Be Wary of Scams When Considering Bankruptcy
One of the biggest myths about bankruptcy is that it's an easy way out.
Getting out of debt is not a piece of cake, no matter which way you slice it. What sets bankruptcy apart from other debt relief methods is that it truly works. In order to do so, however, it requires dedication, a solid plan and time.
But that's not what some debt relief companies out there will tell you. They'll tell you what they think you want to hear - that they can eliminate your debts virtually overnight, that they'll negotiate with creditors for you, that they can work some kind of miracle. That's because they want to take advantage of your desperation to take your money. Whereas most of us view the recession as a tragedy, scam artists see a golden opportunity - and they seem to populate as times get tougher. In a study by New York's attorney general, four-fifths of online bankruptcy companies turned out to be scams.
It's alarming, but it shouldn't discourage you from getting the help you need to finally achieve financial independence.
Fortunately, it's fairly simple to distinguish the real companies from the frauds. It just takes a little research and common sense. Consider checking out the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.com. Read online reviews of any company you're considering. Watch for the obvious red flags.
A reputable debt relief firm won't ask you for money upfront and they won't pretend the process will be easy or immediate. The truth is, a good bankruptcy plan usually takes months or even years to complete. Remember, it's providing you with an affordable way to pay off debt, so it makes sense that it's slow-going. But you'll take advantage of perks along the way - like freedom from creditor harassment and the possibility of foreclosure. Thanks to the automatic stay, bankruptcy protects you from creditor actions immediately after you file.
At DebtStoppers, our goal is to make sure you find a bankruptcy plan that will do what it's supposed to do - free you from debt so you can get back to living your life. To make sure you understand the process, we offer educational literature and videos, community workshops, an informative website and blog and the opportunity for a personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney - all at no cost. In the right hands, a bankruptcy plan should relieve both debt and stress, not add to it.