Debt Settlement Scams
Right now, a number of dive store owners are using personal credit cards to help their stores keep going. This puts them among the millions of Americans facing an overwhelming amount of credit card debt.
For the past decade, we’ve all seen TV ads for firms that promise to “reduce or eliminate interest and penalties” and “work out a repayment schedule you can afford.” In the majority of instances, these plans don’t work. Worse, many of the companies involved have pocketed what consumers have given them, then disappeared in the night before ever turning a penny over to creditors.
Recently, this appeal to the financially desperate has taken on a new twist. Instead of hawking debt repayment, the scammers are pushing debt elimination. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Run up a bunch of debt that you never have to repay? Sign me up!
The catch is, there is no such thing as “debt elimination” — unless your creditors have lost all their marbles. In the typical debt-elimination scam, you are asked to put $2,500 or more up front and, in return, receive a certificate you take to your creditors that supposedly cancels all of your debt.
You may be wondering how anyone could be foolish enough to fall for this one…but they do, and in ever increasing numbers. The only surefire way to “eliminate” debt is to file for bankruptcy, which can cost you your home, your business and everything else you value. Better just to avoid debt in the first place.