When you are facing insurmountable debt, finding a way out is usually a top priority. Unfortunately, not all debt relief options are equal. As any debt defense lawyer in Miami can tell you, debt relief scams are a prevalent problem, and too often they appear to be legitimate methods for finding relief.
To help you avoid falling victim to these scams, we’re sharing our tips for avoiding them altogether.
1. Research, Research, Research
One of the most valuable defenses to a scam is research. Look for red flags, and then investigate those red flags thoroughly. For instance, if a company is presenting claims without the facts to back them up, it is essential to do some digging. Also, be sure to research other steps you can take to overcome debt that does not involve an outside party – such as cutting expenses, working out a repayment plan, or negotiating lower interest rates.
2. Steer Clear of “Too Good to Be True”
Here is a solid rule of thumb for nearly any situation: If an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is. Always read the fine print and disclaimers that accompany the promises made by companies that swear to be the answer to your debt problems. Too often, these are riddled with contradictory statements, hidden fees, and more downfalls for the debtor. Also, be sure to check the company’s Better Business Bureau rating before making any legally binding commitments. If it has a poor rating or lacks a rating at all, there is a good chance the company is not all that it claims to be.
3. Never Pay Upfront Fees
A company that charges an upfront fee without having rendered you a service is not only likely illegitimate, it is also breaking the law. Federal law mandates that debt relief companies provide clients with the service promised before payment can be exchanged. This protects you, and your hard-earned dollars, should the company inform you weeks after payment that you do not qualify for their debt relief options after all. Legitimate credit counseling services will always offer the initial consultation free of charge.
4. Run Any Concerns By a Debt Defense Lawyer in Miami
Above all else, seeking out legal guidance before signing any questionable agreement is important. A debt defense attorney can help you gauge whether the company can actually be of help to you, as well as whether there are other options that may be better suited to your situation. Most importantly, if the offer is in fact a scam, your lawyer can help you avoid a potentially costly pitfall.
If you are reading these tips too late and have already fallen victim to a debt relief scam, you still have options. Contact our office to speak with one of our experienced debt defense attorneys who can help you seek justice.