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Illinois residents: Don't be pressured into a debt relief program

Many Illinois residents are drowning in debt through no fault of their own. It may be difficult to find anyone who hasn't been touched by the recession, even in a small way. There are many debt relief companies out there saying that they can help a family eliminate its debt through options such as debt consolidation, debt settlement, and debt repayment.

Unfortunately, many of these debt relief companies do not have a family's best interests in mind. Instead, they are looking at their own bottom line. Some of the sales people for these businesses work on commission, and they aren't necessarily concerned with what may be the best option for a consumer. They are often only interested in signing people up to make their commission. Not all companies' employees work on commission, but most are still invested in making a profit.

Finding a reputable debt relief company or credit counselor is not impossible. Contact several companies before making a decision. A company that encourages its potential customers to do their research on all of the options available, including bankruptcy, likely has a family's best interest in mind. Some of these companies would rather lose your business than have you make a mistake that you will regret later.

Many Illinois residents contact these companies first in an attempt to avoid the possibility of bankruptcy as a debt relief option. However, bankruptcy is often a responsible alternative to overcome financial obligations that have spiraled out of control. Bankruptcy has helped thousands of people deal with their financial struggles and is designed to give those who are facing these issues an opportunity for a fresh start. No matter what the individual circumstances, each individual and family in search of debt relief may benefit from exploring all of the options available before making a decision. No one should be pressured into making a decision about their financial future at a time when they may be vulnerable to quick-fix sales pitches.

Source: Huff Post, "How to Get Debt Help Without Getting Screwed," Steve Rhode, Oct. 16, 2012

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