Debt Settlement Scams

I represent many clients both in the matters of debt settlement and in bankruptcy.  Either approach to getting back on your financial feet has its positives and negative aspects.  You should consult with an experienced bankruptcy and debt settlement lawyer rather than go it alone in this area.

One of the many debt settlement scams I have seen in the last several years are private letters mailed to people who have a large amount of credit card debt contend with.  In Montgomery County, Bucks County and Philadelphia, debt settlement scams can take the form of letters which look like official US Government notices or IRS notices.  The type face used by the scam artist looks like that used by the IRS.  The layout of the letter looks like a government issued debt settlement letter as seen by the referenced date, notice number, contact phone and requesting your immediate response.  The debt settlement agency wants you to respond to them and not your creditors directly.

They use bold face type and a directive that “you must contact us no later than ….”  and signed “Sincerely, Client Negotiations Dept.”  Some even create personalized web site for you.

The most interesting piece of the debt settlement is that it has, fairly closely, the amount of debt you may owe.  It seems to me that the debt settlement company has obtained your credit report for the purpose of soliciting your business; it has purchased this information from a credit reporting agency and does not have your credit score; but it does have a good idea of how much money you owe and what neighborhood you live in.  This is powerful personal information it uses to obtain your business.  You need to be very careful of these debt settlement solicitations and companies.  People have come to me only after they have spent thousands of dollars in debt settlement only to be still left in a big financial hole.

Signs of possible scams are the people and company are from out of state; they sell you on what seems unbelievable results of paying very little and repairing your credit score at the same time.  It all seems very logical, reasonable and legal; the reality is often times otherwise.  Be very careful of debt settlement agencies and the promises they make!