The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just shut down another debt settlement company.
Jeremy R. Nelson and four companies he controlled agreed to a plan that bans him and them from selling debt relief services, telemarketing, and making robocalls.
The FTC alleged that they called phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, called consumers who had told them not to call, delivered pre-recorded messages without prior written consent, repeatedly called consumers to annoy them, and delivered pre-recorded messages that failed to identify the seller, the call’s purpose, and the product or service.
Lawyer Susan Shin explains why you should avoid debt settlement and debt repair companies. Susan works with the New Economy Project formerly NEDAP or the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project. She’s an expert on scams involving so-called debt solutions and works with consumers to help them protect themselves.
CONSUMERMOJO TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DEBT COLLECTORS
1. Avoid debt collectors and debt settlement companies.
2. Find out how much you owe.
3. Contact your creditors and tell them that you are having trouble making payments. Work out a modified payment plan with them. Most companies want the money and will work with you.
4. Visit a not-for-profit counseling agency in your area if you need help. The U.S.Department of Justice offers a state by state list of approved counseling agencies.
If you think you are being treated unfairly or if you think a debt collector is violating the law, contact your state attorney general and also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission