For those in Ohio who are struggling with high levels of debt, relief is often a priority. Many consumers will look at multiple debt relief options before settling on a course of action. Any time that there is money at play, there will be unscrupulous individuals waiting to run a scam. Eliminating your debts without falling victim to one of these deceptive debt relief offers is possible with the right degree of attention and effort.

When reviewing various debt relief options, be on the lookout for red flags that could suggest a scam. One of the most common warning signs is when a company charges an up-front fee for services that have not yet been provided. This type of fee structure is prohibited by law, yet many debt relief firms continue to collect hefty fees before any work is done on behalf of the consumer.

An example is found in the recent injunction obtained against a debt relief company by the name of World Law Group. The firm gained many clients through billboard and radio ads promising to cut your debt in half. When consumers signed up for World Law Group’s debt relief services, they were charged a $199 “enrollment fee” and then charged a monthly fee of $84.95. Consumers were also offered a range of additional services that reached between 10 and 15 percent of their total debt.

When considering debt relief options, consumers should be aware that companies are prohibited from charging fees for services that have not yet been rendered. In addition, debt settlement services are often a poor choice for eliminating your debts, and many consumers emerge from that process without having paid down a significant portion of their total obligations. For many Ohio consumers, personal bankruptcy is a better debt relief tool, and one that is far safer than wading through the scams to find a legitimate debt relief company.

Source: thestreet.com, “Buried in Debt? Here’s How to Protect Yourself Against Deceptive Debt Relief Programs“, Kevin Yu, Sept. 16, 2015