Our modern world contains many ways to create debt. Whether due to a loss of income, a serious medical event, or the collapse of an investment plan, Long Island residents may find themselves with an intimidating amount of debt. When credit card companies or debt collectors come calling, even financially sophisticated people can feel like running to hide. The Better Business Bureau is a national consumer protection organization. It provides information to the public on a wide variety of financial issues. According to the Long Island and Metro New York regional office of this organization, consumers struggling with debt repayment should be aware of some important information

First, consumers need to protect themselves from unethical or dishonest debt relief companies and fake debt collectors. It is important to note that there are some debt counselors who are accredited by the federal Department of Justice, and these can likely be trusted. Also, debt collectors should always have proof of the debt owed in writing and should never attempt to use fear of jail to induce payment.

Consumers should never give out details of their financial identities to strangers. Debt relief companies should not require large advance payments for their services, and companies who claim to be able to resolve a situation very quickly may not be trustworthy.

Most importantly, people who are in debt should understand their rights. There are rules about when and where debt collectors can call consumers and what they can say. If a debt ends up in court, it is important to know what one’s legal rights are, how to answer a suit, and how to deal with debt negotiations. People in these positions may wish to consider consulting an experienced Long Island debt relief attorney.