Why Debt Settlement Companies Have a Bad Reputation

The debt settlement industry is one with a fairly bad reputation, quite understandably. The reputation is one where companies attempt to rip consumers off by charging their outrageous fees for nominal work. Many even believe that all companies want to do is get their personal information and then sell it to third party companies who will then spam them constantly. But is this reputation really deserved?

Overall there are some experiences that are extremely negative on which the stereotype and reputation are founded upon. Because of the nature of the business, it is very easy for people to pose as debt settlement companies, take down individual’s personal information, and then do what they want with that information. This is because in order for even the most reputable debt settlement company to know how well they can help an individual, they need their personal information.

Another nature of the business is that results vary significantly. This is because of the fact that there are so many factors that go into how successful debt settlement is including credit scores, personal relationships, industry relationships, the amount of debt being settled, the types of debt, how long the take has been held for, etc. This means that sometimes an individual can pay for results that do not happen. This only contributes to the bad reputation of debt settlement companies.

There are, however, many companies out there who really do help individuals with debt every day. Although their results are not always what they hoped for, they are not made to just “rip people off.” One way to find these companies is to look for those who have been in the industry for a while, at least 3 years but preferably even longer. This means that they have been around the block a time or two, know what they are doing, and have relationships built that have proven successful when settling debt. Another key is to avoid those who have flashy websites. These are often companies who are just hiding behind a good looking website, but lack any real merit. This does not mean that a nicely laid out website is a sign that the company is fraud, but there should be signs that there is a legitimate company behind the site, such as an address, clear contact information, information about the company, and an indication that they care about education consumers as much as getting the business.

In general, the bad reputation about the debt settlement industry is founded in some half-truths that cover up what is on the most part, a reputable industry. There are many companies out there who practice debt settlement nobly. When the use of a debt settlement company is needed, do background checking to ensure that the company is legitimate.

Ashley Russell

Ashley Russell

Ashley Russell is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is double majoring in Journalism and English with a minor in Information Systems. After she graduates in the spring of 2013, she hopes to continue to work for the UNC system. Her ultimate goal is to become a book editor. She recently worked as an intern at the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education in Raleigh, North Carolina, researching and writing articles, as well as building two new websites for college applicants and alumni. She now works for the Medical Foundation of North Carolina as an office assistant and web designer. She opens the office every morning and takes care of the daily tasks and scheduling. She also uses her down time at work to create fundraising web pages that benefit the hospitals in the UNC-Chapel Hill area.

Ashley Russell is a North Carolina native, hailing from Kings Mountain. She is a diehard Carolina fan who loves to watch her team play in any sport—a Tar Heel born and bred. She loves to read and write in her free time. Since high school, she has known she wanted to pursue a career that involved both reading and writing. However, she has recently discovered a love for computers, so she also hopes to incorporate them into her career. She spends her free time tutoring k-5 students in reading and writing in the Chapel Hill area. She is a second-year captain of a Relay for Life team and a participant in Dance Marathon 2011. She is also the online webmaster for the Blue & White magazine based out of Chapel Hill.
Ashley Russell

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