We welcome special guest Leslie Tayne, attorney and debt settlement expert to the Debt Therapy podcast for this episode. In this episode, we cover so many details involved with debt settlement so make sure you listen to it all—there are important pieces of information all the way to the end of this episode.
First, how do you know a reputable company from a scam?
To answer that, you must first understand the difference between debt consolidation and debt settlement. If you are looking for a debt consolidation, that may include a loan with a lower interest rate, but the amount you are paying off remains the same. Debt settlement is different in the fact that they renegotiate the terms of your repayment with the creditors and agree to a structured repayment process with less debt.
Now that we understand the difference, let’s talk about protecting yourself. First, don’t be lured in or intimidated if someone has your information such as your total debt, the last four of your social, or your contact information! That doesn’t mean that the company is legitimate. It just means that at some point in time they purchased your information from another company. Now is the time to do the research. Where do they work out of? Do they outsource once you are interested? Are they making promises that seem too good to be true? Promises are a big red flag in this industry. The rules and agreements can change on a dime so no debt settlement company can guarantee anything.
Another big red flag is the company asking for money upfront. They may label it under certain fees, but you really shouldn’t have to put any money upfront.
And, heads up, this is not a quick process. There are negotiations back and forth and it just takes time. So, if they promise to get you out of debt fast, note that is another red flag.
Make sure to check out reviews too! If there are a lot of negative reviews, it may not be a great place to work with! You can also check the Better Business Bureau to see if any formal complaints have been filed against the company.
How do you charge?
For Leslie’s company, they are paid a percentage of the money they save you. It isn’t paid out until everything is finalized. And, it is worked into the settlement terms so you have one payment, no interest and no extra fees.
Will the debt settlement firm represent you if you are sued?
Sometimes. It really depends on the company. Leslie’s company will, but some settlement companies outsource and you are left with an additional bill. Make sure to ask!
Listen to the rest of this episode to find out more about what happens during debt settlement and the pros and cons to this path!
About Leslie H. Tayne Esq.
Founder / Head Attorney
Leslie H. Tayne, Esq. is a New York debt settlement attorney with nearly 20 years’ experience in the practice area of consumer and business financial debt-related services. She is highly accomplished in negotiation and settlements, and has gone up against large national banks, credit unions, collection agencies and multiple creditor legal representatives.
Her mission is to reshape the debt relief industry by giving clients a supportive and reliable environment built on experience, trust and results that will not only relieve clients of the stress from debts but also the burden of the never-ending debt cycle. A highly respected consumer and business debt-related expert, Leslie is often called upon by the media to comment on a variety of financial topics. She has written content for and been interviewed on a variety of national and local news outlets including Inc Magazine, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fox News, CNBC, Newsday, The New York Daily News, as well as many, many more.