Q: I’m trying to get out of debt. On Sunday, someone approached me at church about a federal program that would pay my bills for me at a low price. Is that legit?


No.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported this scam in January. They say it especially targets black churchgoers.

Here’s the scam: Someone approaches you at church and tells you about a program like this, where the government pays your bills. They offer to sign you up. They even ask for your creditors and account numbers, to make it look like they’re setting up  a payment plan. And they ask for your bank account information.

In some cases, the scammers even set up direct deposit for the bill payments, so you see their work on your bank statement and think they’re doing what they said. Then right before the bill comes due, they redirect the bank account so payments go directly to them.

As a result, victims not only lose their money. They also also fall prey to larger late fees and fines, damage to their credit, and even identity theft.

The worst part is, because this happens at church, people believe it more. These scammers take advantage of the safe and righteous place a house of worship is supposed to be.

As a Memphis bankruptcy attorney, I can assure you no such program exists. If you’re trying to get out of debt, don’t risk everything on sketchy repayment programs that could hurt you a lot more than they help.

The government won’t pay your bills for you, but you can set up a payment plan with them. It puts all of your debts together and lets you pay them back at a price you can afford. It’s called Chapter 13, and it’s a powerful weapon when you’re trying to get out of debt and still keep assets like your house and car.

You can get out of debt, keep your stuff, rebuild your credit, and live your best life. I can help. Contact me today at 901-327-2100 for a free appointment.