Debt Settlement Fraud Attorney in Monmouth County
New Jersey attorneys taking on debt settlement problems
Debt consolidation, debt management, debt counseling, debt settlement, and credit counseling companies claim they can help New Jersey residents achieve strong financial footing by negotiating on their behalf with lenders, creditors, and credit card companies. Typically, a debt relief company will claim that they can negotiate a reduced interest rate on credit cards, remove late fees and penalties, and restructure what is owed into a single, affordable monthly payment. They’ll also claim they can settle your debts. These companies usually charge a hefty, up-front “negotiation fee,” the cost of which is supposedly outweighed by the long-run savings you will receive. This is often not the case. If you have been victimized by fraudulent debt settlement companies, contact Tomes & Hanratty, P.C. for a consultation.
The reality of debt settlement fraud
Many of these companies are not legitimate. They are simply taking advantage of unsuspecting customers who are in financial stress and think that non-profits are there to help them. Disreputable debt relief companies looking to rip off vulnerable customers and may never even attempt negotiations. The companies are, in fact, operating as agents of the consumers’ creditors. These organizations are really for-profit organizations, distributing monthly payments they collect from consumers to creditors, while keeping a share for themselves These agencies also fail to provide comprehensive financial counseling that communicates all options open to indebted consumers. Some of these businesses buy information from credit card companies, learning ahead of time the amount of money for which the debt could be settled; they use that information to convince customers about the value of their services after “negotiations” have taken place. Many of these companies may actually be operating illegally. New Jersey limits the fees they are permitted to charge, as well as limits the types of companies that can even engage in these activities.
The warning signs
Some red flags that a debt relief company may be operating a scam include:
- A set-up fee
- High up-front fees
- High monthly fees
- A fee based on a percentage of the debts resolved
- Promises that their services will improve your credit rating
- Failing to review Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection which would limit or eliminate credit card debt
- Guarantees that they can prevent liens, levies or wage garnishments
The law firm of Tomes & Hanratty, P.C. is investigating claims on behalf of consumers who received credit counseling services from credit “counselors.”
Contact a Monmouth County debt settlement fraud law firm
If a company has contacted you promising to provide easy debt consolidation or settlement, be wary. Our New Jersey attorneys are familiar with tactics used by debt management and debt relief companies. Tomes & Hanratty, P.C. is devoted to consumer protection and helping prevent these deceptive practices from affecting you. If you need quality legal services, contact Tomes & Hanratty, P.C. for a free initial consultation.