A little birdie in the wind told me that Consumer Reports is working on an article that involves debt settlement services. This person said they got the impression that the article was going to not be supportive of debt settlement companies, and in many ways, that’s a shame.
Settling your debts for less that you owe can be problematic but those problems do not invalidate the effectiveness of debt settlement when used at the right times to get out of debt.
Well meaning consumer advocates seem to do little more than continue to tear down solutions for consumers to use to deal with debt. They limit the scope of credit counseling, block or ban payday loans in some states, want to heavily regulate debt settlement firms, etc.
While all this deconstruction of consumer options and tools is taking place, there is no consumer advocacy agency that is fighting for new or better options for consumers to use to get out of debt.
If a solution like the current debt settlement approach needs to be overhauled, replace it with something better, not something less.
I consider myself to be a consumer advocate. I fight for the individual in debt by speaking the truth and giving honest advice. There has been absolutely no movement on the consumer advocacy agency side to fight for fairer solutions for consumers in financial trouble. And there are options.
When pressed, some of the advocates have told me that the reason they do not fight for new debt elimination tools is because that is not their job. Their job they tell me is to protect consumers from things they don’t like. But that’s like tearing down a damn and flooding the town because you didn’t like the damn. Don’t tear down the damn, build a better one first, and then tear down the old damn. That would be the responsible thing to do.
The current solutions of credit counseling and debt settlement are broken and could be better but outside of bankruptcy, that’s all consumers have to try to deal with their situation.
So I can only hope that if Consumer Reports does come out with this article about debt settlement and they do have negative things to say about it, that they also at least try to advocate better solutions other than simply leaving bankruptcy as the only viable legal option left.