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Stay away from debt settlement scams

Florida residents who find themselves trying to climb out from under a pile of debt may panic and rush into a debt settlement program just to find some relief. The Federal Trade Commission warns the indebted to be very cautious, though, about which programs they seek out. 

In spite of the goodwill of many reputable agencies, some are not so esteemed because they attempt to take advantage of desperate individuals in dire circumstances. These disreputable companies will do anything to make a buck, even if that means scamming people who are just trying to get ahead.

Warning signs

The FTC says these scammers have some things in common that you can look out for:

  • They make big promises they cannot keep.
  • They unwisely advise clients not to speak with creditors. 
  • They often charge you fees even before helping anyone.

Promises not kept

An article in the Washington Post gives further insight, adding some specific promises debt settlement scams make but cannot keep. One particular company promised a quick and comfortable process, which is an exaggeration of the highest magnitude. Nothing about debt settlement is fast, and it is certainly not a cozy place to settle into. 

Other promises included the idea that clients would actually fare better following their debt settlement than in the years prior. The company stated it could influence creditors to remove negative information. These claims, according to the Post and a settled lawsuit, were simply false. 

Anyone who is attempting to settle debt should be cautiously aware that if a debt settlement agency makes promises that seem too good to be true, they probably are. 

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