to help until it is sold to a third party debt buyer. If a lawsuit arises from the original creditor, the company removes that account from what the client is paying for and gives them a partial refund. The client is left on their own to deal with the lawsuit in most cases. A few companies now have an attorney they refer the lawsuit to, but that attorney simply settles the debt. The client has to pay the attorney and the amount that can be settled for, and gets a 1099 at the end of the year for the amount of forgiven debt.
The fees for this service can range from 30-40% of the debt total, so it is important that a client fully understands what he/she is getting into.