You likely feel heightened stress and anxiety if you're going through a turbulent financial time. You have many options to handle your debts and put yourself in a more favorable financial situation. Of these options, debt settlement is one of the most popular. To facilitate a settlement, many debtors seek assistance from debt settlement companies to get the job done. However, in many cases, that proves to be a costly mistake. When things go wrong with debt settlement companies, debtors can get help from consumer protection attorneys.
The two offer very different services. Still, a consumer protection attorney can do much more for you than a debt settlement company while keeping your best interests at the forefront. If you're thinking about debt settlement companies and consumer protection attorneys, it is best to fully understand their roles and what they can do for you.
What Is A Debt Settlement Company?
Debt settlement involves negotiating with a creditor to settle a debt. When settling a debt, you usually pay a significant percentage less than the total you owe. Payments are made with one lump sum or over several smaller payments.
Debt settlement companies, also referred to as debt relief services, offer to negotiate, settle, reduce, or otherwise handle your debts on your behalf.
While many people with debts use debt settlement companies thinking they're working toward resolving their financial troubles, many end up in more financial ruin than when they started. These companies have earned a negative reputation for employing questionable practices and failing to help clients.
However, debt settlement is still an option even without a debt settlement company. You can engage in settlement negotiations yourself or hire a knowledgeable attorney to assist you.
What Is A Consumer Protection Attorney?
As the name suggests, a consumer protection attorney protects consumers' rights under state and federal law. There are many consumer protection laws, including the Fair Debt Reporting Act, and a consumer protection attorney is well-versed in these laws. This type of lawyer can assess your situation and determine which laws pertain to your situation, helping you reach the resolution you deserve. By using these laws consumer protection attorneys typically get better settlements from credtiors.
Debt Settlement Companies And The FDSPA
One new California law, in particular, the Fair Debt Settlement Practices Act, was recently enacted to help protect consumers from debt settlement companies. Debt settlement companies have a reputation as scammers, known for offering debtors little to no help when they need it most. In response, California enacted this Act to help minimize debtors' negative experiences with these companies and protect their rights.
Consumer protection attorneys, on the other hand, know and understand the FDSPA. If a debt settlement company has wronged you under any of the provisions in the Act, a consumer protection lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your losses.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Debt Settlement Companies
Hiring a debt settlement company to help you resolve your debts has advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages of debt relief services include:
- They may be able to help you negotiate, settle, or reduce your debts
- They do the work for you
- If successful, they can help you pay off your debt sooner
On the other hand, the disadvantages of using a debt settlement company include:
- These companies often charge steep fees
- They may not be able to negotiate successfully
- You may get sued before a settlement is reached
- Creditors can still contact you directly
- They can not leverage bankruptcy to your best advantage
- It may take longer to settle your debts
- Settlement agreements may not be adequate or non-existent
- Can go out of business leaving you with no recourse
- You can end up spending more money than anticipated
While using a debt settlement company may have some benefits, the bad often outweighs the good. You don't want to put yourself in a worse financial situation, and many debtors often regret their decision to work with these debt relief companies.
Benefits Of A Consumer Protection Attorney
Consumer protection attorneys can be your absolute best ally regarding debt resolution and protection of your rights. An experienced consumer protection lawyer:
- Knows and understands the law
- Can stop the collection calls
- Can defend you in any legal action
- Can file collection harassment claims against creditors
- Provides legally enforceable settlement agreements
- Can help you create a legal strategy
- Protects and fights for your rights
- Can assist with debt resolution through bankruptcy
- Provides high-quality legal representation
- Your settlement funds are safer in an attorney/client trust account
- You have recourse if your lawyer makes a mistake
Unlike a debt settlement company, there are no downsides to hiring an attorney. When you have a skilled lawyer by your side, you never have to worry about ending up in a worse position or having any of your rights violated.
Consult With A Consumer Protection Attorney
If you need assistance with debt resolution or believe your rights have been violated, do not hesitate to contact a consumer protection attorney. A lawyer will address your questions and concerns while thoroughly reviewing your situation. If they can be of assistance, an attorney will create a legal strategy to decide the next best steps.
Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC Offers Solutions
Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC has been helping California clients with their debts since 1992. We're proud to have worked with numerous clients in the past and look forward to serving many more in the future. Our attorneys are skilled, experienced, and know the law exceptionally well. We have the resources and know-how to help you in almost any debt-related situation you may find yourself in.
Our firm focuses our efforts on consumer debt protection, offering legal representation in various practice areas, including:
- Debt settlement (consumer and commercial)
- Debt collection harassment
- Judgment contests, settlement, and liens
- Collection lawsuit defense and settlement
If a debt settlement company has wronged you, we want to hear from you. Our consumer protection attorneys will do everything necessary to protect your rights and get you the outcome you deserve. Working with debt relief services is always risky. Fortunately, if you would like to discuss assistance with your debts, our attorneys are proficient at debt negotiation and settlement. We're proud to have saved clients hundreds of millions of dollars of debt in our 30 years of existence.
For all your consumer protection and debt resolution needs, count on Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. We know every situation is different and take the time to get to know our clients, their needs, and desired outcomes. Our team works diligently to get the relief our clients seek. You can feel confident in your decision to work with us.
We offer free case evaluations. Call us today at (844) 431-3851 or contact us online to schedule.