Debt Settlement Scams

Here is how the Debt Settlement Scam Works

 *You owe bills to multiple creditors, typically credit card companies. 

 * A debt settlement company tells you that it can help you pay off all of your bills.

* The settlement company tells you to stop paying all of your bills, and make a monthly payment to it.

  * The company will tell you that the monthly payments will be collected in an escrow account, to be used in the future to pay off your debt.  However, typically, during the initial payment period, such as 24 months, most of the money will be used to pay the settlement company its fees, up front.  

* Therefore, it can take over 24 months for you to have enough money to pay off more than one creditor.  The company may settle some smaller debts, in the first few months of the payment period.

* Unfortunately, because you are not paying your bills, when you pay the debt settlement company, it is likely that some larger creditor will sue you. 

 * Because you will likely have little money to pay the larger creditor when you get sued, you will get a judgment against you, and the creditor can then take collection action on the judgment – such as a wage withholding order.

The debt settlement agency want most of its money up front, when you start to make your monthly payments.   The debt settlement company tells you to stop making payments to creditors, knowing that you are likely to be sued at a later date, and not have enough money in escrow to pay for any future judgment.

Often, after using a debt settlement company, a debtor ends up being sued and is forced to later file for bankruptcy.   To make matters worse, you may not be able to sue the debt settlement company, as the contract can provide for binding arbitration.

If you are having problems with your debts, please feel free to contact

Attorney Robert M. Singer, 2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT  06518



Collection of Property Taxes in Connecticut – Collection Agency Fees

Cities and Towns are continuing to work hard on collecting delinquent real estate and personal property taxes.


Connecticut General Statutes Section 12-141 provides in part

“Except as otherwise indicated in the context, “tax”, wherever used in said sections, includes each property tax and each installment and part thereof due to a municipality, including any interest, penalties, fees and charges, including collection fees of a collection agency, attorney’s fees and those fees and charges set forth in § 12-140. “


This statute specifically permits collection fees of a collection agency, to be included as part of a tax bill.   However, the statute does not specify the “amount” or percentage” of the fee which is allowed.

I have seen collection agencies add a “15% fee” to a tax bill, as part of the collection fee.   This is similar to the amount due to a State Marshall seeking to collect on an outstanding tax bill.

Robert M. Singer, Esq., 2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT  06518, 203-248-8278,

Serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut

ChexSystems – Check Reporting Service

ChexSystems is a credit reporting service.   Typically, financial institutions, such as a bank, use ChexSystems, to determine to open or refuse to open a bank account.

The reported information includes information on closed checking and savings accounts.   The information can include a history of bounced checks.

You can request a free copy of your ChexSystems report once very 12 months.


To contact ChexSystems:

call 800-428-9623

Mail – Check Systems, Inc., Attn. Consumer Relations, 7805 Hudson Road, Ste 100, Woodbury, NY  55125

web –  /web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/requestreports/consumerdisclosure


Once you get a copy of your ChexSystems report, you have the right to dispute the information on the credit report.

It can be difficult or impossible to open a checking account if you have certain bad information on your ChexSystems report.

Robert M. Singer, Esq., 2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT, 06518


Serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut