Debt Settlement

BEWARE OF DEBT RELIEF TRAPS

Drowning in credit card debt? Debt settlement companies promise “debt relief” claiming they can wipe out your debts by negotiating lump-sum payments for less than you owe.

Did You Know?  A debt relief company is not allowed to access your credit file to solicit your business.  If you get a solicitation letter that includes specific information about the amount of debt you owe , your privacy may have been violated!

There are dozens of these “debt relief” companies out there that offer to help consumers avoid bankruptcy by working with creditors to negotiate a lower monthly payment, put an end to late fees, stop collection calls, etc.  And while a small handful of these may actually help a consumer climb out of debt, the overwhelming majority of “debt relief” organizations will do little more than take your money for themselves!

Beware! Debt settlement companies may tell you to stop making payments to your creditors and instead pay into a special “settlement” or escrow account. Meanwhile, your creditors keep charging you late fees and interest, so your debt may increase rapidly.  And you can still face legal action by your creditors trying to collect your debt(s).

Under Ohio law, DEBT RELIEF COMPANIES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CHARGE:

more than $75 for an initial consultation;

more than $100/year for consultation fees or contributions; or

more than 8.5% of the amount paid by the debtor each month.

If you have paid more than these amounts to a debt relief company, you may be entitled to a potential award of up to three times the amount you paid as damages (plus court costs and attorney’s fees).