Who can I call to help me get control over my debt? — Emad Sadic, Land O'Lakes
With the tough economic times, those who find themselves in financial trouble are often preyed on by scam artists. It is important to use reliable counselors for help.
Deborah Berry of the Pinellas County Department of Justice and Consumer Services says consumers should avoid companies that require upfront fees to assist you.
Here are some programs that can help you with debt issues:
• Contact the nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling Service at http://www.cccsinc.org/ or toll-free 1-800-251-2227.
• Check the list of U.S. Housing and Urban Development approved counseling centers at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm.