Digging a deeper hole: No relief with so-called debt relief companies

They're looking for people who have wracked up too much credit card debt. The radio is peppered with their ads. You see them online, too.

The pitch is they can take a panicked and seemingly hopeless situation and turn it into one of control and hope. However, your faith is better left to other devices.

Today, the state of Illinois announced it is suing two of these debt settlement companies -- SDS West/Nationwide Support Services and Debt Relief USA.

The allegations are similar to what has been leveled against supposed foreclosure relief companies. The customers are told to stop making payments to their lenders and instead make upfront payments to the debt settlement company, which is supposed to work out a payment plan that would only require paying off a portion of the debt.