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 July 22, 2005
Beware of fraudulent debt management companies
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If you're up to your neck in bills and feeling the squeeze from debt collectors beware of fraudulent debt management companies. The FTC Reached a settlement with three companies who they say has cost consumers millions in added debt and penalty fees.


The FTC filed suit alleging that all three companies lied about who they were, what they could do for consumers or how much they charged, and because of these practices, many consumers found themselves deeper in debt than when they started.


The companies include better budget financial services, debt management foundation services and national consumer council. All three of the companies are accused of promising to help consumers manage their debt, but didn't deliver on the pledge forcing many to file for bankruptcy.


If there are other companies out there thinking that they can deceive consumers who are in financial distress, we've got three words for them give it up.


If you truly need help, watch out for companies that try and play off a mandatory fee as a voluntary contribution. Just because a company claims to be a non-profit, doesn't necessarily mean they are. You can always check a company's reputation with the Better Business Bureau.


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