Finding the best debt settlement companies amongst what appears to be and endless list on the internet is a daunting, but achievable "tasc". And no that is not a spelling mistake, rather a play on words.
You see, TASC is an acronym for The Association of Settlement Companies. The membership of TASC is made up of debt settlement companies who are committed to following the associations by-laws that strive to protect consumers and raise the bar when it comes to the service provided in debt negotiation/settlement industry as a whole.
So if you are looking for the best debt settlement companies (or the most reputable ones), or wondering if the one you are considering is amongst the "best", a good place to start is by checking if they are a member of TASC.
TASC was formed in 2005. Its mission is to protect consumer debtors who choose debt settlement as a debt relief option, while at the same time promoting and regulating best practices within the industry through a series of bylaws that its members must abide by. By forcing its membership to obey these bylaws, TASC aims to raise the standards of its membership, and thus ensure that both the public and the credit industry maintain confidence in the industry as a whole.
The TASC bylaws were originally formulated after input from the three major players affected by the practice of debt settlement...- the debt settlement companies and advisors - state legislators (representing and protecting the public), and - major lenders
Based upon the input from these 3 groups, bylaws were put in place for the members of TASC to ensure that consumer debtors dealing with these members were in fact dealing with the best debt settlement companies in the industry.
The debt settlement industry is a fairly "young" one that has really blossomed as an alternative to Chapter 13 bankruptcy since the bankruptcy laws were tightened. As such, states have been scrambling to regulate this industry in order to ensure consumers are protected.
The goal of TASC is to ensure a fairly regulated national debt settlement industry that protects the consumer and allows its members to operate as a valuable service to the public. They hope to achieve this by proactively regulating their own membership to ensure the highest standards of practice within the industry.
Just because a company belongs to TASC does not necessarily mean that it is the best company for you. You will still want to interview several different companies (and even lawyers who offer settlement services) to ensure that you end up with the right "fit". After all, you will likely have a very close relationship with the company you chose for the next 3 years or more.
On the other hand, just because a debt settlement company or advisor is not a member of TASC does not necessarily mean that they are not reputable. However, in much the same way you might wonder why a company is not a member of the BBB (Better Business Bureau), you have to ask yourself why a particular company would not be a member of TASC.
My advice? If you wan to find the best debt settlement companies, look for the ones that belong to TASC.