Debt can become a huge problem not only because it can make you tighten your belt but more because it’s a psychological burden. Scammers know about this vulnerability and will try to reach you out via online ads, phone calls, and emails to offer you various “legal guarantees” and “quick debt help” for just a few dimes. Unfortunately, such appealing opportunities can only worsen your financial situation. Debtstoppers financial experts shared a guide on how to recognize debt relief scams on time to protect your finance from intrusions. Read attentively!
Even the most well-prepared scammer will expose one of the following obvious scam signs:
- Robocalls – although it’s quite a customary business instrument today, it’s not ok to receive a robocall from a debt relief company. Besides, they usually derive phone numbers from the National Do Not Call List, which is illegal. In such cases, scammers usually charge a huge fee upfront and fail to provide the service to go away with your money risk-free.
- Exaggerated promises – companies that claim to negotiate your debt down don’t have any proof of success. According to the FTC, it’s impossible to find a debt solution that guarantees a positive result.
- Large upfront commissions – US law prohibits taking any forms of upfront payments for debt settling. Your citizen duty is to report such companies to the FTC immediately.
- Suspicious contact information – a website without contact information is 100% scam evidence. If there’s an active number, you still have to be cautious as it doesn’t guarantee the company’s legitimacy. You should contact the state attorney’s office to figure out if there are complaints on this number or browse the FTC and Better Business Bureau websites.
- Only verbal offers – a legitimate company representative will provide you with the service terms on paper, but even this isn’t a 100% guarantee. You still have to monitor the company’s reputation.
- Little-known governmental programs – it’s true that government offers several debt relief programs for medical bills and utilities, but you can access them all only on governmental websites, and it’s totally free to receive the funding. Don’t believe anyone who tries to sell you a “brand new little-know” government program. Third parties just can’t do that.
- Unlawful instructions – you must strictly avoid debt settling companies that tell you to ignore your creditors and don’t explain the possible consequences.
- They promise debt foreclosure in a set period of time – no one can know how much time is needed for each specific case.
What Legit Companies Can Actually Offer
Even if a company that offers debt relief services appears to be legitimate, it must disclose all the potential risks to you. You must be told that your actions may lead to both debt relief and lawsuits from your creditors. The more time you avoid paying the debt, the worse your credit score becomes. It’s also important to remember that the commissions in legit companies are usually considerable, and you don’t wish to pay them before you overview all the possible ways to get out of debt with minimal risks. As you’ve already assumed, even the best service provider can’t guarantee anything and must inform you about all the risks in advance.
Is It Time for Debt Relief?
The final advice is to avoid debt relief services until the situation doesn’t leave you any other choice. However, years of our debt-stopping experience show that there are plenty of legitimate and less risky methods to deal with debt. And what you can do is take time and look for them alone or with a professional.