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Consumer debt relief can be similar to this. If you're not wallowing in debt, you may not notice any ads for consumer debt relief. However, if you are having a problem with debt, you may suddenly see ads for consumer debt relief on television and all over the Internet.
A fertile ground for fraud
The unfortunate fact is that consumer debt relief is a fertile ground for fraud. You may be tempted by an ad that promises to get you out of debt in just a few months or that says the company can negotiate a settlement that will cut your debt by 60% or even 70% –in just a month.
The odds are that any company that makes promises like these is probably out to scam you. When you think about it, the promise might be attractive but just doesn't pass the smell test. No consumer credit company is going to willingly reduce your debt by 60% or 70%, as there is just no logical reason for it to do so. And if you have consumer debt of $15,000, $20,000 or even more, the same holds true–it is just not logical that you could pay off that amount of money in 12 months.
A scarier possibility
There is another and even scarier way that these consumer debt relief companies can scam you. They will tell you to stop making payments to your creditors and send them the money instead. They promise to escrow it and then use the money to negotiate settlements with your creditors. The problem is that once you send one of these companies your money, you lose control of it. If you're lucky, they will do as promised, escrow your money and then use it to settle with your creditors. However, there are unscrupulous companies out there that will take your money and just keep it. It could be six months or more before you learn what's going on and by then it may be too late to do anything about it. You’ll be out whatever amount of money you sent the company and in even worse shape financially than before.
A company you can trust
Before you agree to work with any consumer debt relief company, be sure that it's one you can trust. You can check out the services it offers, its history (the number of years it's been in business) and its customer testimonials. You should also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if it rates the company. When you read customer testimonials, be sure they seem real. Unethical debt relief companies have been known to write their own reviews. If you read several different reviews that seem to have about the same wording, you can just bet that real customers did not write them.
You should also see if the debt relief company belongs to an association such as the National Association of Debt Arbitrators or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The company, National Debt Relief not only belongs to both of these organizations, it also adheres to the code of the AFCC or American Fair Credit Council. National Debt Relief provides a free debt analysis that you can access by filling out a form on its front page, . If you’re looking for a trustworthy company for consumer debt relief, you should go to its site and get started with an analysis today.