Debt negotiation, also called debt settlement has become very popular over the past 4 years. Since the change in the bankruptcy law in 2005 debt negotiation has become the best alternative to people who otherwise would need to go bankrupt. Therefore opening up a huge market for debt negotiation services. But how can one tell the best debt negotiation companies from the ones who are rather inept.
For one any good service will be listed in the BBB, and have a good track record. This almost goes without saying. Second a company should charge a portion of their fee based on their performance. And by performance I mean how low of a settlement they can get for you. The lower the settlement the more money you as the debtor will save. There are far too many companies out there that charge just only a flat percentage of your total debt amount and collect 100% of it upfront before any settlements have been made. This fee setup leaves no incentive for the negotiator of the company to get the best settlement because they have already earned all of their money. When a negotiator works off of performance they will earn more by getting a better deal and saving the client more. Resulting in a win-win situation.
One more thing to look out for is whether a company is under investigation by the Attorney General. You should look up the states AG office for the company you are considering doing business with, and if they are being investigated then stay far away.
And of course a good debt negotiation service should have a very capable and friendly client services departement, that is capable of handling the day to day operations of the business. Way to many companies neglect to really improve and take pride in their client services resulting in the client not getting what he or she thought they were going to get.
One of the best debt negotiation companies around is the US Consumer Advocate, this organization has a stellar BBB record and works based on their performance, for people in debt needing help they are definitely worth talking too.