Job loss. Pay cuts. A sputtering economy.
It's no surprise that millions of Americans are in debt.
Some companies will help you settle your debts by working out a plan with creditors – for an up-front fee. What if they can't keep their promise? You might be out of luck, and a few extra dollars – until now.
The Federal Trade Commision has stepped in to help protect you. These companies now must actually deliver on their promise before charging you.
There is a loophole, though: this only applies to phone customers. Because the rule was made under the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule, it doesn't apply if a company visits you in person.
If you are in debt, remember that you DON'T have to go through a service. You can go to the creditors themselves, and try to work out a deal that makes paying back your debt manageable.