Even though debt consolidation can save your financial status, as well as your personal relationships you still need to be aware of the growing trend to consolidate debt. Financial planning is always key in any healthy bank account, but beware of what some of these firms offer. Many have advertised all over the Internet and TV, but some of these are now being sued by different attorney generals, the IRS, and even the FTC. The reason for these suits is the fact that they are not really non-profits.
The FTC and five different states have sued one of the worst offenders in the debt consolidation game. The company has filed for bankruptcy, but has not really gone out of business since they merely have broken up into a few different companies. This means you still need to be aware of companies that used to be part of a large company or have recently changed names.
You might hear a variety of names given to such “debt consolidation companies” this are because of the negative press that many of these companies have received. They are trying to change this word to something that has a better connotation. You may hear the phrases “debt negotiation” or “debt settlement” used instead when you are looking for a company to work with.
Make sure you go to your local Better Business Bureau before you begin working with a company. You’ll want to know if they have a good reputation in your area. You may find a company that has a good rating, but this may also mean very little. If a complaint is lodged against a company and then it is resolved, there is a good chance that it will not be recorded against their permanent record. The Better Business Bureau has no legal authority to act against these companies or help you if you get in a bind.
Be very wary of any debt consolidation company that is located or registered in Maryland or Florida. These states have no official regulation against debt consolidation companies in these states, so there is a chance that you may find a company that is not up to the high standards that you would like.
A good way to check for the best company is to look online and read reviews that have been left by customers. If you find customer reviews you will be hearing directly from the people served as to the quality of your potential debt consolidation company.