8. Don’t read the contract carefully
If the sales presentation was indeed your Manna from Heaven, then don’t be surprised to find an angry Devil in the details. Often times the sales affiliate will tell you what he thinks you want to hear and then the contract will attempt to “CTLA” (cover their lying …)
9. Don’t question them if they attempt to illegally charge you fees before they settle your debts
The debt settlement scams had gotten so bad that the FTC finally stepped in and made it illegal in October 2010, for debt settlement companies to charge fees before they settled their client’s debt.
Since the passage of that law, many scammers have left the industry. However, some have stayed and continue to illegally charge fees to consumers before the debt is settled. Most often they identify themselves as “law firm” models. They claim to have found a legal loophole in the law that allows them to continue charging upfront money even if they never perform the service. They say “loophole”, I say total scam.
Either way, why would you want to pay a company all your fees upfront when you can look at other companies who will actually perform the service before charging you? Whether or not their loophole theory will hold up in court is their problem. Since you aren’t going to get any benefit by giving them your money up front, don’t make it your problem if they eventually get shut down by regulators.
10. Don’t politely decline their offer to meet with you face to face
If a sales associate from the law firm of Doowe, Cheatem and How (fictitious name) pitches you on their program for 45 minutes and then asks to set up a face to face meeting, you can bet dollars to donuts that they charge upfront fees and are of the “loop holer” persuasion mentioned in number 9.
There might be a rare exception for a small local firm, but for the most part, the face to face meeting is a dead giveaway. The “loophole” theory is that the sale was not made during the 45-minute sales presentation with the sales affiliate, but with the Notary or local Paralegal, they sent over to get the papers signed. An observant person might question the 45-minute call where the selling and convincing was actually done. There is that Devil in those details again.
So there you have it. 10 stupid simple ways to get burned by debt settlement scams.
Debt Resolution options available for struggling consumers. He has saved his clients millions of dollars by exposing the debt relief scams that many other consumers fall victim to.