If you have heard ads on the radio or TV for personal credit card debt relief bailouts they are probably referring to debt settlement programs. Thanks to new federal laws this option has become much less risky for consumers and small businesses seeking debt relief. Here we take a look into when a debt settlement can make financial sense and how the new laws make it a more legitimate option.
In the past, when consumers entered into a debt settlement program they were taking a big risk. This is because they had to pay their fees upfront with no guarantee that the debts would actually settle. Many times the companies failed to settle the debts yet would refuse to refund fees. As you can imagine this business model led to many shady companies taking advantage of desperate consumers.
Getting ripped off and paying an upfront fee to a settlement program without receiving any service is not possible anymore. That is because on October 27 2010, the federal trade commission passed new laws which ban debt settlement companies from collecting upfront fees. Now when someone enters into one of these settlement programs they will not have to pay a dime until their debts actually settle for certain percentage. Most companies now must eliminate at least 35% of your unsecured credit debt in order to collect a fee.
Personal credit card debt relief bailouts via a settlement process are not intended for everyone. Just because you want to not pay back all of your balance does not mean you will qualify for a settlement. You must be experiencing a legitimate financial hardship and have at least $10k in unsecured debt in order to qualify.