Individuals and families in Las Vegas who are in over their heads with debt are often looking for any option they can find for debt relief. They know that the amount of debt they have is dictating how they live their lives. They know that if they can get a handle on that debt, they can drastically change their lives.
In other words, they are in a uniquely vulnerable position and desperate for answers and guidance. Unfortunately, that means nefarious folks are out there looking for a chance to take advantage of these good people.
You’ve probably heard of the various scams and schemes that promise to help you get out of debt. A reputable company can do just that, get you out of debt, but you often have to wade through the muck first. You may even know someone burned by a company that offered to help with his or her outstanding debt.
As stated, not all debt relief organizations out there offering to help you pay off your debt are disreputable, but you should know how to identify the bad apples and stay away from them if in need of debt repayment options.
Debt relief scams: How do they work?
Ultimately, the premise is that a company running a debt relief scam is simply going to make promises that it cannot keep, and it knows it cannot hold up its end of the bargain from the start.
For starters, take note of promises that sounds too good to be true. “Get out of debt today!” “Totally repair your credit!” “Live debt-free without changing your lifestyle!” These types of statements are clear identifiers of a scam.
Wouldn’t it be great if those claims were actually true? Most of the time, they’re simply impossible to deliver on, especially by a company without the skills and experience to back it up. It is easy to tell someone in hindsight: “Hey, you should never have believed such outrageous claims, so you have no one to blame but yourself.” Not only is that a bit harsh, but it’s also a bit naïve too. Desperation does crazy things to people, to the point where any chance at a way out is like cheese to a mouse.
Once the individual in need of help is on the hook, the disreputable company often asks the individual or family in Las Vegas to pay a large upfront fee to get the debt relief process started. “The fee is necessary to jumpstart your journey to getting out of debt. It will be recouped by the amount of money you save on your debt.” Of course, once you have paid the fee (unless you have a money-back guarantee in hand, which disreputable companies do NOT offer), then the sad fact is that the company really has no other incentive to help you further. It got what it wanted.
The company may tell you that the wheels are in motion. Sadly, those wheels have a flat tire and aren’t going anywhere. From there, it will just be a steady stream of vague answers, ignored phone calls, and a lack of results.
Again, the target is those that are desperate, those with nowhere else to turn. They are an easy target and are often left is a worse situation than when they started. These folks started out with only a little cash and a ton of debt. Now, they still have that same debt yet also have no cash now.
The bright side is that there are debt relief, debt management, and debt consolidation companies that are ready and able to help those in need. The services these companies offer can change lives and put people back on the road to financial stability and a better quality of life. You just have to know how to weed out the bad apples.
How do you recognize a debt relief scam?
Just as reputable companies have a proven track record and guidelines in place to help those in need get out of debt, the folks that are just looking to separate good people from their hard-earned money also have their tried-and-true methods. This is good, in a sense, because it helps people learn what to look for in a debt relief scam.
As stated, be wary of that upfront fee we talked about. This is how disreputable debt relief companies make their money, by charging good folks upfront and giving customers no way to get that money back. (Note the word “customer,” which is exactly how a lesser company will treat you. To a company that is ready to actually help you and treat you with the respect you deserve, you are a “client.”)
This isn’t to say that the lesser company won’t actually work on your behalf. A ton of work may actually be done of your behalf, with the best intentions. This is where it helps to understand the “why” of asking for an upfront fee. The less-than-stellar companies require payment upfront because they simply don’t have the experience or skills to get the job done in most instances, and they want to be sure they get paid, even for failing.
For the client (or customer, to these folks), you are still in debt and now broke – a true lose-lose.
Next, be skeptical of promises that seem to be too good to be true. The phrase “too good to be true” has become such a cliché, and for good reason. When individuals or organizations want to manipulate you into doing something that might not be in your best interest, they start making promises that are so appealing, so exciting, that we have to remind ourselves that they can’t possibly be true.
Makeup companies will tell you they can make you look 25 years younger overnight. Vitamin companies will tell you that taking “Vitamin X” will improve your energy. Well, subpar debt relief companies are no different. Some will even boast that, “You can get out of debt and buy your first home, all within a year.” Feel free to roll your eyes. If you know anything about mortgage companies, and how they view your debt history when considering an application, you are well aware of how much truth is in that sales pitch.
If something doesn’t sound right, question it. Is someone telling you his company can make your debt go away “today?” That sounds great! Ask how. The answer you receive is surely going to be less than inspiring, filled with vague language and perhaps a few of these: “Just trust us, we are the professionals.” Debt relief takes some time; there is no way around it. Any promise of “quick” relief is just a veiled attempt to pull a fast one.
Again, a debt relief company with proven results can actually do many of these things (except make debt go away “today”). They have proven time and again they can help Las Vegas individuals and families get out from under burdensome debt. They can help you pay down that debt, get creditors off your back, and get you back on the path to financial stability.
The difference is that a reputable debt relief company won’t guarantee its ability to do all these things, especially not without getting to know you and what makes your situation unique. People get into debt for all kinds of reasons, and knowing those reasons is the first step in building a plan that will provide results.
Debt relief companies typically end up in negotiations with your creditors in an attempt to get relief on your behalf. However, a positive outcome to these negotiations is not assured, and any company trying to tell you differently is simply lying in an attempt to gain your business. Again though, those that have slipped into desperation mode are apt to believe outlandish promises, and these lesser companies target those people.
Avoid companies that do not take the time to get to know you. Debt is not one-size-fits-all. People get into debt for any number of reasons. One person may be trying to become a doctor, which inherently comes with a mountain of student loans. That debt can become overwhelming, whether or not the person ever finished school.
Consider the average person supporting his family on a modest income. Things are going well, but there is no real opportunity to build up savings of any sort. An unexpected medical emergency is sure to result in a pile of debt, maxed out credit cards, loans, and lord knows what else.
Consider another person who just enjoys buying nice things. She buys a nice pair of shoes here, a fancy dinner or two here, and a cruise to the Bahamas there, all put on a credit card. That all leads to a ton of debt that will take forever to pay off, not to mention you will pay double or triple the actual amount when you consider the APR, especially if just paying the minimum balance.
These are all common scenarios that happen to people every day, but each is unique.
In the same vein, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to paying off your debt or seeking debt relief. There are too many factors to take into account when trying to sort your finances. What is your regular income? Is your job stable? What are the interest rates on your loans, credit cards, etc? What’s your timeline for paying things off? What are your hopes for the future? Do you want to buy a home? What are your current spending habits? The list goes on.
A reputable debt relief company will take the time to ask these questions and dozens more to learn everything it can about your unique situation. A disreputable debt relief company has no interest in that. It uses a cookie-cutter approach, assuming that all things are equal and that your situation is no different from that of anyone else.
How do you find a reputable company to help you with your debt?
It’s all been doom and gloom so far. We have focused primarily on helping you avoid those disreputable companies that are merely interested in making a few bucks on you, not in helping you out of your poor financial situation.
Now we get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Plenty of reputable debt relief companies exist, each dedicated to helping you pay down and even eliminate your debt. So, how do you find someone to help with debt relief, consolidation, or management?
First, a reputable company doesn’t exude any of the negative characteristics we mentioned previously. A reputable company is confident but does not make guarantees. A reputable company is not going to tell you it offers its services free, but it also is not going to ask for a large upfront fee.
Start with the initial consultation. Ask numerous questions! A reputable company will not only answer your questions clearly and honestly, but it will also have a host of questions to ask you in an attempt to determine how best to help you.
Next, check for third-party organizations with information on the company, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This consumer protection organization is a superb resource when investigating any company. Visit the BBB site and enter the name of a company you are considering working with. You should be able to see ratings and customer comments/complaints related to that company. It shouldn’t be the sole research you perform on a company, but it is an ideal place to start.
Finally, check for reviews. Typically, people are more willing to trust other individuals in their position than an organization trying to sell them something. If reviews abound from satisfied customers, you are more than likely on the right track.
If you are interested in researching National Debt Relief a bit more, we invite you to check out our reviews and contact us today for more information.