Debt settlement companies are institutions that are there in order to aid you in reducing or eliminating the debt from your life entirely. Legitimate ones have professional knowledge, skills and experience that will help them in putting together a debt relief program tailored to your needs while taking into consideration your financial needs and conditions. They may even negotiate with creditors themselves by using their own leverage in order to lower your debts by as much as 60 to 70%. Legitimate debt settlement companies may even consolidate the debts that are smaller into one or two simple payments. Finding a settlement service can be extremely beneficial to you if you tend to find managing your personal finances tricky. However, finding a legitimate settlement company is extremely important, and is a more difficult task then you’d initially think, as there are plenty of fraudulent agencies out there. It takes some careful research in order to help your financial situation. Here are some attributes of a legitimate debt settlement company.
Fees That Are Reasonable
A settlement company that is reputable will not be out to squeeze every last penny out of their customers. This means that they will only charge a nominal and reasonable fee for using their service. If a debt settlement company has an unusually high or low fee then it is likely a sign that they are not a legitimate company, and are out to scam you.
They Are Members of Trade Associations
The debt settlement company should be a member of a trade association of the debt industry. For example, they may be a part of the United States Organization for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA) or the Association of Settlement Companies. Those that are qualified members of some of the larger agencies in the debt industry will tend to have a very successful track record of being able to manage personal settlement and finances very well. All the companies that are a part of such associations have to follow very strict procedures and standards of the associations, which are created in order to protect the consumers’ interests.
Your Information Will Be Kept Confidential
A firm that is legitimate will be accredited by the BBB on top of being associated with legitimate settlement organizations such as TASC and USOBA. It’s important that you ensure that the company you are looking at is accredited, as otherwise it is a sure sign that they are a scam.
Look to a Debt Relief Network
It is very important that you keep all of the above characteristics in mind when deciding on a debt settlement company, however it is also highly recommended that you never go directly to a debt settlement company. Instead, you should head to a debt relief network first as only accredited and legitimate agencies will be apart of a legitimate debt relief network, and they can help you find the right company for your situation.