New Jersey debt consolidation: contender or pretender?

Earlier this month, I wrote about a website for Delaware Debt Consolidation. The site was pretty much geared toward getting your personal information and your money, and it listed no accreditation or names of employees. This time, I’m writing about websites promoting debt consolidation in New Jersey. I found two for this topic, including one that looks exactly like the site for Delaware.

The first site was the state’s postal abbreviation: www.njdebtconsolidation.com. It is advertised as a “nationwide program,” at the top of the home page and each subsequent page. Look to the right, and you’ll see a stack of coins and bills superimposed onto the back of a computer screen, at which a man and woman, presumably a married couple, are looking and smiling. The couple likes what they see, indirectly saying that this website may have helped them with their debt.

The home page has an index of other pages to visit on the site, including “How It Works,” “About Us,” “Sign Up,” “Contact,” and “Affiliates.” The “How It Works” page lists five steps you can take to reduce your debt and have it “gone completely in an average of 3-6 years.” Seems pretty benign, but then I looked at the other pages and vagueness came into play. “About Us” doesn’t give any names, although it claims “superior debt management services from the day you sign up until you are debt free” and “total privacy.” “Sign Up” and “Contact” both want you to leave your name, address, and phone number, and the “Affiliate Program” has apparently been discontinued. The bottom of each page has a copyright from 2004, so the site has not been updated in a while.

The other site, http://newjerseydebtconsolidation.com, looked eerily familiar. So, I went back and double-checked a site I had previously looked at for Delaware Debt Consolidation. It turns out that everything, and I mean everything, was exactly the same. The page layout, the other pages on the site, even the improper grammar to the answer of “How will this affect my credit?” in the FAQ section were exactly the same. (Quote: “Debt consolidation is the often regarded as the best way to become Debt Free.” This showed up exactly as it is on both sites.) It seemed like somebody had copied and pasted everything, but simply replaced “Delaware” with “New Jersey.”

On the bottom of both sites, there was a copyright. They, too, turned out to be the same: “2005, 2006 Debt Solutions Limited.” I typed in “debt solutions limited” into a search engine and found other sites exactly like the two for Delaware and New Jersey, only for different states, like Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. They all had the same layout, the same page links, and the same improper grammar.

What does this all mean? Well, if you’re looking for debt relief online, I would tell you to proceed with caution. If you do a vague search, you will get vague results. Look at a multitude of sites before deciding to make any financial transactions.

David Pilley

David Pilley

David Pilley is a May 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a B.A. in communication studies and a creative writing minor. He is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina.

He played clarinet for the Marching Tar Heels in 2005 and 2006. He also volunteered for STV, the student-run television station at UNC-Chapel Hill, in the spring of 2010. He shot video, wrote scripts, and acted for “Off the Cuff,” UNC’s longest running sketch comedy show. He has the rare distinction of having lived in a dorm all four years of his undergraduate college career. He was also on Franklin Street on the night of April 4, 2009. His future plans are to pursue a master’s degree in journalism and to one day work for the media as a sports journalist or broadcaster.

Being one of eight children, David realizes finance is an important topic to everyone, regardless of his/her knowledge of the subject. His interests are in personal finance, budgeting, and savings.

In his spare time, David enjoys watching sports and standup comedy, as well as doing crossword puzzles and writing in the first person. He also thoroughly enjoys trivia and, one day, hopes to participate on the game show Jeopardy!, where he will try to break Ken Jennings’ 74-game win streak.
David Pilley

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