Credit Counselors Detroit MI
I am interested in finding out about credit counseling...an overview of what it entails and how to choose a person or organization. Questions to ask and what to look for. I need outside, ongoing help with changing my habits in regard to money. Your help is much appreciated.
Choosing a to use credit counselor is serious decision. I always recommend self-help, however, I do understand that this course may not be possible for everyone. My feeling is that even if you are successful with credit counseling you will be left with your finances to deal with on your own.
It is true that there are some good credit counseling services, but it's also true that many can be trouble! They may be able to get better rates from your creditors, but not always. If you decide to use credit counseling you have to monitor them frequently to make sure that they're doing their job. (See Chris Peruzzi vs. the Debt Counselors .)
|Settling Your Credit Card Debts||
Settling Your Credit Card Debts
If you've maxed out your credit cards and are getting deeper in debt, chances are you're feeling overwhelmed. How are you ever going to pay down the debt? Now imagine hearing about a company that promises to reduce – or even erase – your debt for pennies on the dollar. Sounds like the answer to your problems, right?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, says slow down, and consider how you can get out of the red without spending a whole lot of green.
Debt Settlement Companies
Many different kinds of services claim to help people with debt problems. Among them are "debt settlement" companies that say they'll negotiate with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe. Some debt settlement companies claim that they can arrange for your debt to be paid off for less than the amount you owe – for anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of the balance. For example, if you owe $10,000 on a credit card, a debt settlement company may claim it can arrange for you to pay off the debt for less, say $4,000.
But there is no guarantee that debt settlement companies can persuade a credit card company to accept partial payment of a legitimate debt. Even if they can, you must put aside money for your creditors each month. Meanwhile, it may be months – or even years – before the debt settlement company negotiates with your credit card company to settle your debts. And, if you stop making your payments in the meantime, the credit card company usually adds late fees and interest to the debt each month. That can cause your original debt to double or triple.
If you decide to pay a company to negotiate your debt, do some research before you choose one. Consider other people's experiences with debt settlement companies. One way to do that is to enter the company name with the word "complaints" into an Internet search engine. Read what others have said. You are making a big decision to spend money that could go toward paying down your debt.
Debt Settlement Fees
Companies that sell debt settlement and other debt relief services by phone cannot charge or collect a fee before they settle or reduce your debt.
If you do business with a debt settlement company, you may be required to deposit money for the company's fees and potential settlements in a dedicated bank account, which will be administered by an independent third party called an account administrator. The account administrator may charge you a reasonable fee, and is responsible for transferring funds from your account to pay your creditors and the debt settlement company when settlements occur – as long as:
The debt settlement company must give you information about the program before you enroll:
Tax ConsequencesDepending on your financial condition, the money you save by using debt settlement companies can be considered taxable income. Credit card companies and others may report debt settlements to the IRS, and the agency may consider it income, unless it finds you are "insolvent." You are insolvent when your total debts are more than the fair market value of your total assets. It can be complicated to determine whether someone is insolvent. If you're not sure whether you qualify for this exception, talk to a tax professional.
Avoid doing business with any company that promises to settle your debt if the company:
Working with a debt settlement company is just one option for dealing with your debt. You also could: negotiate directly with your credit card company, work with a credit counselor, or consider bankruptcy.
For More Information
The FTC has free materials about dealing with credit card debt at ftc.gov/credit :
For more information about dealing with mortgage debt, visit ftc.gov/yourhome .
The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues , visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a new video, How to File a Complaint , at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network , a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Dates: 5/28/2013 - 5/28/2013
Location: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center
Educational Center Auditorium
“From Fear to Faith” will be presented on Tuesday May 28, 2013; 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm; by James Balmer, Dawn Farm President; and Jason Schwartz, LMSW, CAADC; Clinical Director, Dawn Farm. In a difficult marketplace where many addiction treatment programs closed due to lack of resources, Dawn Farm expanded from a single residential site in 1973 to a continuum of services provided at multiple sites today. This program will describe the evolution of the treatment field over the past forty years, discuss what can be learned from Dawn Farm's successes and failures, illustrate how mission-driven choices have allowed Dawn Farm to survive and thrive, and explain the power of rejecting fear-based program management. This program is part of the FREE, annual Dawn Farm Education Series. Our presentations offer helpful, hopeful, practical information that supports people with alcohol and other drugs addiction in achieving, maintaining, and strengthening their recoveries. The series educates family members on issues relating to addiction and its effect on the family, and offers information that will be useful for family members and friends in relating to people with alcohol and other drug addiction whether they are actively using or in recovery. Professionals and students will also benefit from this pertinent information. All programs are free and open to anyone interested. Registration is not required. 1.5 hours of free C.E. approved by MCBAP (Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals) is offered for each program. A certificate to document attendance is provided on request. The Education Series is organized by Dawn Farm, a non-profit community of programs providing a continuum of chemical dependency services. For information, please contact Matt Statman, LLMSW, CADC, Education Series Coordinator, at 734-485-8725 or email@example.com, or see http://www.dawnfarm.org/programs/education-series. LOCATION: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center Auditorium (ground