There are so many debt settlement companies out there. How can I tell which ones are reputable?
Your question is, "How do I find an honest debt settlement company to work with?" Finding one is a lot like finding an honest contractor to repair or renovate your home.
A very good place to start is with referrals. If you know of anyone, either directly or through networking, who has used debt settlement companies, ask them about their experience. Recommendations from people you know and/or have reason to trust is always the best way to find any professional.
Second, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints.
Third, contact your state attorney general's office to see if there have been actions brought against the settlement company.
Fourth, try an Internet search to see if any negative news items come up about the company.
Fifth, contact some debt settlement industry trade associations, to see if the company is a member in good standing.
Sixth, contact related professionals you know and trust, such as any attorneys, tax preparers, or CPAs. They may have a referral or suggest other good alternatives to help you with your debt.
Ultimately, the safest bet is to talk to a Debt Settlement Lawyer before you choose a company. A lawyer is bound by ethical laws, so you are always safe using a licensed attorney.