Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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Unmanageable debt can leave one vulnerable to scams

When California residents are faced with a serious financial crisis, it can feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Student loans, credit card debt and other forms of financial obligations can turn into a mountain of unmanageable debt. Many in this scenario will do virtually anything to find relief. This is exactly the state of mind that scammers hope for when designing efforts to steal money from those who can least afford it.

One popular scam involves false claims of student loan forgiveness. Let it be known that having one's student loans forgiven is a viable debt relief option. However, these programs are limited in scope and should be sought only through legitimate sources. Information on loan forgiveness programs is available directly through the Department of Education.

Scams often use legitimate-sounding information to lure consumers into signing up for loan forgiveness programs that simply don't exist. They may offer free consultations and a wide range of programs that can suit an individual's needs. However, these companies will then insist on an up-front payment before an individual can begin the forgiveness program, and then disappear with that money.

For those in California who are considering student loan debt forgiveness as a debt relief option, it is important to understand the nature of the legitimate options that are available. It would be wise for individuals to research programs on the official government website and look for a good match. Unmanageable debt can often be eased with a loan forgiveness option, but far too many consumers get caught up in scams, eventually ending up in an even worse predicament. Many file for bankruptcy as a way to get rid of all other debts, leaving only the student loan to manage.

Source: DailyFinance, "Student Loan Forgiveness: Is That Deal Smart or a Scam?", Dan Caplinger, Oct. 15, 2014

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