Debt Settlement Companies – Making The Right Choice
Debt settlement has become an extremely popular alternative to bankruptcy in recent years, and ads for debt settlement firms seem to pop up everywhere. So, if you’re looking for a reliable and ethical debt settlement company to represent you regarding your overwhelming debt burden, where do you go? The Internet is a great place to start, but you need to be very cautious and not get “sucked in” by a high pressure sales person. As a matter of fact, I would advise against even considering a company whose sales tactics are designed to pressure you. These types of firms are typically more interested in taking your money than helping you with your debt-related troubles. Also, if you’re unable to locate a company that doesn’t require a monthly payment schedule, be sure that the company you’re considering doesn’t take its fees prior to providing a service. It may be difficult and it might take a considerable amount of time, but you can locate debt settlement firms that work on a contingency basis, and don’t require up-front fees or monthly maintenance fees.
It’s well worth your time to find these companies; after all, if you pre-pay your fees, what incentive does the company have to negotiate the best possible settlement with your creditors? Speaking of fees, there’s a great deal of fluctuation within the debt settlement industry. Some companies charge a percentage of your overall debt (usually10%-20%), while other firms charge a percentage of the amount of money you actually save. This range can vary between 15% and 25%. It’s important to be very diligent in your research so that you hire a company whose fees aren’t outrageous and won’t break you, but is ethical and professional in their business practices. One of the best ways to determine if a company is ethical and professional is by checking their Better Business Bureau (BBB) record.
This goes beyond looking at their “online reliability” report. Take the extra time to check their actual BBB record. Even if a company is not a member of the BBB, you’ll still find a record if there have been any negative reports. I personally have checked the BBB records of many debt settlement firms, and I am astonished by the large number of complaints that have been filed. This in itself has led me to believe that the only reason many of these companies remain in business is because consumers aren’t acting responsibly by checking the companies’ reports prior to hiring them. Your overall financial situation is important and relevant, and there’s a lot of money at stake here; take your time and only hire a company with a clean BBB record. Finally, use your own intuition. Since you’re cognizant of your situation, and researching avenues to become debt-free, I’m guessing that you’re an intelligent and capable individual. Being armed with that capability and intelligence, I’m sure you’ll easily determine, during your initial phone consultation, if you’re dealing with a company that sincerely wants to assist you, or just wants your money. Congratulations on taking the first step to free yourself from debt.
I wish you the very best.
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