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Beware credit card debt scammers

It's easy in today's fast-paced world to get behind on your bills. For many people, getting behind is more about unforeseen circumstances (illness, job loss, divorce, etc.) than it is about reckless spending.

For people trying to contend with mounting credit card debt, the ads from companies promising easy debt solutions can appear to be the answer to prayers for a way out. They often promise to wipe out your debt for pennies on the dollar, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says to beware: Debt settlement companies often overpromise and under-deliver. You can wind up in worse financial shape than before.

The FTC says many of these companies ask or encourage their customers to stop making payments to creditors. Often left unsaid is that your debts might well continue to grow while using this strategy and your credit rating is likely to suffer.

You could wind up getting sued by creditors and having your wages garnished, the FTC says. You can even have a lien placed against your home.

Some of these debt settlement companies "guarantee" to deliver amazing results using "a new government program," while others promise that you can settle all your debts for a small fraction of what you owe.

The FTC urges you not to become another victim of debt scams.

Several viable alternatives exist for people struggling with unmanageable credit card debt. Bankruptcy is one possibility, as is sitting down with an attorney experienced in resolving debt issues.

An experienced attorney can negotiate a settlement with your creditors that will resolve your debt. Contact an attorney to discuss a workable settlement of your credit card debt.

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