What is Bill Consolidation, Loan Modification, Debt Settlement?
This is an easy one. Because most stuff other than bankruptcy is fraudulent. That means someone somewhere, on the internet, or maybe in Russia, or maybe your own bank, wants your money, and will say anything to get it.
- "Bill Consolidation" is usually a fraud scheme. There is no way to "consolidate" all your bills into one lower payment you can afford, pay your vehicles and mortgage and tax debt first, and stop every single creditor from bothering you, adding late charges, or suing you. No way. None. Nada. Except for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Oh, there's that word again "bankruptcy."
- "Loan Modification" - Fraud schemes like "Legal Helpers Loan Modification" stole people's money and disappeared with millions. Banks usually string you along for months and lose your paperwork, making things worse. Then all they do is take your 30 year loan and turn it into a 40 year loan to "get" you a lower payment. Great, now you'll die before you pay them off and they'll get your house back after collection mostly interest payments.
- "Debt Settlement" Definitely the worst. Run, do not walk, as fast as you can from these skunks. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution" and others stole $50 million or more and faded into the night. Their imitators are still around, and so are the lawyers involved. They only lost their law licenses for a couple years. Nice payday on your money!
All these schemes play on your guilty, embarrassment and confusion. They can't stop late fees, repossessions, lawsuits, foreclosures, license suspension, or anything else. So, beware of "bill consolidation, mortgage modifiers, debt settlement and credit counseling". We usually see folks who have paid $3,000 to $5,000 to bill consolidators, and have nothing to show to it, when they could have filed Chapter 7 or 13 and really solved their problems and gotten a true fresh start.