Falling behind on your credit card bills or loan payments can be overwhelming. Some people experiencing debt choose to work with a debt settlement company. Often, debt settlement companies promise to settle your debt for less than the amount that you owe. While this can be an alluring offer, many debt settlement companies use deceptive practices and misleading claims to lure people into deals that are often more trouble than they’re worth.
The best way to ensure your debts are properly resolved is to consult a skilled debt settlement lawyer. Here are some tips for avoiding debt relief and credit repair frauds.
Avoid Companies That Leave Recorded Calls and Voice Messages
Automated calls or recorded messages from people claiming to be a representative from a debt settlement company are usually scams. Specifically, if the recorded call includes exaggerated promises—such as claiming to wipe away all your debt—it is probably not real.
Avoid Companies That Offer Exaggerated Deals
If you receive an offer from a debt settlement company that seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. No single entity can guarantee that your creditors will fully forgive all of your debts. A legitimate debt settlement company will work with your creditors to reduce your debt but won’t guarantee that your debt will be fully forgiven.
Avoid Companies That Charge an Upfront Fee
Many debt relief scams require debtors to pay a significant upfront fee or lump sum. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it is illegal for companies to charge a fee in exchange for debt settlement. If a company contacts you and says they will only begin negotiations with your credit card company after you pay a fee, then they are probably a scam or a company you want to avoid working with.
Avoid Companies With Sketchy Contact Information
Before choosing a debt settlement company, it is important to do your homework. Even if a debt settlement company has a website, it doesn’t mean it is a legitimate company. When looking for a debt settlement company, be sure to locate their address and phone number. If you can’t get in contact with an actual person from the company, you should proceed with caution.
A good way to ensure that the company is legitimate is to do some research online for reviews and see if they are listed on the FTC’s website.
Avoid Companies That Offer Government Debt Relief Programs
When a company offers to relieve your debt through a government program you have never heard of, it is probably a scam. Most debt settlement companies that try to scam people through illegitimate government programs will require a processing fee before agreeing to resolve your debts.
If you receive a call from a debt settlement company offering to resolve your debt through a little-known government program in exchange for a fee, it is most likely a scam. While there are a handful of government programs and sites that offer programs to help resolve debt related to medical bills or utilities, these types of programs are not offered through debt settlement companies.
Consult a Skilled Debt Settlement Lawyer
There is no shortage of debt relief scams and fraudulent credit repair companies. Working with a skilled debt settlement lawyer is the best way to avoid scams and ensure that your debts are resolved. The
If you are struggling to resolve your debts, the lawyers at McCarthy Law are here to help. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients navigate their financial circumstances and reach a favorable debt settlement. We understand the overwhelming burden that debt can have on people’s lives and are committed to helping clients end the devastating cycle of debt. To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled debt settlement paralegals, call our office at (855) 976-5777 or fill out our online contact form.