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10 things debt-settlement companies won’t tell you (Market Watch)

Market Watch, July 19, 2016

10 things debt-settlement companies won’t tell you

“In theory, at least, the service would seem like win-win-win: the consumer settles his debts for less than the total amount owed, the debt-settlement firm collects fees from the consumer for that service, and the creditor receives more than it would if the consumer simply walked away or filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which wipes out all eligible debt. Yet debt settlement’s promises of financial freedom can be elusive, critics say. At best, the solution involves trade-offs that consumers should understand up front, and at worst, ‘the consumer ends up in a far worse situation,’ says Annie Ugurlayan, former chair of the consumer affairs committee of the New York City Bar Association, which studied the issue for a 2012 white paper.”

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