Signs Of Debt Relief Fraud: Top Things You Need To Be Aware Of

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
You are probably no stranger to the promises offered by debt relief companies. Everyday your spam folder fills with e-mails from companies who claim they can get you out of debt, fix your bad credit, or even give you an entirely fresh start. Unfortunately, most of these are empty promises used as a ploy to con millions of desperate cash-strapped individuals every year. This is not to say there aren't respectable organizations out there who will help you with your debt, but it can be hard to know who has your best interests at heart and who is just trying to make a quick buck. Here are a few things to watch out for so you can avoid becoming the next victim of debt relief fraud.

If they offer a quick fix.
The sad reality is that getting out of a mountain of debt is usually a long and difficult road and doesn't happen overnight. If a company is promising any kind of quick fix you should automatically be suspicious. While it is easy to understand why so many struggling people fall into this trap, the likelihood of finding an overnight solution to financial problems just isn't very probable. If a company offers to create a new credit report for you, or says that they can 'fix' your bad credit, not only are these promises not possible but they are illegal as well. Be wary of any guarantees in regards to your debt, because in most cases results cannot be guaranteed.

Never give your bank details to a debt relief company that contacts you.

If they suggest bankruptcy.
If a company contacts you and automatically suggests bankruptcy before going through your history, it is likely that good intentions are not at play. Filing for bankruptcy is a serious step to take, and should only be done when all options have been thoroughly investigated and exhausted. If a debt relief company suggests bankruptcy right off the bat, it could be that they are after something more.

Don't ever give your personal information to a company who has contacted you. This includes your social security number, bank details, credit card information, or anything else that a con artist would be able to use for their own purposes. Filing for bankruptcy is a great solution in some circumstances, but a true financial institution will never suggest this unless there is no other way to resolve the debt.

Debt relief fraud preys on desperate people looking for a miracle.

If they tell you to ignore your creditors.
If your debt has gotten to the point that creditors are calling every hour of every day, it can be extremely frustrating and even make you angry. Nobody wants to be in that position, but the last thing you should do is ignore them. If a debt relief company is suggesting that you stop all contact with your creditors, this is a bad sign. They should be working with your creditors to resolve the debt, not taking them out of the picture.

Do they have accreditation?
If you are ever unsure about the legitimacy of a debt relief company, check that they are accredited with the appropriate agencies. Most legitimate companies will be accredited by the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCA) or a member of an organization such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

You should also always do your research on any company or organization you deal with before releasing any personal information into their care. A quick Google search can do wonders, and you can read reviews from people who have dealt with them in the past. No results? Unless the company started up yesterday, a legitimate company or organization should be easy to find on the internet. If they seem to not exist outside an e-mail or letter you received, chances are they have purposely stayed off the grid and should be avoided.

The best thing to remember is the old adage 'if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is'. Debt relief is serious business and a company that doesn't treat it that way has another agenda in mind.

Jessica Galbraith is an American freelance writer living in the UK. She is author of the travel blog The Fly Away American.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment

A memoir exposing the steep price consumers pay when facing mortgage servicing errors, inaccurate credit reporting, illegal debt collection practices, identity theft and weak consumer protection laws. THE BOOK » DENISE'S STORY »