Debt Settlement Hoaxes

Debt Settlement Hoaxes – Being in debt is no fun to begin with, but when you try to get out of debt, or even decrease the amount you owe, and end up becoming a victim of a scam. Debt settlement scams are popping up just about anywhere and everywhere and can be easy to accidentally fall in. Be sure you protect yourself before letting anyone near your finances by doing your homework first.
When it comes to picking someone to help you with your debt you need to make sure that they are legitimate. One way to do that is to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). On the BBB website you can find different businesses in your area that are accredited by the BBB. You can also file a complaint about a company if you need to. Some companies you can search online and see if there are any reviews. The Federal Trade Commission also has information on which companies are in fact fraudulent.
If you already have a company helping with your debt settlement and worry that you are being taken advantage of, here are some things to look out for. Most programs are very costly to begin with, but some companies will charge astronomical fees to help you reduce your debt. You will want to ask before agreeing to any of their services what exactly they will be doing for you. Most companies will give you a written proposal of how they intend to help you and your specific situation. Their proposal should have specific details such as how they will contact your creditors, what you need to do about monthly payments and where all your money will be escrowed. If the company offers you a pretty simple and basic explanation of what they are going to do, but it isn’t designed to specifically help you and your situation, then they probably just want the money.
Always check the companies’ credentials and licensing for the state that you are in. The laws for debt collection and counseling differ from state to state. In most states, for-profit agencies have to follow the rules and regulations of the state, and have the proper licensing. However, in some states, for-profit agencies are not allowed to operate at all within the state. You can check with your state attorney general’s office to get more information about the licensing requirements for your state.
If you have decided that the company you have chosen isn’t fraudulent, be sure to get some type of guarantee for their services before signing anything. Most companies will ensure you that they will give you your money back if they cannot meet the original terms that you all set up. However, if they seem to be reluctant to give you this guarantee, written guarantee, or they don’t give you one at all, then you should consider looking elsewhere for help.
You don’t have to go to a debt settlement company to settle your debts; you can actually do this yourself. Creditors say that they do not give any better deal to a debt settlement company than they would for the person calling them on their own. If you still choose to use a debt settlement company, you may want to double check with a lawyer you know you can trust to ensure that the company isn’t scamming you.