seems I can’t turn on the radio without hearing some guy eagerly explaining how
he is going to get you out of financial troubles by settling your debt for
pennies on the dollar. I cringe every time. This industry has
literally exploded overnight. Granted, industries only do that when there
is a need to fill. Unfortunately, in this case, the minority of consumers
are getting their needs met, let alone their expectations.
is why the BBB has chosen to be incredibly harsh on the industry as a
whole. That is, the business of debt negotiation and debt
settlement. Unfortunately, in order to take advantage of these services,
you must show a hardship. To demonstrate hardship, a debt settlement
company may suggest that you stop making payments to your creditors. Take
a breath now and apply your common sense. Do you really think things will
get better if you go DEEPER into debt and rack up MORE fees hiring someone to
help you do it? This tactic can and has led many consumers to a much
worse situation than they were previously in. Sometimes the results are
lawsuits, legal battles and wage garnishments. Ouch.
where can you go to get help? My advice, get some good credit counseling
and even shop around for services. Of course, check out the company’s BBB
rating. Many of them in Southern California have earned an “F”
rating. There is a difference between debt consolidation, debt settlement
and debt elimination. A good counselor can explain these differences and
help you weigh the pros and cons. The option that best suits you will
depend on many factors related to your current financial status.
line: don’t trust that any one company has the best solution. Many credit
card companies will work with you on payment plans and late fees to keep you
paying. Make sure you understand all the potential consequences before
you decide to pay someone else to manage your credit issues. Sometimes
it’s hard to imagine that the nightmare can get worse, and then it does.
Don’t be afraid and don’t hide. Just do the legwork. Seek some good