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October 28th, 2010
08:15 AM ET

Taking the Lead: Settling your debt

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.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Taking the Lead
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. kathleen

    I am watching this teacher talking about the debt bracelet and the old woman who spoke to Don at the Detroit diner. Hitler rose to power because he said he was the answer, the one who could lead. .. . we are so desperate too kick the bums out that we are willing to idolize the likes of Christ O'Donnel/Palin/Angle. . . we are indeed dumbing down but we are not hearing the media ask the questions that will force those leaders-to-be HOW they would solve the problems. . . force them to give us a sample, just like Parker/Spitzer ask what would be/should be cut to balance the budget. I don't remember who said it but if we vote these dumbheads into office, we get what we deserve. What happened with the kid in class (pounding his fist, throwing salt) at the nun who was a sub in the class?

    October 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Brian Fegely

    Mr Velshi might also find material for a followup in discovering how credit rating companies see "settled in full" differently from "paid in full". They are remarked differently and carry different point-values.
    "Settling" a debt is not always best.

    October 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm |