If you’re deep in debt, you’d probably do just about anything to get out. Unfortunately, many disreputable companies know that and prey on people who are in desperate situations. Debt relief programs in Manitoba as well as companies claiming to help you get out of debt are plentiful, but how can you know who to trust?
Before you agree to a debt relief service, ask yourself these questions:
Does the organization charge hefty fees up front?
Even reputable and non-profit organizations will charge fees for their services; that’s part of being a business. But if a debt relief company charges you large fees upfront before they’ve even lifted a finger or doesn’t back their fees with a guarantee, you may want to look elsewhere.
Additionally, look to see where your monthly payments are going. If they put most of your monthly payment towards their fees rather than your debt, don’t do business with them.
Do they make outrageous promises?
Promises to erase bad marks off your credit, cut your monthly payments in half, or lower interest rates on all your credit cards sound great. However, no company can guarantee such things. If you read the fine print of your contract, it’s very likely there will be no mention of any guarantees. Further, if they refuse to put any promises in writing, it’s time to find a different company to work with.
Do they tell you they can stop creditors from calling?
Creditors can be relentless in their attempts to collect money, but as long as they’re not breaking the law by harassing you, they are within their rights to contact you. If any organization promises to stop creditors from calling you, proceed with caution. The only way creditors must legally stop calling is if you file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy with a licensed insolvency trustee.
Finding honest debt relief
Unfortunately, you will come across a good number of debt relief scams in Manitoba and all across Canada. If you’re having trouble knowing who to trust when it comes to debt relief, consider contacting a licensed insolvency trustee. This doesn’t mean you have to file bankruptcy. A trustee is a licensed financial professional who prepares bankruptcies, consumer proposals, and offers financial advice and counseling. Trustees must adhere to a strict code of ethics and their fees are government regulated so there’s no need to worry about excessive charges.
When you’re knee deep in debt, you already have enough to be stressed about. Be on the lookout for these indicators that your debt relief program could be a scam. In Manitoba, debt relief professionals like licensed insolvency trustees can offer a safe solution to your debt problems.