Bankruptcy Law, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Can you spot a debt relief scam?

When it comes to getting out of debt, if something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. When someone is facing a difficult financial situation and are unable to make ends meet, they may feel like there is nowhere else to turn. It is for this reason that it is important to be cautious when approached regarding debt relief.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Florida Attorney General are actively monitoring these types of scams in hopes of stopping them before more people become victims. Countless debt relief scams exist out, with individuals behind them looking for a way to make money with no intention of helping the person paying them. In fact, one of the strongest determinations of whether you are being targeted by a scam is when the company demands payment upfront. Odds are, once they take your money, they have no intention of doing anything at all.

The FTC and Florida Attorney general recently stopped this exact type of debt relief scam where the company told potential clients that they would pay, settle and completely get rid of their debt. However, once they took the person’s money to engage their services, they did absolutely nothing. In the meantime, the individuals who paid the company to settle their debts took the advice of the company’s representatives and stopped payment on their overdue accounts. Soon, these accounts fell into default, damaging the credit scores of the affected individuals.  Many of these victims were also faced with lawsuits from creditors.

This situation is unfortunately all-too-common. If someone offers to resolve your debt situation but insists that you pay them a large sum upfront, it is likely that this person is offering you a scam. A legitimate company will not force you to make a payment up front.

Another sign of a debt relief scam is the company will guarantee that all debts will be forgiven by creditors. No one can guarantee this fact, and if someone is making the effort to tell you that they can, odds are, they are part of a scam. Creditors are under no obligation to forgive debts.  Some will reduce the payment in a settlement amount, because they would rather at least receive some form of payment in lieu of having to pursue a collection action, but they are not obligated to do so.

When in doubt, do your research when choosing the right debt relief option. You may be able to find information about the scam before you become their victim, and if you do find yourself contacted by a debt relief scam, it is always recommended that the scam be reported to the Florida Attorney General’s Office and FTC.

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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at