The Truth About Websites That Promise Debt Relief

21 Dec The Truth About Websites That Promise Debt Relief

The promise of debt freedom is just behind the next click.

We walk through life with a bit more cynicism than used to be the case. When I get an email promising me millions from an overseas stranger, for example, I know better than to click the link or provide information.

If it sounds too good to be true, the saying goes, then chances are it is just that.

There is, however, a raft of websites out there promising debt relief solutions that aren’t too good to be true – just good enough to be plausible. Spend time and money with these folks, however, and you’ll see the seedy underbelly of the debt relief industry.

Finding the bad guys, however, isn’t always a simple task.

It’s not as if everyone is out to grab your money and take off with it. There are reliable bankruptcy lawyers, debt experts and mortgage modification companies that do a good job. They’re upstanding, reliable and deliver on the promises made.

It’s the others you’ve got to worry about. The folks with the slick websites and agendas that don’t include your best interests.

Verify Then Trust

You can’t give your trust over to a company based on the website or promises made. Before extending your trust, it’s important to verify the information provided.

If it’s a law firm, check with the state bar to find out if the lawyers are licensed to practice in your state. Be sure the attorney hasn’t been reprimanded or suspended from practice. For bankruptcy lawyers, take the extra step of calling the federal court to be sure he or she is admitted to practice in the federal couts.

For others who claim the ability to help you with your debt relief options, look to the state and local business licensing agencies to determine whether complaints have been made against them. Enter the names of the companies online to find out if there are any people who have taken to the Internet to cry foul.

Send No Money

Until you’ve had the opportunity to be sure the company is reliable, don’t send any money. Don’t provide your banking information. Don’t hand over your social security number.

Though these are things a reputable debt relief company or law firm may require, you’ve got to be sure of who you’re dealing with before you part with this critical information.

Don’t Be Bullied

If someone pushes too hard for information or money, your radar should go up immediately. Take the time to make an informed decision and you’ll be better off for it.

Remember – you’re looking to solve your debt problems rather than make them worse. Tread lightly, be smart, and things will go far better for you.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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