CONSUMER ALERT: Debt Relief Scams
November 8, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – There is no “quick” and “easy” way to eliminate debt and those that say it can be done are scams. Debt is a crippling crisis for some people across the Natural State. Whether it is credit card debt, student loan debt or outstanding medical bills, Arkansans want to find a way out.
“It is possible to get out of debt and there are many programs which offer assistance,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “But there is no easy answer. Getting out of debt takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice and any organization that promotes an easy process is likely a scam and Arkansans should avoid falling for their tricks, which are likely to only create additional financial woes.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following list of red flags that could signal an unscrupulous entity:
· Charges any more than a nominal fee before it settles your debts.
· Pressures you to make “voluntary contributions.” That is just another name for fees.
· Touts a “new government program” to bail out personal credit card debt.
· Guarantees it can make your unsecured debt go away.
· Tells you to stop communicating with your creditors.
· Tells you it can stop all debt collection calls and lawsuits.
· Promises that your unsecured debts can be paid off for just pennies on the dollar.
· Refuses to send you free information about the services it provides unless you provide personal financial information, such as credit card numbers and balances.
· Tries to enroll you in a debt relief program without spending time reviewing your financial situation.
· Offers to enroll you in a debt relief program that does not include budgeting and money-management skills training.
· Demands that you make payments into a debt relief program before your creditors have accepted you into the program.
There are many legitimate programs and strategies for dealing with difficult financial circumstances. For more information about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.