Far too many New York residents have found themselves struggling financially in the last few years. If you are one of them, you have likely been looking for debt relief options that will improve your situation without having to file for bankruptcy. In your search, you have probably found more than a few companies offering to rid you of debt in a way that seems too good to be true. Well, if it seems too good to be true, that is a sign that you may want to pass.
The sad reality is, many of the companies you can find on the internet offering to help you with your debt are run by scammers. Every year, numerous people across the country fall victim to debt relief scams and, as a result, find themselves even more in debt than they were before.
How to find legitimate assistance
If debt relief is what you want, you need to know what to look for before agreeing to let any so-called professional help you with your financial situation. According to a spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau, the one way to know if a debt/credit repair organization is legitimate is that they will not ask for upfront fees. Before a debt relief service can collect, by law, it is a requirement that it offer a written contract of services it will provide and complete those services.
How to lower debt and repair credit
There are a few things you can do to improve your economic situation on your own. A few of those things include:
- Consolidate debt
- Negotiate for lower interest rates
- Settle debt with creditors for less than you owe
Sometimes, creditors will be willing to work with you because, at the end of the day, they just want to get paid. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with creditors or you have tried and it has made no difference, an experienced bankruptcy attorney may be able to negotiate debt terms on your behalf.
Don’t rule out bankruptcy
The thought of filing for bankruptcy makes people feel like they have failed to provide for themselves and their families. This is one reason why some will put off filing or write it off as an option completely. Bankruptcy really is an opportunity to fix your situation; it is not a sign of failure. Going this route can result in immediate debt relief, end of creditor harassment and a number of other benefits that really can have a positive impact on your financial state.