Be Wary of Debt Relief Offers

Posted on April 1, 2002
Consumer debt is at an all-time high, and record numbers of Americans are filing for bankruptcy, according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consumer alert. “In your effort to get solvent, be on the alert for advertisements that offer seemingly quick fixes,” says the alert. “While the ads pitch the promise of debt relief, they rarely say relief may be spelled b-a-n-k-r-u-p-t-c-y.” Though bankruptcy is a legitimate option for dealing with financial hardships, it should generally be an option of last resort, as it has long-term negative impact on your credit rating. A bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years and can hinder your ability to get credit, a job, insurance or a place to live. Some advertising lines to be wary of, according to the FTC: “Consolidate your bills into one monthly payment without borrowing.” “Stop credit harassment, foreclosures, repossessions, tax levies and garnishments. Keep your property.” “Wipe out your debts! Consolidate your bills! How? By using the protection and assistance provided by federal law. For once, let the law work for you!” Such phrases often involve bankruptcy proceedings, which not only hurt your credit, but can also cost you attorneys’ fees. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, the FTC recommends you consider the following options before filing for bankruptcy: • Talk to your creditors. They may be willing to work out a modified payment plan. • Contact a credit counseling service. These organizations work with you and your creditors to develop debt repayment plans. You deposit money each month with the counseling service and the service pays your creditors. Some nonprofit agencies charge little or nothing for their services. • Carefully consider a second mortgage or home equity line of credit. While these loans may allow you to consolidate your debt, they also require your home as collateral.
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Auto Safety House, the Thomas Built Buses dealer for Arizona, will operate as a brand of W.W. Williams. Seen here is a W.W. Williams service center.

W.W. Williams Acquires Auto Safety House

Auto Safety House, the Thomas Built Buses dealership for Arizona, will operate as a brand under the ownership of W.W. Williams, a provider of repair services and products.


Mother Gets Probation for Assaulting School Bus Driver

Kiesha Shannon of Ohio pleads guilty to attacking her daughter’s bus driver and is sentenced to three years of probation. The judge says he had limited sentencing options, which is why he didn’t give her jail time.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!