1/5/2011 5:18 PM (PST)
Hope all is well. "Debt Negotiations Now" has an "F" rating with the BBB. From a recent article, here are major important points that you need to consider when choosing a debt settlement company to help you out:
1)Make sure company is reputable and has been in business for more over 10 years
(check BBB rating, If it's a law firm, an advantage of law firms is the extra protection of the State Bar Association)
2)Company should save you at least 40% of your debt, INCLUDING fees and paying your creditors.
3)Make sure payback plan is a realistic time frame to pay off all your creditors
(anything more than 3 years you will not get the full benefits of the program)
4)Make sure the company will protect you against all legal threats, such as collection calls, lawsuits, etc.
5)Make sure all fine print is explained to you before you join any program.
6)You can cancel at anytime without any fees /penalties.
Hopefully this helps you out Jose.
1/11/2011 8:33 AM (PST)
Check out the article on debt settlement posted in our "New Scams" section before you do anything, please. The article provides some in-depth info on this industry and you should be aware of the proposed rules on fees and disclosures that the FTC is considering for the debt settlement industry.
If you have read any previous posts here you will know that the experience of the BBB with debt settlement firms has been decidedly negative. Most people who complain about these companies state that their debts weren't negotiated, they were told to stop making payments, and the result is that they're in worse shape than when they started. Many are sued and are forced to file bankruptcy to rid themselves of the lawsuits.
There are many reasons why the debt settlement industry is under scrutiny by the FBI, Secret Service, State Attorney Generals, and other financial crime regulators. This industry is rife with companies using predatory fee models and deceptive advertising. Don't fall for the ads that are all over television: they are produced by slick third party lead generators and oftentimes if you call the phone number you see on TV you will be speaking with the lead generator who will screen your call for distribution to any referral receiver who will pay. The FTC’s proposed rules will shut down the industry as it stands today - for good reason.
Have you tried a nonprofit credit counselor? Check out www.nfcc.org to be connected to a local accredited agency and also check out their "Debt Settlement Consumer Alert". Their national hotline is 800-388-2227.
2/8/2011 11:08 PM (PST)
These days you'll come across a lot of online consolidation scams.
Before you enroll for a debt relief service make sure that you conduct a thorough research on them. Though a majority of these services are willing to offer free counseling sessions with their experts, not all of them can actually do a correct analysis of your financial strength. Don't forget that once you enroll for a repayment program, you'll again be expected to pay consistently towards meeting your debt.
You must consider the client testimonials of a debt relief company alongside their accreditations. Then comes the fees that they charge. You should have a complete account of their successes as a law firm before you sign-up.
2/9/2011 10:57 AM (PST)
Thnx for your input. I heeded your advice and found a trustworthy consolidation program with "Greenpath". They have worked with me and my creditors stopped hounding me with phone calls at last. I would recommend them to anyone needing these services. Thnx again