Here's a dirty secret, today's "non profit credit counselors" are often just front organizations paid lucrative commissions by creditors to keep consumers from declaring bankruptcy!
In the "debt collection biz", creditors will sell your outstanding debt along with the debt of hundreds of others to a collection agency for cash up front.
The collection agencies will work this debt until they've made all the money they can.
Then they'll keep selling this block of business to whomever will buy it.
This explains why you can stop being pestered by a bill collector for a while then a completely different bill collecting psychopath will start calling your house or sending you threatening letters out of the blue when you thought they were finished.
The Fair Credit Reporting Laws have put some damper on their crude activities, as have the bankruptcy laws.
But yesterday's bill collectors have gotten wise.
If people go bankrupt, the creditors get virtually nothing.
So why not figure out a way to get people to voluntarily pay much more than they would otherwise by going through bankruptcy?
So today, yesterday's bill collectors often masquerade as "non profit credit counselors".
Business must be good for these "non profits" because they're out on the internet paying $10 per lead for potential debt consolidation clients!
Their "come on" to the consumer is "Don't declare bankruptcy! It will RUIN your credit and cost you money! Use our FREE service instead."
There's no such thing as a free lunch of course.
What unsuspecting consumers DON'T KNOW is that using these services may ruin their credit anyway.
And these "Free Services" are being paid handsome commissions on every dollar the collect from you!
Then they report exactly what they've done to the credit reporting firms and potential creditors in the future MAY consider you a potentially WORSE candidate than a formerly bankrupt person because if they extend you credit and you fall on hard times again, you stil have the option of going through bankruptcy!
Learn your rights.
It's possible for ordinary people with a computer and printer to use the law to "lick bill collectors with a stamp!"
Without giving up your privacy, without having a credit counseling firm "rat" on you, it's possible to achieve the same results that others have used expensive attorneys to achieve - when you know your rights!
Cleaning your credit report is something you can do.
Paying off debts for pennies on the dollar is something you can do.
Educate yourself at sites about free credit repair techniques like http://www.CreditRepairDude.com ... and beware today's Bill Collector Wolves in Non Profit Sheep's Clothing!
About The Author
Chuck Huckaby is a freelance writer in Lawrenceburg, TN USA and publishes http://1stHowToWorkAtHome.com and http://www.CreditRepairDude.com