Over the last several years,personal debt burdens have skyrocketed and so have the number of companies offering debt relief services. As the debt relief industry has grown,so has the risk of illegitimate and non-reputable companies operating to perform fraudulent services. As the Federal Trade Commission works to better educate consumers on how to avoid being victimized,many consumers have had to learn the hard way just how vulnerable they can be at times like these.[dcl=7360]
Debt Negotiation Cautions
Not all debt relief agencies should be viewed in ill light. In fact,there are more legitimate companies in operation than those operating to make a quick dollar. However,consumers should still proceed with caution anytime they are allowing a third party to act on their behalf in such a crucial situation.
There are several things that should raise caution when shopping for legitimate debt relief services. First,a company that is pushing or selling one particular service may not be out for the consumer’s best interest. Companies that charge upfront fees for services or have lavish guarantees of their abilities are also a point of concern. Consumers should also be suspicious of any company that cannot provide proof of their licensing or staff credentials,as this is often a sign that their employees are not adequately trained in the field of finance.
The Right Relief
Most people never realize that they have the right to negotiate their debts directly with a lender. However,debt negotiations aren’t always easy,which is why people often turn to third party companies for help. Although many companies make bold claims,only a handful can actually help negotiate a successful deal in a legal manner.
A reputable debt relief company is going to offer a wide array of services from simple educational tools such as information about budgeting and debt reduction strategies,to more sophisticated services like debt negotiation or settlement services. The idea is to find a company that is willing to evaluate the individual situation and discuss the different options available. The decision should always be the choice of the consumer,not what the company feels is best.
Also,a legitimate company is going to be licensed or accredited by a reputable agency such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Better Business Bureau. Consumers should always check the reputation of a company before doing business.
There are also many news laws in place and Senate Bills being pursued to increase regulation of debt negotiation companies. Consumers are encouraged to only do business with an agency that provides written disclosure statements of their services,fees for services and any guarantees of performance.[dcl=7360]