Foil 6 common consumer credit complaints

Relief pitchers
5 of 8

The offense: debt relief rip-offs. Sinking in debt can cause consumers to panic. And that's perhaps why they are increasingly complaining about debt-relief scams that do little but can cost a lot. There are legitimate operators in this field, but you need to know how to tell the difference.

The defense: Don't pay upfront. During the depths of the recession, some debt relief services would directly contact consumers. But starting Oct. 27, 2010 debt relief agencies that call you or invite you to call them can't charge a fee until they have actually resolved the debt. "This is huge" for consumers, says Susswein.

Also, remember that there are credible people who can help you with debt relief. So go with established players. One safe bet is finding a nonprofit agency affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Its website can help you find a counselor. Another resource is the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.




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