Know What to Ask: Avoid Debt Reduction Scam and Fraud

Since stories of debt reduction law center fraud and scams have become quite common in the industry, the Federal Trade Commission, creditors, and debt reduction centers alike have become more active in publishing guidelines and help articles to protect consumers. The message is clear: making the most out of a debt management program starts with asking the right questions and looking beyond the flashy advertisements and 100% guarantees.

Getting straightforward and no-nonsense explanations is an indication of integrity from a debt reduction law center. Fraud, scam artists, and dodgy organizations will be less willing to address your concerns and will likely place higher priority on pressuring (and sometimes scaring) you into enrolling in their programs. You’re not helpless, though – there are ways to avoid being a victim of fraud.

The Debt Reduction Law Center FAQs page echoes the FTC’s take on questions to ask debt analysts and counselors before enrolling in any debt reduction program. Make sure to keep these Five Basic Questions to Ask Debt Management Specialists in mind whenever you decide to take on services related to debt help:

  1. Free information. Consultation and information regarding debts, debt relief plans, loan modification, foreclosure proceedings, and bankruptcy are always free. Dependable debt management centers offer these counseling services for free and will never charge you just for asking questions.If an organization asks for compensation in exchange for information about DMPs and other finance-related counseling, look for another debt specialist. Just as well, avoid counselors who ask you for payment or your credit card details for information regarding their process or the nature of their business.
  2. License and certifications. Before obtaining any form of debt settlement program or service from a debt reduction firm, make sure to ask them if they are licensed to practice in your state. Find out what the requirements for negotiators are in your state and ask the firm what their and their attorneys’ certifications are.As much as possible, hire experienced analysts with adequate technical know-why and know-how. Teaming up with lawyers and legal specialists from a debt reduction law center can be an added advantage to your situation. Unlike regular debt settlement agencies, a law firm is licensed to and can provide you legal representation in court through their attorneys should there be a need to do so.
  3. Written contract and fees. Before entering any debt reduction plan, ask for a written and signed statement of all verbal promises, guarantees, and other terms. You can easily avoid debt reduction law center fraud and scams by reading through their proposed terms and a breakdown of relevant fees. Never sign any document unless you fully understand its contents and purpose.If a debt relief company pressures you into signing with them by telling you that immediate response is required, you might want to start looking for other debt reduction firms.Only agree to commit with a law center after all fees have been discussed with you in detail. Ask how frequent you need to make payments, for how long, and if the quoted price includes setup and all other fees. Never trust a debt consolidation agent or specialist who cannot discuss costs of the program with you to avoid fraud and scams involving hidden fees.
  4. Confidentiality. Your chosen debt management firm will handle sensitive financial information pertaining to you, it pays to ask about the measures that they take to secure and protect their clients’ personal information. If the company has a website, you can also read through their Privacy Policy and confirm its contents with any representative or debt specialist.Specific securities will be set in place by a trustworthy debt reduction center against fraud and to prevent the misuse of your personal information (name, address, contact details) and financial information. If no measures have been setup by the agency you’re currently involved with, do not hesitate to consider looking for another debt reduction law center.

For More Information

Avoid fraud by arming yourself with the facts: find out how a debt management program progresses or what a loan modification can do for your situation.

Visit our articles section for more ways to avoid debt reduction fraud or contact the Debt Reduction Law Center for a free consultation.