Debt settlement a 'nuclear option' that most people shouldn't consider

Debt settlement a last option
Debt settlement a last option

Complaints about debt settlement companies are on the rise, prompting warnings that dealing with those types of businesses might not the simple solution they might seem for consumers overwhelmed by debt. Only an estimated one in 10 consumers who use them successfully emerge from the process, according to a recent government report.

The Better Business Bureau said it received more than 3,500 complaints from consumers on debt settlement companies since late 2007.

"The whole industry is getting a lot of attention right now because so many people are in so much financial trouble and unfortunately if they get tangled up in the wrong debt settlement company, they end up worse than they began," said Alison Southwick, BBB spokeswoman in an interview with Consumer Ally.