But we know the biggest reason people may not succeed - and then file complaints with consumer organizations such as the Better Business Bureau - is because they don't follow the plan we have drawn up together.
Grapevine, TX (PRWEB) October 20, 2009
The soaring credit card debt problem in the United States has spawned a wave of news reports about some of the companies that help people pay off unsecured debts to regain control of their lives. One debt settlement industry executive says most news accounts miss the mark in two important ways, however.
Zack Anderson, president of American Debt Control, LLC, based here, says many news accounts fall short because, 1) they appear to assume people who have had bad experiences bear no responsibility when things don't go right, and 2) they tend to focus on companies that operate outside established industry standards, without acknowledging that most do things right.
Not everyone is a candidate for debt settlement, Anderson said. Prime candidates include people who have more than $10,000 in credit card balances and who have experienced major setbacks, such as job loss, divorce or a serious health problem. When new bankruptcy laws took effect in 2005, many people in such circumstances, who previously may have filed for bankruptcy, found they could not qualify for relief under Chapter 7. This change gave rise to the contemporary debt settlement industry, which includes American Debt Control.
"Difficult as a person's situation may be, the ultimate responsibility still rests on him or her to make things right. We make every effort to help them do that by explaining the process in writing and verbally - several times - to everyone we counsel," Anderson said. "But we know the biggest reason people may not succeed - and then file complaints with consumer organizations such as the Better Business Bureau - is because they don't follow the plan we have drawn up together."
Anderson says when something goes wrong in the process it nearly always is in one or more of these key areas:
- not setting aside money to pay bills;
- not turning over correspondence from creditors to the debt settlement company; and
- failing to let the settlement company be the single point of contact with creditors.
Anderson says American Debt Control is working with the Better Business Bureau now to develop better ways to prevent such breakdowns. "No one wants the process to fail: not the consumer, not the BBB, and certainly not us. When people follow through on their commitments they practically guarantee their own success," Anderson said.
News stories that focus on debt settlement failures can give readers the impression that there is something wrong with the whole industry, Anderson said. "That's really unfortunate for the consumer, because every day we help people solve serious debt problems, but we also see people postpone the decision to act because news reports raise doubts in their minds."
According to Anderson, people considering debt settlement should look for companies that are members of The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC), which maintains standards and practices for the industry. He added that companies that have Accredited, Best Practices standing from TASC represent the top echelon of companies. Comprehensive, third-party audits are part of the accreditation process.
To date, Anderson says he has not seen any news articles critical of the debt settlement industry even mention The Association of Settlement Companies, much less explain what the organization does. He says it is understandable that many people, including journalists, have not been aware of the existence of TASC, which was founded in 2005. In contrast, the BBB was established in 1912 and has strong brand identity.
About American Debt Control
American Debt Control, LLC, is a full-service, family owned debt settlement company that is "Best Practices Accredited" by The Association of Settlement Companies and has more than 10 years of aggregate experience helping financially distressed people become debt-free and take back control of their lives. Our knowledge and solid relationships with banking and collection institutions nationwide help our clients reach favorable settlements, become debt-free and stay that way without the lasting stigma of bankruptcy. Get our special report, 12 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Debt Settlement Company, without charge. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-866-861-8894, or visit our Website, http://www.americandebtcontrol.com.
Mark Cummins, Vice President of Operations
American Debt Control, LLC