Debt Settlement Scams

First Step

So you’ve finally decided to get control of your debt and get rid of it once and for all. You happen to come across an ad on the Internet about debt settlement, and it seems as if it was tailor made for you. Of course, there are fees, but you figure it’s better than bankruptcy. If you’re seriously considering hiring a debt settlement company to help you become debt free, DON’T! There are many unscrupulous companies that just want to make as much money as possible without regard for their clients’ best interests. One scam in particular is collecting fees without actually doing anything for you. Basically, they take the money and run.

How It Works

The companies hook clients by offering them a chance to be debt free in a much shorter period of time. They advertise that they’ll negotiate with creditors and settle the debt for a fraction of what is owed. They make it sound so quick and easy, taking advantage of a consumer’s desperation. However, it rarely happens like this. Typically, consumers end up shocked, discovering that after paying a huge set up fee and hundreds of dollars in monthly service charges, their debt has actually increased and their credit report is in ruins, if it wasn’t already.

Some debt settlement companies have been accused of failing to contact creditors and debt collectors as promised. Complaints have been reported, according to the Federal Trade Commission, that even after consumers inform the debt settlement company they have sufficient funds to pay a settlement, they still fail to work on their behalf. Unfortunately, in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy, many consumers who have taken the settlement route end up in a worse position than when they started.

A Better Solution

Don’t be defeated; there is a far better solution to your financial problems compared to what a debt settlement company can offer. In many cases, consumers can get out of debt without needing to settle. Considering the fact that debt settlement could take several years to complete, depending on the total amount of debt, wouldn’t you rather have your payments go directly to your creditors each month instead of being stockpiled in an account that will eventually grow big enough for a lump-sum payoff, if the creditor agrees to a settlement? Be advised that with proper counseling and commitment, consumers can get out of debt without sinking deeper into it.

Credit counseling can help you through what may be a very low financial point in your life. They can show you the light at the end of the tunnel without causing further damage.

Watch the “Watch Out for Debt Settlement Companies” video by clicking on the video link below:
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Watch-Out-for-Debt-Settlement-Companies-127327738.html


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