Vance P. Truman, Attorney at Law
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What are some debt relief scams that consumers should avoid?

One of the primary responsibilities of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is to protect U.S. consumers from predatory advertising. This federal office has previously issued public notices warning Americans of credit repair or debt relief service scams. It's in those statements that the FTC has tried to impart some practical advice aimed at helping consumers from falling victim to such predatory practices.

The FTC warns consumers with large outstanding credit card balances to approach debt relief companies carefully. They note that these companies often claim to be able to negotiate a reduction in or settlement to a consumers' obligations to repay their debts. Many of these companies aren't able to do this though.

FTC officials warn that consumers should be wary of working with anyone that requires them to pay significant up-front fees to lower or settle the debts that they owe.

The federal office warns that many of the debt relief companies that engage in unlawful trade practices are often predatory in the way that they hunt down consumers that are drowning in debt. The FTC notes that these companies often make robocalls to debtors who are on the Do-Not-Call List to do this.

FTC officials also warn consumers that credit repair companies often employ similar predatory tactics that debt relief companies use. Their research shows that they often win over customers by claiming to be able to get negative information removed from their credit reports. These companies often have consumers pay a fee so that they can have information removed, even if it's accurate.

The FTC also warns consumers to take caution when considering working with companies that claim to provide auto loan modifications. The government office warns that many of these companies will claim to be able to help consumers avoid repossession by reducing their lease or loan payments. Many of them can't do this though.

One of the worse things that you can do if you're already drowning in debt is to squander the little money that you have left. Many companies will put commercials on the radio or television telling you how they can negotiate a reduction in payments on what you owe. Few can do this though. An attorney in Medina can help you sort through what's realistic and not so that you can take the appropriate steps necessary to move forward in your life here in Ohio.

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