Common Financial Scams: An Introduction

28 Jan Common Financial Scams: An Introduction

Credit CardEveryone has seen the ads on TV: “Erase your debt,” “Clean up your credit,” “Save your house from foreclosure,” and so on. If you’re having financial problems, they sound pretty good–an easy way to get back on track. But do they really work?

Well, like diet ads that promise you can eat all you want and still lose weight, the answer is usually no. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably . . . too good to be true. Here are the top scams my clients have been seeing recently.

If you see offers such as these, particularly if they’re advertised on-line, or on radio or TV, you should be cautions. If you’re not dealing directly with a lawyer, you should be very cautions. There are a lot of folks out there trying to get your precious dollars based on promises that don’t always come true.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to financial problems. In some cases, refinances make sense. In others, they just throw gasoline on the fire. In some cases, a Chapter 13 may give you time to get payments caught up. The key is to look at the motivation of the person who is offering to “help” you, and seeing what’s in it for them. Make your decision on what is best for you, and make sure that you learn about all the options available to you before you decide.

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Brett Weiss, a senior partner at The Weiss Law Group, LLC, represents people and businesses in all phases of bankruptcy. He has experience in complex individual Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and in Chapter 11 small business restructuring and reorganization. Mr. Weiss lectures nationally on bankruptcy issues. He has testified before the Federal Bankruptcy Rules Committee, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and has twice testified before Congress on bankruptcy and credit issues. Brett Weiss is the co-author of Chapter 11 for Individual Debtors, and has written Not Dead Yet: Bankruptcy After BAPCPA, for the Maryland Bar Journal, as well as hundreds of blogs for the Bankruptcy Law Network. With his colleague, Daniel Press, he recorded a 13-hour basic bankruptcy training series, and leads intensive three-day Chapter 11 training boot camps. Mr. Weiss has received international media attention in connection with his work. He was interviewed by Barbara Walters on The View, has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News with Peter Jennings, the Montel Williams Show, National Public Radio, AARP-TV, the BBC World Service, German state television, and numerous local radio and television programs, and been quoted in Money magazine, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, among others. Brett Weiss is the previous Maryland State Chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network, on the board of the Maryland State Bar Consumer Bankruptcy Council, and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Bankruptcy Bar Association of Maryland. He has received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys for his work on behalf of consumers across the country. Mr. Weiss is admitted to practice before Maryland and District of Columbia federal and state courts, the United States Courts of Appeals for the DC, Fourth and Eighth Circuits, the United States Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and has been practicing law since 1983.

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