There are lots of bogus promises being made to debtors by phone, and it’s not just the fact that I’m a debt consolidation lawyer that I say that. The Federal Trade Commission is going after many telemarketing operations that are promising consumers low-interest credit-or-their-money-back “deals”. One example, reported in Consumer Bankruptcy News, is Premier Nationwide Corp. out of Phoenix, Arizona.
One infuriating aspect of this whole phony-debt-collection-by-phone problem is that often it’s female homemakers who answer the phone and get taken in. All of us in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices know that, because the majority of clients who seek our help dealing with debt are female.
Premier is being accused of offering to consolidate clients’ debts onto a new credit card, or work with their existing credit card issuers to lower interest rates and monthly minimum payments – in exchange for an up-front fee ranging from $149 to $599. If Premier turned out to be unable to reduce the debt, the callers promised to provide a full refund minus a 20% processing fee.
So far, as one of my Columbus bankruptcy lawyers pointed out, that’s all legal. What actually happened, though, was that consumers who signed up were merely given a list of banks and told to apply for low interest credit cards on their own. Consumers who wanted interest rate reduction were then told they’d need to pay an additional monthly fee to a different company for that kind of help. The refunds were often denied.
Why do I keep warning readers of Bankruptcy in Indiana articles to be very, very wary of debt consolidation firms that promise you debt relief? Because, after more than 25 years of offering Indiana bankruptcy help, I know. I know you need and want debt relief. I know you need help stopping foreclosure. I know you might even need payday loan debt help. I know you’re worried about having your wages garnished and your checks bounce. But what I also know is that debt settlement companies offering to reduce your debts to pennies on the dollar (while charging fees of 20% and more!) are not the answer.
Debt consolidation plans represent a big negative on your credit report, sometimes bigger than bankruptcy in Indiana might! Debt consolidation or debt settlement plans don’t stop creditors from suing you, getting a judgment, or going after a wage garnishment.
If you’re reading this page, it’s more than likely you need the kind of warning the FTC is issuing. And you need the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Indiana!
Beware Debt Relief by Phone!
Categorised in: Bankruptcy Indiana
This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg