It’s Business, And It’s Personal

People facing hefty debt may be vulnerable to attempted scams

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Consumer Protection |

In North Carolina, people tend to accumulate debt late in the calendar year. This can be due to travel, buying gifts and other outlays that lead to large bills. In other situations, there is illness, lost employment and challenges that put a dent in a person’s bank account and cause them fear and worry. This is a fertile time for self-proclaimed debt relief specialists to try and take advantage of people’s desperation to drum up business for themselves. Being cognizant of ongoing scams can help avoid being victimized. Still, those who are suspicious or have been subjected to illegal behavior should know their rights.

Debt is a problem for many in North Carolina

According to specialists from the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina, people who choose to try and reduce debt by using a debt relief company may find themselves in more debt than before. These companies say they can help but are often simply trying to make money by exploiting desperate debtors. Despite it being illegal, these companies might also charge excessively. State law says that a credit counselor is limited to charging $40 for a debt management plan. The monthly payment for services rendered cannot exceed $40. Unfortunately, many do flout the law in this way.

Those who are unsure if they are being scammed should look at certain hallmarks including upfront fees; unrealistic guarantees; requesting information companies should not need like credit card numbers; and telling the debtor to stop paying their credit cards and ignore calls from their collections department. Surveys have shown that people are increasingly interested in getting into a stronger financial position and eliminating debt. They also averaged more than $1,200 in holiday debt that may add to what they already owe. This puts them in a desperate situation.

Having professional protection may help address debt relief scams

Some debt relief companies can fulfill their lofty promises to a degree. Others, however, are scammers. For people who might have fallen prey to these unscrupulous companies or individuals, it is important to have assistance with consumer law to combat what is happening. Owing debt does not mean people deserve to be mistreated. Having protection from those who engage in fraud, scams, identity theft and more is key. Consulting with those experienced in these circumstances can be beneficial.