Not all Debt Settlement Companies are alike. In fact, most do not offer the personal and professional service you will need.
Here are the most important things to look for:
Most people will experience a time in their lives when due to circumstances beyond their control, they fall victim to the easy access of credit card debt!
Just to name a few, these circumstances may include:
- Death of a spouse or loved one, cutting your income dramatically
- Trying to survive on a fixed income after retirement
- Too little income after a serious illness or disability
- The ever increasing rise in the price of rent and products and services!
After helping people examine their options when faced with too much debt for almost 15 years now, I've noticed some common patterns that led to this situation:At first, a credit card is used to make up the gaps or shortage of income.
There are certain things that you just have to have.... such as...
- Gas for the car
- Unexpected repair or replacement of a major appliance
So, you use the credit card, planning on paying it off as soon as your financial circumstances change.
But, when they don't or you can't, then your may be forced to use another credit card to help make the minimum payment on the first card.
Or, you may need help paying the utility bill or another necessary expense. (sound familiar?)
This should be the most obvious warning sign that your are in serious financial trouble!
What can you do now?
Although your options are limited, YOU DO HAVE OPTIONS:
Credit counseling or a Debt Management Program
If you qualify (it may be too late), a Debt Management Company will contact each of your creditors and arrange a repayment plan that may include a reduction in interest rates and possibly the minimum required payment.
The problem with the Credit Counseling or Debt Management Program is that if you could not keep up with the minimum required monthly payments before, you most likely will not be able to meet the minimum monthly payment required now.
So now what?
In a Debt Settlement Program, rather than continuing to "rob Peter to pay Paul" as they say, you stop using your credit cards.
Most likely, you have stopped making minimum payments, but if not, now you are going to.
You make a monthy deposit into an FICD Insured bank account that will be used to negotiate settlements with your creditors and/or debt collectors.
A professional, top ranked Debt Settlement Company will spend time going over your particular circumstances to determine the best program and course of action you need.
There are several very important factors that must be considered before enrolling with a Debt Settlement Company. Such as
- How long has the company been in business?
- Are they registered with the state?
- Are they accredited with the Better Business Bureau?
- What is their record of complaints?
- Can you speak with the same representative each time?
- Does the representative seem knowledgeable, patient and understanding?
- What about "testimonies" from clients?
- Can you see some actual settlements?
- If you change your mind after enrollment, can you not only opt out, but also receive a refund of your net reserve account?
A qulified,BBB accredited Debt Settlement Company will provide ALL OF THE ABOVE!
If not....keep looking!
But, what if you cannot qualify for a Debt Settlement Progam?
It may be time to consider Bankruptcy.
Yes, I know it sounds terrible, but in the right situation, it may be the fresh start you need!
But, be careful when looking for a qualified bankruptcy attorney!
Make sure that bankruptcy is their only specialty and that they are willing to meet with you for an initial consultation, FREE OF CHARGE!
Dealing with the stress of a financial hardship requires information and help.
A qualified Debt Settlement Company may be just what you need, but you need to do a little homework first!