Massachusetts (MA) Debt Relief, Settlement and Consolidation Programs and Laws
Massachusetts (MA) debt consolidation programs, including consumer credit counseling and debt settlement, are both available for consumers who are experiencing financial hardship. Debt consolidation loans in MA are also available to help a person that’s looking to consolidate debt into a loan to eliminate high-interest rates. To figure out your best option for debt relief, MA residents can start by reading the following guide.
Option 1: Massachusetts Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation in MA comes in the form of a loan or consumer credit counseling. MA debt consolidation loans can be obtained by an online lender or a bank. The loan is then used to pay off all of your other high-interest accounts, including credit cards, medical bills, car loans, and any debt that you want to pay off with the loan. The benefit of debt consolidation loans is to eliminate high-interest accounts and consolidate payments into one.
Consumer credit counseling programs in MA are not using a loan. Instead, MA consumer credit counseling companies work for your creditors. You will get your credit card interest rates reduced with consumer credit counseling, helping you pay off credit card bills in about five years. Click here to learn more about consumer credit counseling.
For consumer credit counseling companies, MA non-profit and licensed companies can be found at the Department of Justice’s website here.
Option 2: Debt Settlement Massachusetts Programs
Debt settlement programs in MA require you to stop paying creditors. You will instead be making a single monthly payment to the debt settlement company. MA debt settlement companies will set you up with a special purpose savings account. Every month your payments go directly into this account. The funds grow in this account, similar to how they would grow in your own savings account. However, as the funds grow the debt negotiators begin negotiating with your creditors to reduce each debt. One by one your creditors get paid through a debt settlement.
Creditors agree to settle for less than what you owe after a debt is written off and sold to third-party collection agencies because at this point the original creditor has been paid in full through tax credits. Third-party collection agencies may pay as little as 20-cents on the dollar to purchase a credit card debt, and therefore they are willing to settle sometimes for around half (not counting debt settlement company fees).
You can become debt-free in around four years when enrolled in a MA debt settlement program.
The Best MA Debt Relief Programs
The best MA debt settlement companies will:
- Include lawsuit defense with the program in case you’re sued
- Only charge fees after your debts get settled (i.e., reduced)
- Have a much higher ratio of positive online reviews compared to negative reviews. (check sites including BBB, Yelp, and Google)
- Be BBB accredited and A+ rated
- Have a debt management license in MA and be bonded
- Will meticulously explain the potential downsides of debt settlement (e.g., negative effect on credit, chance to get sued, potential tax consequences)
- Explain the cost of the program and how fees are collected
Verify their debt settlement license. MA state attorney general’s office can also illustrate if a company has serious complaints against it.
Massachusetts (MA) debt relief, settlement, and consolidation programs are strictly regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), State Attorney General’s Office (AG), and the Department of Justice. MA debt relief companies must be licensed and operate compliant with state and federal laws.
Debt settlement laws specifically prohibit debt relief companies in MA from charging upfront fees before a debt gets settled. MA debt consolidation companies also must provide full transparency regarding the terms of the loan including all fees associated with it. To learn more about debt negotiation visit this page next.
What is considered full disclosure by MA debt relief laws?
Debt settlement companies in MA must provide full disclosure before enrolling a consumer into any type of program.
Laws Require Debt Settlement Companies in MA to Clearly Explain:
- How the program will affect credit reports and scores
- What fees are being charged and when these fees get collected
- How creditors get paid and whether or not they are paid monthly
- An accurate estimate of the savings and true cost of the program, including the total amount that the creditors get paid and a breakdown of the MA debt settlement company’s fees
- The fact that, if creditors don’t get paid on a monthly basis there is a chance they can sue and issue a lawsuit. How will a credit card summons be dealt with?
Massachusetts Debt Statistics
Consumers in MA are some of the most financially educated consumers in the nation. MA residents carry only average amounts of credit card and student loan balances. The average income in MA is higher than most of the country, making it easier for consumers to pay off debt on their own.
According to Debt.org, “Credit card debt in Massachusetts is on par with the rest of the country. From 2010 to 2011, the United States brought its average credit card debt down 17 percent, from about $7,800 to $6,474. In the same period, Massachusetts residents’ credit card debt dropped a comparable 18 percent, from about $7,840 to $6,429. The following year, however, the state backtracked on a small part of that progress, with the average debt increasing slightly to $6,541.”
Unfortunately, Golden Financial Services does not offer any Massachusetts debt relief, settlement, or consolidation programs. Click here to learn about debt relief services in other states. California, New York, Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nebraska, and Illinois all have debt relief programs available as of 2020.
Other companies may offer debt relief programs in MA, so if you’re looking to learn about how these programs work, visit our credit card debt relief page here.
Here are some additional FREE resources to help you pay off debt on your own (without using a debt relief program in MA).
Try this free debt snowball calculator.
Here are the 10 best ways to clear credit card balances faster
Here’s a free budget tool
The remainder of this page is provided purely for educational purposes. We can’t offer any of these programs at this time.
What type of debts can be settled?
- Credit cards
- Medical bills
- Financial loans
- Personal loans
- Bank loans
- Utility bills that are in third-party debt collection
- Third-party collection accounts
Downsides of debt settlement programs in MA include:
- negative effect on credit because creditors are not paid monthly, so late marks and collection accounts get inflicted on credit
- may owe taxes on the amount saved
- no guarantee of how much your creditors will settle for
- creditors can pursue litigation against you to collect on an unpaid debt
- balances can increase before getting settled, due to interest and late fees
Debt Consolidation Loans in MA
Fintech companies all across the nation are offering high-interest loans to consumers with low credit scores, so beware of these lenders all across the internet. At Golden Financial Services we recommend checking with your local credit union if considering a debt consolidation loan.
If you’re looking for a safe debt management program in MA, consider consumer credit counseling. Visit the NFCC website at https://www.nfcc.org/ to find a licensed consumer credit counseling company in MA to work with.
You can also find reputable debt relief, settlement, or consolidation companies in Massachusetts by visiting the Better Business Bureau. Look for an accredited debt relief company that has positive client reviews. You can also visit TrustedCompanyReviews.com and TrustPilot, where they have the Top 10 Debt Consolidation Companies listed.
Always check a company’s reviews before using their services. See how long they’ve been in business, any less than five years should be a warning. In the future, GFS may get licensed to offer debt settlement in MA, but at this time we’re not authorized. We wish you the best of luck.