In a nutshell, in most cases, a Credit Counseling Agency is a company owned, operated by, or hired by credit card companies for the purpose of gaining your confidence so that you sign up for their services as a way to save money in paying off your debt.
Many families, out of desperation to avoid bankruptcy sign up for credit counseling services thinking they will be able to get rid of their debt without being harassed by the credit card company or debt collection agencies, and of course avoid bankruptcy. The truth is, most people are put in an even more serious financial hole by using credit counseling services.
If your financial situation has reached a point where you are considering utilizing a credit counseling service, before you speak to any of these companies, seek the legal advice and representation of experienced legal counsel who will stand up and protect your rights and goals, as well as inform you of the best options for you to consider based upon your specific financial circumstances. Being properly informed is the first step in repairing your credit and effectively having insurmountable debt discharged.
Many of these credit counseling services misrepresent or cloud you with fast talk to mask the commitment you will be held to and the unrealistic expectation of service they claim they will provide. At best, the most credit counseling services can help marginally lower your interest rates with credit card companies which are willing to participate and work with you. It is in the best interest for credit card companies to agree to lower your interest rate rather than loose the debt to a bankruptcy. To gain you confidence, some of these companies present themselves as "non-profit" businesses, dedicated to helping people.
The way these companies work is that they, in conjunction with the credit card company, get your interest rate lowered, and sometimes claim to be able to get the debt to be paid reduced by between 60% to 40% of the debt owed. What they actually do is charge you a large fee that must be paid to them before they "negotiate" with the credit card company. With the fees the credit card counseling organization charges you and requires you to pay before they "go to work for you" and the debt they have "negotiated" with the credit card company, you may end up paying nearly the same amount which was owed, or even more.
On top of this is that if your are unsatisfied, believe the credit counseling organization has not done anything on your behalf, or find out you are simply being scammed, the credit counseling service will not refund a dime, even if they have not contacted a single credit card company on your behalf. They have been smart enough that they have included small print in their contracts that allow them to keep your fees, even if they have done nothing for you.
Unfortunately, there is very little if anything in the form of State or Federal regulation to oversee and protect the public against these scams. There is no easy way for the public to separate the scams from the possible non-scams.
The only legal way to officially eliminate debt is to file a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, and the only way to legally have debt restructured and/or lowered to be paid back in a debt restructuring payment plan is by filing a Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy. Contact our offices today to find out the truth about your options regarding debt.
With so many people having bad luck in dealing with Credit Counseling Organizations, many refer to these companies as "debt collectors with a smile."
These companies prey upon your desperation to collect money for the creditors who are willing to accept less collected debt instead of losing the debt to a bankruptcy.
We often have concerned individuals and families ask us "Why do attorneys filing bankruptcy instead of using a Debt Counseling Organization?" The answer is simple. Bankruptcy attorneys don't just lower interest rates, bankruptcy attorneys, hold the credit card companies accountable for their loose and risky lending practices. The risky lending practices that leave good, honest, hard working people with more debt than they can pay, with no regard for how their high interest rates affect the short or long-term financial standing of their clients.
Bankruptcy attorneys use the bankruptcy laws to get people out of debt and the interest of that debt as well.
A few years ago it was exposed in the national news media that credit card companies actually send representatives to popular spring break locations and set up booths on the beach to target and approve credit cards for college students who have been drinking, and have limited or no means to pay for the charges they accrue while partying. Their ace in the hole is that these college kids do not want to file bankruptcy, and many of the parents of the college spring breakers will pay off the debt for their children in an effort to "save their child's financial well being."
Brian Hizer and Edward Schimmel have the experience and resources to effectively guide you through the bankruptcy legal process. We always strive to provide the highest standard of legal representation to aggressively pursue your bankruptcy legal goals.
If you require experienced legal advice and representation from a qualified Bankruptcy Law attorney (lawyer), please call our offices to schedule a confidential legal consultation.