Digital News Report – With the downturn in the economy, many Americans are looking for help with their bills. The good news is there is a new government website to help with debt consolidation and to help consumers determine if debt help is needed.
The FTC has organized information concerning debt consolidation and debt help. They organized links to older articles in this new webpage. The first section is concerned with bankruptcy and what you need to consider before declaring bankruptcy. The FTC warns that the Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires that people must receive “government approved” credit counseling at least 180 days before they file for bankruptcy.
Next the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says you need to be aware of your rights. Get a copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus and make sure there are no errors. If there are errors contest those errors. “You are responsible for your debts,” the FTC said in a statement.
There are some things you need to do before you create a Debt Management Plan (DMP). They recommend you seek help from a “reputable” credit counseling organization.
Pick a councilor that is “certified and trained” in in consumer credit, money and debt management, and budgeting. Non-profit organizations have a legal obligation to provide education and counseling. The FTC warns that not all firms offer these services. Some charge high fees and may even urge you to make “voluntary” contributions that can cause you to fall deeper into debt.
By: Tina Brown