Dangers of Debt Settlement Companies

If you are overwhelmed by bills but are not yet ready to declare bankruptcy, debt settlement can be a viable legal solution for your financial burdens. While some private debt settlement companies may promise to wipe out your debt for just a small fee, such guarantees are unfortunately simply too good to be true. Here are just a few of the pitfalls—and fees—associated with debt settlement firms.

Poor Information

Attorneys often recommend debt settlement for individuals who are heading toward bankruptcy but who do not qualify for Chapter 7 liquidation. Because each case is specific, an attorney analyzes each client’s finances before recommending debt settlement as an alternative to Chapter 13. But the employees of private debt settlement companies work on commission, which means they make money off of each client whom they guide toward debt settlement, regardless of whether it is the best option.

Astronomical Fees

Debt settlement companies may promise a low fee, but the contracts are often intentionally confusing and even misleading. Some companies will charge you a percentage of the total debt, while others charge a percentage of the debt savings plus an initial sign-up fee and monthly service charges. Even if you manage to navigate the confusing language, debt settlement services can be so expensive that it takes clients years to pay just the fees—before they even begin to pay off their original debt.

Unresolved Debt

Once your creditors discover that you are working with a debt settlement agency, they may actually escalate your account by either sending it into collection or suing you. Unfortunately, when a creditor files a lawsuit, your debt settlement company will drop you, because only an attorney is qualified to represent you in court.

At Burr Law Office, we are committed to helping all our clients regain their financial footing. To find out how you can affordably discharge your debts through bankruptcy or satisfy your creditors through debt settlement, call our office today at (877) 891-1638 to set up a free consultation with attorney Michael Burr.

Recognizing Milwaukee Debt Collector Scams

If you fall behind on your debt obligations, you will likely receive phone calls from a debt collection agency on behalf of your creditor. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission regulates the practices of debt collection agencies, specifically outlining what kind of behavior is acceptable. When debt collectors contact you, they are not allowed to use threatening language or seek unjustified amounts.

This ABC News report sheds light on a form of abusive and fraudulent debt collection practices ran in the United States and conducted overseas. These debt collectors use abusive language and threats to collect debt that individuals have already paid. The information in this report can help you identify whether or not a debt collection call you receive is legitimate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmNQpJ_TrWc

If you find yourself victim to debt collector scams, contact an experience attorney right away. If you qualify, filing for bankruptcy with an attorney will put an immediate stop to such actions and help put your mind at ease. Attorney Michael Burr takes care of each case from start to finish and truly cares about the well being of his clients.

Burr Law Office can help an individual facing financial hardship gain a fresh start by providing affordable Milwaukee bankruptcy services. Learn more by calling our office today at (877) 891-1638.

What to Do If a Milwaukee Debt Collector Crosses the Line

When bills are piling up and there is no way to meet even minimum payment requirements, many debtors feel understandably overwhelmed and unsure of their legal options. But harassing and aggressive debt collection behaviors are simply not part of the bargain, no matter how much you owe. Here is what to do when a debt collector violates your rights as a consumer.

Write a Letter

If a debt collector is engaging in harassing behaviors, making false statements regarding your account, or using obscene or threatening language, that person is breaking the law. In fact, even contacting a debtor early in the morning or late at night is in violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. When a debt collector crosses the line, your first recourse is to write a letter to the agency requesting that collection agents cease all contact with you. While a creditor may still sue you for your unpaid debt, debt collectors are prohibited from any other further contact.

File a Report

If a collector persists in contacting you, you may want to consider filing a report with the FTC. The FTC vigorously enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and regularly takes action against debt collectors who use illegal methods to attempt to collect from consumers. If a collection agency uses any deceptive or abusive tactics, file a complaint with the FTC right away.

Contact Your Attorney

You can banish these phone calls for good by calling an attorney who has experience dealing with debt settlement and bankruptcy cases. If you are unable to pay your creditors at all, your attorney can guide you through your legal options for discharging the debt.

Did you know that filing for Milwaukee bankruptcy puts an immediate hold on all debt collection activity? If you are currently unable to pay off your creditors and your financial situation is not likely to improve, filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 may be in your best interest. To speak with an experienced attorney about your options, call Burr Law Office at (877) 891-1638 today.

Violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed to protect consumers from abusive, unfair, or deceptive debt collection practices. Whether you owe money on a personal credit card, an auto loan, or medical bills, debt collectors are banned from engaging in harassing behaviors in an attempt to recover funds. You can protect yourself and your friends and family members by keeping an eye out for these illegal practices.

Constant Phone Calls

Debt collectors do have a legal right to inform you of your debt—once. If you decide that you don’t want them to contact you again, you may advise the collector of your wish in writing, and the company must comply. They are also legally prohibited from calling you at inconvenient times or places, such as late at night or at work.

Contacting Family Members

Debt collectors will resort to a wide range of aggressive and embarrassing tactics in an effort to shame consumers into paying their debts. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, your debt collector may only contact a family member to obtain your contact information and cannot disclose details of your financial situation. If a collection agent has attempted to contact your loved ones or even used social media to harass you or your family, consider contacting an attorney to put an immediate stop to these tactics.

Making False Statements

Debt collectors have been charged with everything from attempting to collect unspecified extra fees to threatening jail time to impersonating attorneys or government officials. In short, they are prohibited from lying when they attempt to collect a debt, and any misrepresentation of your debts is grounds for a lawsuit.

At Burr Law Office, Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney Michael Burr is dedicated to standing up for consumers’ rights. If you are being harassed by a collection agency or creditor, Burr Law Office can put an immediate stop to these illegal tactics. Call us at  (877) 891-1638 to learn more about how our we can help.

3 Reasons to Hire an Attorney if Your Creditors are Harassing You

When the subject comes up, some people bristle at the thought of hiring an attorney. This shouldn’t be the case. There are a multitude of reasons to hire a bankruptcy attorney to represent you in your Milwaukee bankruptcy proceedings, but there are three that stand out above the others.

Attorneys Represent You

Bankruptcy attorneys represent your interests before the process really gets started and during the process. Your attorney can deal with the trustee on your behalf as well as your creditors. In fact, your creditors should be told to call your attorney, thereby ending creditor harassment.

Bankruptcy Law is Complex

You have areas of knowledge that you are an expert at. The odds are good that one is not bankruptcy law. Attorneys, on the other hand, are experts and know all the tricks and secrets that can help you immensely.

Protection

Bankruptcy is a complex process that few people understand until they’ve gone through it. Attorneys help you navigate the process, prevent paperwork mistakes, and provide reassurance against the unknown. These are all extremely valuable services that few people consider.

There are many other reasons to hire a qualified attorney, but these are amongst the best. It can be a scary process, but a good attorney can relieve any fears you may have. For more information or to speak with an experienced Milwaukee attorney, give us a call at (262) 827-0375. Burr Law Office specializes in providing experienced, affordable representation for the Milwaukee community. With 20+ years of experience, we can help you with your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 proceedings.