Mrs. C8j pointed out that on one of the new radio stations in Ottawa, there are ads running for various “Debt Help” services that are cropping up (much like weeds in the springtime).
The ads are quite comforting telling the listener (I am paraphrasing):
… it’s not your fault that you have gotten into over $10,000 in consumer debt, it is the global economy collapse that causes it all, but we are here to help you get back on your feet…”
Seriously? They also point out that you may have lost your job, which may have caused your problems with your consumer debt (as well), which is a little more believable (but debatable if it is a valid excuse or not). How is it possible that the Greek Government’s default on their debt is causing me to build up consumer debt? That must have been part of math that I must have missed (advanced quackery calculus).
Another “debt counseling” firm claims that by helping you with your debt problems, you will be helping the Canadian economy to recover from the recession. Wow, my Mastercard bill is what is slowing down Canada’s recovery? Sorry guys, I would have done something about it if I had known!
The other interesting thing to note is that a great many of these new Debt Help offices, sometimes play dirty tricks with their customers, in that they negotiate a settlement price with the creditors, but then charge a “fee” for this service. I suppose I shouldn’t begrudge them payment for their services (although in many instances, consumers can do this work themselves).
Even more despicable is one place where they will put you on a debt repayment plan, however, they have already paid out your debt, and then start charging you interest on your debt repayment schedule (effectively becoming a replacement for the Credit Card company for gouging their customers). Again, these companies are taking a risk with these folks, but the interest rates they charge for their debt repayment scheme seem a little concerning (i.e. higher than banks charge their high risk customers).
Is it your fault you have a high consumer debt? You know my answer is, Yes, you bought the stuff, or built up the debt, how is it anyone else’s debt (yes, you could be paying off a loved ones debt, or something noble like that, but you know I am not razzing you guys) ? My only advice is to be careful if you are trying to extricate yourself from the clutches of consumer debt, sometimes you will only go from a Bear chewing on your butt, to a Tiger chewing your ass (best metaphor I could come up with).