Updated: Jul 25, 2019
Okay after talking about Bankruptcy we really need to talk about debt consolidation. You have all seen the nice commercials where the nice family has a new lower payment on their consolidated debt. Many of these companies have really nice names and pretend to be nonprofit. Is this the Gennie in the lamp? Just consolidate and everything will be fine.
Oh the horror stories i have heard after being in the finance business for many years. All consolidation stories have a terrible ending. Most have a terrible beginning, middle and end.
Remember our friends friends at the Federal Trade Commission FTP. Here's what they say about debt Consolidation:
If you feel smothered by your monthly bills, a call from someone who says they can reduce or eliminate your debts might sound like the answer to your problems. But in many cases, unscrupulous people are behind these calls. They don't have any intentions of helping you, but are very int rested in taking your money.
How can you tell if you're dealing with a debt relief scammer? Because they ask you to pay them before they do anything for you.
That's what the FTC and the Florida Attorney General said happened in a massive debt relief scam there were able to stop last month. The defendants told people they would pay, settle, or get rid of their debts. But they didn't. Instead they took people's money.
Over time, people found out that their debts were not paid, their accounts were in default, and their credit scores were severely damaged. Some people even got sued of their creditors, or were forced into bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, scammers try to take advantage of those dealing with debt but there's legitimate help out there. You can talk to your creditors directly to negotiate a modified payment plan. You also can look for credit counseling. To find reputable help, start with a credit union, local college, military base, or U.S. Cooperative Extension Service.