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Ellen Strohm is a master at saving money because for nearly all of her life she has had no choice.Read more >>
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When Debt Overwhelms PDF Print E-mail

Thrifty Times has from time to time had requests to take on sponsors of Debt Consolidation, Debt Elimination or Bankruptcy Companies.  I always decline because our goal is to help individuals spend wisely and because such decisions should always be with the advice of experts.

I have become increasingly concerned with advertising promising all kinds of “relief” by simply calling some 1-800 number or with promises to eliminate substantial amounts of interest from credit card loans so I decided to look into these claims to see what the story was.

I found an excellent website from the US government called “Knee Deep in Debt.”  This site covers the differences between programs as well as the hype and claims.  Included are explanations on Debt Relief Services, Debt Management Plans, and Debt Settlement Programs.  There is also a section on how to protect yourself and what your rights are when dealing with debt.

If you are in debt trouble I strongly recommend you check out this site:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre19.shtm


You may also want to check out another government site:

 

Money Matters: Tips from the Federal Trade Commission

Mark Strohm -

Mark Strohm has served a Christian School principal, Children's pastor, seminar speaker and adjunct professor.

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Comments  

 
#2 Mark Strohm 2011-03-07 12:40
Jon, there are many legitimate companies! Unfortunately, there are many companies out to make money off of the desperate situations people are trapped in. The government websites help you by letting you know what to look out for and how to protect yourself.

For instance, did you know it is now illegal for telemarketers to collect any money for debt relief services until AFTER the services are rendered ?

It is always important to check out the laws and to inform yourself by getting good information. The websites above will provide you with good information before one gets help with their debt.

Another great source is a LOCAL professional. If you know of someone who is an attorney, financial adviser or tax preparer they may be able to get you connected with wise advice.
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#1 Jon 2011-03-07 12:31
There are legitimate companies out there who are doing a great service and helping out people in some big debt trouble. It is not like they are all bad.
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