Sham credit organizations are a cause for concern in Florida
Florida residents live in a time of difficult and unique challenges. With the economy still struggling and business not back where it should be, it is no surprise that many individuals are having a hard time finding financial stability.
When a large amount of credit debt faces consumers, they are forced to look at their options. One of these options is to use the services of a private debt settlement company. These private debt settlement companies often have slogans that say things like “Erasing your debt, 100 percent of the time!” These slogans are exactly as they sound – too good to be true.
Court decisions on advertising
Recently in Florida, the courts have held debt settlement companies accountable for false advertisements. In January 2012, these companies were ordered to change their deceptive marketing practices. The companies were found to be in violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s regulation against bogus credit repair service advertising.
Unfortunately, the debt settlement companies failed to make the proper changes. The court found the organizations to be in contempt, and ordered that the businesses be permanently shut down and banned from selling or providing any services for credit repair in the future.
FTC regulations and actions against companies
Although the FTC is cracking down on companies like these, bad organizations are still out there. It is important for consumers to be informed about how to avoid becoming a victim of such a scam. Warning signs that a company may be operating a credit repair scam include:
- The company requires payment before providing services
- The company does not inform individuals of their legal rights
- The company does not want individuals to contact a credit report company directly
- The company suggests that an individual partake in illegal activity
Being aware of these warning signs and checking on an organization before making a commitment can save a person a lot of money and frustration in the end.
Other options to settle credit debt
There are many ways to deal effectively with debt. Debt settlement companies can cost thousands of dollars without providing results. Depending on your situation, filing bankruptcy may be the best way to avoid a home foreclosure, stop wage garnishments and eliminate most types of debt. Most consumers who file bankruptcy will not lose any of their property.
When debt becomes too difficult to manage on one’s own, the best thing to do is to turn to an attorney that is experienced in the area of bankruptcy. An attorney will be able to discuss your options and help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you. If you are struggling with debt, don’t contact a debt settlement company; contact a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney in your area.