When you’re desperate to get out of debt, you may be tempted to grab the first offer that comes along to relieve the pressure and chaos that debt can bring into your life. Unfortunately, there are get out of debt scams that can bring even more pressure and chaos into your life.
You should avoid them at all costs. These scammers target those with high credit card debt by claiming they will negotiate with the person’s creditors or reduce payments or debt balance.
This is a false promise which can cost you an up-front fee and then fail to help you get out of debt or even lower payments or settle debt. If you have an auto loan that’s in arrears, there are scams which claim they can reduce your monthly loan or lease payment to avoid repossession.
All of these scammers target those consumers who are in dire straits with their credit. Other scams want you to purchase their services which include removing information which impacts your negative credit reports with credit agencies, even if the report is truthful.
Even though the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) actively pursues those bogus credit services and bring lawsuits against them, there are numerous agencies out there that prey on those people desperate to get out of debt and misrepresent themselves as agencies which can help.
Payday loans are some of the worst scams claiming to help, but really make things worse by charging enormously high interest rates. Payday loans are actually short-term loans that prey on people in need who are desperate for quick money.
Other scammers use the Internet, telemarketing by phone and advertisements on radio programs to target their victims who are searching for debt relief. Some tempt people to enroll you in so-called financial hardship programs, claiming they’ll negotiate with the creditors and promising the debt can be repaid in a short amount of time.
Some of these scams violate the FTC Act, which makes it unlawful to engage in deceptive practices. There is also a Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibiting deceptive telemarketing practices.
If you think you’ve been defrauded by a deceptive get out of debt scam, contact the FTC either online or by phone to find out how you can file a complaint. If you find you can’t resolve your debt problems alone, seek out a legitimate agency such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Services.
It may take longer and be a bit more work on your part to get out of debt by doing it yourself, but you’ll be able to better plot your future finances and how you’ll handle spending at the end of the process.