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Many scams prey on consumers hoping to become debt free Atlanta, GA

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Many scams prey on consumers hoping to become debt free

As the new year begins, many people in Georgia and across the country will have resolved to gain stable financial footing in 2013. Unfortunately, the economic downturn has given rise to a number of scams that promise to help those struggling financially. While people may see hope in the assurance that they will be debt free in a short amount of time, many companies offering such claims do little, if anything, to improve the struggling party’s financial situation.

Consequently, for those facing mounting debts, it is wise to be aware of the different types of scams preying on vulnerable people. In addition, Americans who are unable to pay their bills should know that other options exist – such as filing for bankruptcy – that will allow them to have a fresh start.

Common scams claiming to help consumers become debt free

The most common scam currently facing those in debt are debt settlement companies. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys has identified such companies as the “number one threat facing deeply indebted Americans.” Debt settlement companies are particularly hazardous due to the guidance they provide to those who seek their help.

In many cases, these companies will instruct consumers to stop making any payments toward the debts they hope to reduce. Instead, debt settlement companies will collect the money the consumer would have paid toward the bills and put it into a separate account. Typically, they will claim that those funds will be used to pay the amount due when the negotiations are complete. When a consumer defaults on the debt, though, he or she will incur penalty fees and higher interest rates.

Consequently, if the settlement company is unable to negotiate a lower balance, the consumer is left with a much higher debt than when he or she initially went to the debt settlement company for help. As the FTC estimates that fewer than 10 percent of those who use debt settlement companies receive the desired results, this means most are left in worse financial positions than when they originally sought help.

Another common scam in the U.S. involves companies that place so-called robocalls, claiming that they can reduce the consumer’s interest rates on their credit cards. Americans are facing higher credit card debt these days, according to TransUnion. The credit-reporting agency has reported that during the third quarter of 2012, Americans had, on average, debts that were 4.9 percent higher than during the same period the year prior. On average, credit card users owed almost $5,000 during the third quarter of 2012.

When consumers respond to the robocalls and speak with an individual, they are told their credit card interest rate can be significantly reduced, provided they pay the company a fee. The fees vary from a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars. After the company receives the fee, it rarely takes any significant action to reduce the consumer’s interest rate.

Filing for bankruptcy is often the best way to eliminate debt

Rather than falling prey to these scams targeting Americans in debt, filing for bankruptcy can provide many people with relief. Consulting with an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney will ensure the appropriate path is chosen to resolve your financial difficulties in 2013.

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    Jamie L. Gingold, PC
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    Jack L.

    They did an excellent job with my case. Jamie took the time to really listen and understand things. She delved into the details and was extremely knowledgeable and non judgmental. Very professional and they know what they are doing. Would definitely recommend!

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    Dear Mr Gingold, There are so many reasons to be thankful for all you have done and will do. Anyone who has ever had unfavorable experiences with an attorney or the legal system will feel the trepidation that I experienced once I realized that my situation seemed hopeless. It was by chance and happily good luck that I decided to put my future and sanity into your hands. I was mortified at having to deal with my debts by claiming bankruptcy. I remember in our first meeting how you assured me that I was not alone and should not feel ashamed. And, anyone in this position obviously does not have money to spare and you were clear about all the costs and allowing me to pay according to my own ability to do so. You advised me in all aspects of the law, but also, you were at each meeting incredibly supportive and complementary of my personal and professional plans. Anyone else in this situation should feel blessed to have access to your expertise and support.

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    I thought the process of filing bankruptcy was going to be a difficult one. However, Gingold & Gingold treated me with respect and dignity from the moment I walked through their door. I had the pleasure of working with Jamie. She is very responsive, professional, and knowledgeable. She took the time and listened to my every concern and handled each and every one of them to my satisfaction. My experience with filing bankruptcy under Gingold & Gingold's representation exceeded my expectations in a major way. They gave me such a peace of mind. I am very pleased with my decision of going with Gingold & Gingold to represent me when I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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    Wow! I am finally out of debt and can say that I am debt free after completing my chapter 7 bankruptcy case with Gingold and Gingold. Mr dangled was very knowledgeable and direct with regard to my debt situation. there were no surprises and the case went as I was advised. The staff was also very helpful whenever I had a question. I will definitely recommend them in the future to my friends.

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    I contacted getting old and getting old regarding some old tax debt and credit card debt that I needed to address and had been putting off. miss Irving in the office was very very nice and put me at ease. I met with Jaime Gingold. She was very nice and explained the procedure to me and what would be left owing to the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Georgia after my case was done. My case has now been completed and I am on my way to a new start. Thank you Gingold and Gingold for all of your help.

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