Monday, May 14, 2007

Debt Settlement Company Myths

The landscape of the debt settlement (debt negotiation) industry has changed a great deal over the past few years, and as a result there is a significant amount of information circulating related to debt settlement that simply couldn’t be further from the truth.

For instance, I recently read an article whose author claims that all debt settlement companies charge hundreds of dollars for an initial “admin fee,” as well as a monthly service fee. True? Not necessarily. You see, there are indeed many debt settlement companies that model their fee structure this way, but to say that “all” debt settlement firms are the same is extremely irresponsible. Fortunately, there are several firms that do not charge an administration fee, nor do they charge a monthly service fee. Believe it or not, there are legitimate firms who do take pride in customer service and providing what’s best for their clients, as opposed to running a scam to rip people off.

Also, there seems to be a misconception that all debt settlement firms set up trust accounts, into which their clients are required to deposit funds each month so that the debt settlement company may withdraw their fees prior to the funds being made available to the client’s creditors for the purpose of debt settlement. Again, while some debt settlement firms operate this way, many do not. As a matter of fact, there are several debt settlement firms who work on a contingency basis and don’t require their fees until after settlements have been reached with their clients’ creditors. These same companies very rarely require that you set up a trust account, but rather prefer that you set funds aside each month so that settlement offers may be extended to your creditors at a later date. Many consumers considering debt settlement don’t have the necessary income to set funds aside each month, and must instead resort to a 401K loan, home equity loan or a personal loan from a family member.

As you can see, critics of debt settlement are often misinformed and should probably stick to a totally different topic, or perhaps conduct sufficient research prior to reporting on the subject of debt negotiation firms.

Admittedly, debt settlement is not a pain-free process, and it’s certainly not for everyone, but it has certainly saved thousands of dollars for individuals and businesses that otherwise would have been forced into bankruptcy. If you’d like to learn more about debt settlement – the good, the bad and the facts – click here.

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