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February 27, 2012
For immediate release

Consumers should be aware that debt settlement options can be costly

Environment, Labour and Justice

People experiencing financial difficulties should be aware that although debt settlement may look like a good option, there are a number of factors to consider.

Many companies offering debt settlement services promise that consumers can pay back only a fraction of the balance owing, with minimal financial penalties. In reality, nothing can be guaranteed, as any debt resettlement plan must be accepted by the affected creditors.

“Consumers need to know that creditors do not accept settlements easily. They want the money owing to them,” says Steven Dowling, General Counsel for the Consumer, Corporate and Insurance Division of the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice. “We would like to remind consumers that they should be cautious when dealing with companies who offer debt settlement services.”

Many debt settlement companies charge hefty fees, some of which may be requested up front. Consumers should be aware of all costs and carefully examine all their options to resolve their financial situation, before considering debt resettlement.

Anyone who has questions or wishes to register a complaint, should contact the Consumer Services Section of the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice at 1-800-658-1799 or 902-368-4580.

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Media Contact: Joanne MacKinnon
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