The do's and dont's of settling on a debt resolution company

It would be nice if we could put our bills under the pillow at night and the debt fairy would sneak in and pay them while we slept. The truth is if there's a debt professional lurking around the house at night, he is probably there to repossess the car.

In the absence of magical money fairies, there are dubious debt resolution companies that advertise their ability to negotiate consumer debt reduction by 50% or more. Charging fees based on a percentage of the debt owed (usually 13% to 20%, but sometimes as much as 35%), settlement companies may also charge a monthly fee ranging from $19 to $89 per month. It is not uncommon for these fees to add up to thousands of dollars.