Anyone who has Sirius/XM radio has noticed by now that 99% of all commercial time sold is acquired by companies hawking A) Debt Counseling Services, B) Work at Home Opportunities, or C) Male Enhancement Products. I know I'll be commenting on (B) in the near future, but let's start off with a general examination of (A.)
These commercials generally all launch the in the same way; with a series of rhetorical questions designed to get the pathetic miscreant listening to start shaking his head with righteous "hell yeah!" indignation: "Are you an honest, hard-working American? Are you TIRED by the harrassing phone calls from credit card companies? Do you feel TRAPPED by the outrageous interest rates and fees?" Then, having formed a relationship with the listener, the announcer continues: "well, we at (Insert Name of Bogus Money-Sucking Agency Here) aren't here to JUDGE you (good thing, because really, you're a spendrift who is trying to avoid paying your debts.) We're here to help!"
The commercial then goes on to explain how that in 2009 you have a Legal Consumer Right to Decrease Your Debt. Wow, sounds impressive, like it's HR 458 just passed out of the Appropriations Committee. One Problem: it's just a jumble of nonsense words. If you are in debt, you have every right to TRY to NEGOTIATE lower monthly payments or even a decrease in total owed- you do NOT have a "Right" to actually REDUCE YOUR DEBT. Can you even imagine the impact of such a "Right?" "Hey honey, I'm off to spend ten grand on our Credit Card, but don't worry, we have the right to get that knocked down to six grand, the guy on the radio told me so."
Then we get to hear from "satisfied customers"- "they got my debt reduced from $30,000 to $6,000..." "I owed 250,000 but settled for only $40,000...." and my personal favorite: "they worked great for me, I've recommended them to several of my friends" (wow, what a great crowd this clown runs around with- a bunch of deadbeats who love racking up bills but DAMN its a hassle paying the bill, and anyway, why should I? I'm an honest, hard-working American!)
One woman in a service which promises to limit credit card debt tells us that "I was getting twenty-five calls a day!" Good lord- if you are getting twenty-five calls a day from creditors, you either have a dozen delinquent cards, or you are constantly hanging up on the bank and forcing them to call back. What is the matter with you?
Two points, if I may: First, all of these Credit Card Counselors behave in the same manner: they charge you a fee to do what you can just as easily do yourself: Contact your creditors and ask for lower monthly payments and/or a drop in interest rates. They will NOT get your debt reduced. The "best case scenerio" is the lower payments and lower interest rate which you could have negotiated yourself, but instead paid someone to negotiate for you (easy to see how you got yourself into debt in the first place, stupid.) Second, if you find yourself with a thousand dollars to hand to a Credit Card Counselor to do what you can do yourself, why don't you just SEND THAT MONEY TO YOUR CREDITORS YOU MORON??
I didn't even get to the part where I ream these idiots for calling attempts to collect money owed "harrassment." I bet that's not the word they use when they try to get that twenty bucks back from the "friend" who borrowed it from them last month. Losers.