When it comes to dealing with your debt you may need professional help in most of the times. However, with so many options available you may be at a dilemma when it comes to choosing one company or one specific debt relief program. Naturally, you will need to go through different a company that provides such services and choose the best one form this large pool.
The best way to go about is by reading the reviews and ratings of the companies that you wish to consider. When you consider the rating of the company always rely on BBB or Better Business Bureau rating.
- A debt relief company that is accredited with BBB with an A+ rating means high end service and low or no complaints lodged against it.
- You will be able to know how they manage these issues if any complaint was lodged at any point of time.
- Ideally, BBB provides an A+ rating to only those companies that meet with their specific requirements such as transparency and number of years in business.
These are the most valid and significant points to prove the legitimacy of a debt relief company.
Another significant aspect of a BBB rating is that you will get more positive and impartial reviews regarding their customer service. Since the customers themselves post these reviews chances of these being doctored or altered are minimized. A BBB rating of 4 out of 5 stars and a Trust Pilot average of 9.5 out of 10 will speak about their trustworthiness and rate of success in volumes.
Always choose a company that has the most positive reviews from their previous customers. This is because negative reviews will affect the debt settlement itself.
Cue from the website
You will get a lot of idea about the legality and legitimacy of a debt relief company when you visit their website. Reputed and reliable websites such as nationaldebtrelief.com will not have any tall promises or anything mentioned that is too good to be true. They will be very particular about:
- Their types of services provided
- The fees charged with proper breakups
- Their customer reviews
- Their area of operation
- Their specialty of service
- Their entire team details and not only of a single person and most importantly
- Their contact details with a physical office address and a fully functional phone number.
If the company has a large network of operations, it will also provide relevant details about its operation in your area and all local branch details on Yelp as well. You can note down their address and make an appointment with a counselor to meet in person.
Though there is no law regarding this, a reputable and reliable company will never shy away from providing maximum and relevant information to people to provide convenience. After all, it is relief that they eventually want to offer to you.
- Add to the above features, reliable companies will have proper security systems installed in their website such as Norton and McAfee. Look for these logos to be sure that the information that you provide online is well protected and secure from phishing and any malware attacks.
- According to the law, all companies must follow the strict industry standard SSL encryption method to secure your personal details. Therefore, look for sites that has an extra ‘S’ after ‘HTTP’ as per the law and requirements of the search engines.
- You will be surprised to know that the most reliable sites and debt relief companies will go a step further and guarantee you eligibility to claim for theft coverage up to $ 100,000 if you can prove it within 90 days after you enter your personal information on the specific site.
- For added assurance and safety guarantee these debt relief companies will be also accredited with eminent and major trade organizations like American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. These are ideally the organizations that set the standards for the entire debt settlement industry.
Once you have found a reliable company, you must find out the process to get started. You can follow the navigation tools for this purpose or call up their customer care cell for assistance. Ideally, the steps to sign up will involve:
- Clicking to the Go to site button to be directed to the website
- Selecting the amount of debt you wish to settle and
- Clicking Continue.
Once you enter your contact information asked for and click, you will see whether or not you qualify for a specific debt relief program. There may be a call made by a representative to discuss your situation further and to provide you with further assistance.
A word of caution
To find a legitimate debt relief company that cats as per the law of debt collection, you will need to keep a few other things in mind and know the probable consequences.
To start with, you must know the potential tax consequences of debt relief. Irrespective of the debt amounts forgiven, it is taxable as per the law. Therefore, expect an IRS Form 1099-C to be sent to you by your creditor. This will show the total amount forgiven. If you owe taxes on that amount then there are specific ways in which you can figure this out.
According to law, first you will have to take on a solvency test to find out whether or not you were insolvent before you opted for the specific settlement. If it is found by testing that the insolvency amount is less than the amount of debt forgiven to you then you are legally liable to pay taxes as per norms on the amount of difference. For this your total liabilities before the settlement and the fair market value of all your assets will be considered and calculated to find out the difference amount.
However, the income tax reporting on these matters can get really complicated and that is why it is best to consult with a qualified tax attorney for the required assistance. Remember, can be very helpful only if you abide by the law.