Beware of Debt Help Scams

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

Many companies send offers to help you solve all of your debt problems quickly for a low fee. 

That sounds like a fair offer, right? 

WRONG. Unfortunately, if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is. Many of the companies promising to help you with your debt problems will actually cause more grief in the long run. Learn how to spot the signs of a scam. 

Signs a “debt help” company is trying to “scam” you: 

It promises to remove all of your debt. Debt does not disappear unless you pay it off. Any company that says it can get rid of your debt is trying to rip you off. 

It encourages you to take out a new loan without reviewing your financial situation. Any qualified lender will need to evaluate your ability to repay a loan before it offers you money. 

It requests substantial monthly service fees. If you’re already struggling with debt payments, you should not add to your expenses by paying someone to manage debt that you can repay yourself or in consultation with a free or low-cost credit counselor. 

It tells you to stop making payments or contacting your lenders. Often, lenders are willing to work out a repayment plan with you. If the company tells you not to get lenders, it might be withheld- ing valuable information. If you stop making payments, you may damage your credit and lessen your lender’s willingness to negotiate. 

It asks you to sign blank forms or sign over your property’s ownership. NEVER sign blank paperwork. NEVER sign agreements that you don’t understand. Remember: If the company is unwilling to explain the paperwork or answer your questions, do not do business with them. 

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