Debt Help Scams: Fact From Fiction
If you are like anyone else looking for help with debt resolution you have likely read about or have been warned about debt help scams. A day doesn’t go by without a someone telling me about the most recent scam in a debt related resolution programs. It is true, no doubt there are scams but I write this with the hope that you the reader will benefit from hearing the reality of debt settlement and debt resolution programs from the horse’s mouth.
I have now been an attorney over 15 years and in those years I have concentrated my practice solely in the area of consumer debt resolution. I spent some early years as in house counsel to a national debt settlement company which formed the basis for my decision to open my own practice in this niche practice area. In fact my practice is so unique that no other practice in New York does what I do. My initial goal with my practice was to offer a different route in debt resolution, to use my legal training and expertise for consumers to get effective representation in resolving their debts. I am very successful and excellent at resolving debts and putting people back on track financially. It’s what I do day in and day out and I can truly say I love what I do. I now have several offices all over New York and a business plan to move into other States. It is a very satisfying feeling to help others who come in such difficult circumstances move on from the never ending cycle of debt. Even with the success I have found, the road here hasn’t been easy due to the fact that the road ahead was paved mostly by scam consumer debt resolution companies. This created an uphill battle for me in terms of my credibility not only with consumers but with creditors and referral sources as well. Testing my own will to withstand the criticism formed from these other’s malicious intentions was certainly a challenge. I made it my career goal to repave that road without the cracks and bumps in consumer deceptiveness and focus on crystal clear, effective, trustworthy and most of all ethical debt resolution solutions.
With that said I believe that unfortunately there have been, and likely will always be, scam debt settlement and debt related companies out there who want to take your money and do nothing for you as the consumer. It is simply too easy given the fact that the consumer in debt is stressed and overwhelmed. A fast talking sales person can easily take their money, financial information and make promises that sound like gift from over the rainbow. This doesn’t mean that all apples are bad and that there isn’t the right professional to work with that has your best interest in mind. What this means is that you as the consumer have to do your homework. I often ask the question when someone comes to me after an experience with one of these companies whether they did any research on the company before working with them. Almost all of the time, the answer is no. A simple online search would help you better understand the company that told you they would miraculously make your financial life that much better. Even with that you need to ask these basic questions to any company offering to resolve your debts:
- How long have you been in business?
- Where is your company incorporated and what is the address of your company headquarters?
- Are you licensed by the NYS Department of Finance (formerly the NYS Banking Department)?
- Do you have an office here?
- Do you charge any money upfront?
These five basic questions should lead you to the answer on whether to work with that debt settlement company or not. I also highly recommend going with your gut instinct. Listen to yourself, if you are not comfortable then don’t act! It’s as simple as that. Just because you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed with debt doesn’t mean that you take the bite of the apple from the first nice looking old lady who knocks at your door. You can say no thank you I want to think about it. Take your time, do your research, ask a professional friend or relative their thoughts and most importantly don’t go in this alone. Find the right person you feel comfortable working with. Find someone who has your best interests in mind and knows you as a person. Each client to me is an individual with certain personal, family and business related issues. No two cases are the same to me when I resolving client debts. You too should be treated as an individual and the company you are working with should know your short and long term goals and be able to lay out a clear road to recovery from this unfortunate financial set back. I can tell you that if you do not proceed with caution you will make the wrong decision and end up coming to me to clean up the mess.