Debt Elimination Scams — A Growing Problem for Consumers

In March 29, 2006
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Consumers seeking debt assistance are faced with a bewildering assortment of debt companies, services, programs, books, eBooks, and websites. How to tell the scams from the legitimate options? The purpose of this blog post is to help consumers easily spot and steer clear of one particular scam that is growing through network or multi-level marketing schemes.

It goes under different names, such as debt elimination, debt termination, or debt reduction. Such names can certainly apply to legitimate programs as well, and the scammers purposely name their bogus programs with the intention of deceiving consumers and stealing them away from legitimate companies. For the purpose of this post, I’ll refer to it as the debt elimination scam, but be aware that it may be called something different.

So how can you tell this scam from legitimate debt elimination techniques? It’s pretty easy, actually. The scam is based on the bogus “no money lent” argument, where the claim is made that credit card banks cannot loan money legally. Through strange leaps of logic, the scammers claim that credit card banks are actually operating illegally, and so you never really borrowed any money when you used your credit cards! Therefore, you don’t really need to pay anything back. You just have to follow their system and the debts will go away because the banks don’t want this knowledge disclosed to the public!

I realize this may sound ridiculous at first glance, but the con artists are very convincing, and there are dozens of websites promoting this dangerous scam. They refer to publications by the Federal Reserve Board, the Uniform Commercial Code, the Truth in Lending Act, and other public laws to bolster their claims and give an aura of legitimacy to their “program.” I’ve talked with numerous consumers who have been conned out of $2,500, $5,000, even up to $15,000 because they believed the hype that these snake-oil salesmen were peddling. If you’re $30,000, $50,000, or $100,000 deep in credit card debt, it can be very tempting to believe in a magic pill. What if you could pay someone 15% of the debt and make the rest of the debt disappear?

As tempting as the promoters make it sound, the debt elimination techniques they are using simply do not work. About the only thing they accomplish is getting you sued by your creditors. As you might expect, creditors hate this scam, and they come down hard on people trying to use this bogus “no money lent” system. You don’t need to take my word for this. Check out the complaints on ripoffreport.com about Liberty Resources, a debt elimination scam that was shut down in Ohio. Or do some research on New Leaf Associates out of Florida, a scam that was shut down by the Florida Attorney General after consumers were ripped off for millions of dollars. I’ve personally talked to people who were caught up in both of these scams, as well as others who were involved in scams that have not yet been shut down.

More on this scam tomorrow…stay tuned!

 

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