Individuals in debt who want to take on the use of the services of a debt management firm should do extensive research before making a commitment. A crooked debt management firm can make matters worse, so be sure to keep the following things in mind prior to hiring a debt management firm:
* Avoid any agency that calls you by phone or sends you spam. Generally, debt management firms publicize their services in the yellow pages or on the internet with a trusting website.
* Non-profit agencies do not necessarily propose better services. Firstly, not all non-profit debt management firms offer their services "free." There are firms that may charge up to 15% of the debt amount. Being a non-profit organization does not mean a debt management firm is better. Companies charging for their service are responsible to efficiently advise their clients of their debt problems because they are profiting from their work and their profitability is directly connected to their credibility and reputation in the market.
* Never reveal sensitive information on the phone and before papers are signed. An honest debt management firm will never ask you to provide your credit card numbers or bank information on the phone. This follows standard procedures to avoid fraud. Debt management companies that are acting in good faith will lay out details in a more secure manner usually through paperwork.
* Do not believe anybody who proposes a deal that is without justification. If someone claims he or she can do this without any written proof, don't take their word. Include everything in writing just in case fishy things start to pop up.
* Check their BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating. What is BBB? From their website at BBB.org, their mission “is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by:
* Creating a community of trustworthy businesses
* Setting standards for marketplace trust
* Encouraging and supporting best practices
* Celebrating marketplace role models, and;
* Denouncing substandard marketplace behavior”
Basically, it rates the quality of businesses based on consumer experience
* Get their names and contact information, and make sure your account is handled by one person, and not passed around. You want to build a relationship with someone who you can feel is there for you.