Washington State Bankruptcy Versus Debt Consolidation - The good, the bad, and the ugly

BankruptcyYou’ve probably heard this commercial before. It says things like, “A new government program allows you to consolidate your debt into one easy payment. You can pay off your debts for pennies on the dollar and keep all your property!”

Debt relief services like these will promise you the moon and the stars, but many of them don’t deliver on their promises—and some are an outright scam.

Reputable debt relief services should look at your complete financial situation with you. They should help you learn money management skills and how to budget. They should also advise you on whether or not debt consolidation or debt settlement is appropriate for you. It is especially important that they advise you of the risks associated with certain types of debt relief.

Unfortunately, there are many disreputable companies out there, which is why it’s important for you to do your homework and make sure that the debt relief company that you’re trusting with your money is, in fact, trustworthy.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers a number of helpful tips for choosing a debt relief agency. The FTC recommends that you avoid a debt relief company that says or does any of the following:

  • Charges you fees before settling your debts or entering you into a debt management plan (this is illegal)
  • Tries to pressure you into making “voluntary contributions,” which is just another name for fees
  • Tells you that a “new government program” will allow you to get out of debt
  • Gives you a guarantee that they will get rid of your debt or that you will be able to pay only pennies on the dollar
  • Tries to enter you into a debt relief or debt management program without first reviewing your financial situation with you
  • Tells you to stop payments and stop communicating with your creditors without telling you the consequences of this action
  • Refuses to send you information about their services until you give them your financial information, like your credit card account numbers

You can also find a list of approved agencies by searching for Washington state on the U.S. Department of Justice website.

If you’re not sure how to get relief from debt, contact a credit counseling agency or an experienced Washington State bankruptcy attorney. Most bankruptcy lawyers, including the ones at the Law Offices of Jason S. Newcombe, offer a free consultation, during which you can talk about your options for debt relief.

Client Reviews
Great service and follow up. Its a scary thing when you need a lawyer but Jason and his team make it less so. Very happy with our outcome. Scott Thibeault
"I can't say enough great things about Jason Newcombe Law Office. I am retired military and I highly recommend Jason Newcombe Law Office. I reached out to Jason's office after sitting for hours reviewing multiple Domestic Violence Law Offices in King County. He responded before that day was over. I spoke with Jason's both in-person and by phone; felt very comfortable with his years of experience and straight talk. He took on my case, took me through the process with sound advice. The Attorney Erin Lane who accompanied me with my court appearances; can't praise and thank her enough for her time, selflessness and educational information prior to each court appearance. She made a really daunting task for me less fearful, given such grim circumstances. I am forever grateful for Jason and the Team of Attorneys." Tommy Harville
"I cannot thank Mr. Newcombe and his staff enough. They are awesome. When I first contacted his offices, I didn't know what to do. I was overwhelmed and confused. He did an amazing job, I highly recommend him! I had two cases, and he got both of them dismissed. If you are in trouble, do yourself a favor, give him a call. " David
"I had Mr. Newcombe's firm handle my ticket and I greatly appreciate their assistance. It was handle easily and with good communication from the associates. If you need assistance with some legal matters then I would refer you to them. " Marvin
"Jason Newcombe and his Associate's are all top notch individuals who will fight tooth and nail for you and go the distance to ensure that you receive the best outcome possible on your case. I would not be where I am today if not for the Law offices of Jason Newcombe. " Eric Brandt