- Personal Finance
Debt Settlement: Lower My Bills!
Money...You Have To Have It
Settled Less Than Full Balance...
Sound familiar? It should...It's what your Credit Report will reflect after you settle a debt. In some cases they will negotiate this, but it's typically at the creditors discretion.
National Average for Debt Settlement is 40% (forty percent). Most consumers shouldn't have to pay more than that if they are delinquent on debts. Usually credit card debt is the first to settle. Although I am hearing many of the banks are giving people the run around, and not catering to the needs of the consumer. They're basically catering their own needs internally.
Your options are limited, so choose wisely which path you'll be taking. Lawyers are the only ones who can actually protect a consumer. Debt Settlement services do not. Unless you are on retainer with a law firm, you are wide open game for harassment from the debt collection industry.
I run an official branch of a nationwide law firm who specializes in debt settlement, that is affordable, and easy for consumers to stick to the plan. Structured around the consumer, not the bank. Catering to the needs of the consumer, their future, and their reestablishment of their lives.
Most firms I'm finding out there are opportunists preying on twice over victims. With one shred of hope left in their life, they find themselves getting scammed again. It's at historic proportions now. Consumers have great difficulty differentiating between who they should listen to, and who they shouldn't listen to.
Opportunists typically ride the debt settlement wave, until it runs out. Then they move onto the next boom at hand. Finding quality help is possible if you know what to look for. We'll identify what to look for, and what to avoid, in this hub.
Watch out for new companies. If they're new, stay away. Unless they are a fleet of attorneys who newly formed a company...stay away. Those are the fly by nights. Stay away if they are not attorneys, or if the case is not going to be handled by an attorney. Get proof of who they are first!
Avoid large up front payments. Depending on the case, debt settlement will simply be an affordable payment down, and affordable monthly payments for the total debt settled.
Avoid cold calls who claim to be debt consolidation companies. They skim their fee of the top, and have a history of never paying YOUR DEBT on time. Having an attorney will insure your case is handled properly. Sticking to the payments the attorney sets up, is also going to reestablish your credit rating.
Avoid collections as early as possible. Once your name is in the collection circuit, you're wide open to all sorts of horrors. The consequences of this alone can create a nightmare that could've been avoided. It's absolutely out of control.
Each settlement has to have a viable reason to settle. The creditors must log on their records why they were forced to accept less than the full amount. It has to be substantiated, and real. It's not a free for all, like some people think. I'm actually hearing of settlements that have been turned down by the banks. Leaving the consumers hanging in limbo.
Watch for long term companies that operate with attorneys on staff. Making sure you are legally represented before all these creditors. Once that happens, if they should fail to comply, you have recourse to protect yourself. With a debt settlement company without attorneys, you have no proper representation whatsoever. Not a secure position to be in.
Check companies out on the web, google, the better business bureau, etc. Check the dept. of state where they're located before you make any decisions to hand over your money.
I've been in the credit, debt, legal, finance business for over 25 years now, and I have never seen so much fraud in my life! You can tell an honest person by their years in the legal business, by their explanation to your questions, and if they are forthcoming with answers, as opposed to just taking your money. Beware of a company who's main focus is on taking your money. It shows what their first priority really is.
Consumers should feel relieved after getting into a legitimate debt settlement arrangement with a reputable law firm. It should improve the situation prior to joining a program. If it doesn't, and the debts are not getting paid, that's a clue that you got scammed. Payment to the creditors should happen in the first month of enrolling in a legitimate payment plan.
Attorneys who specialize in this are usually the best ones to hire. They take no BS from anyone, especially the collection industry. Debt Collectors fear them, and rightfully so. They can make minced meat out those bottom feeders. Which is why I'm writing this hub. People need to be educated on the process, and how to protect themselves.
It's to a consumers advantage to settle before getting into the collection industry circuit, if at all possible. Once you're in...It's almost impossible to remove yourself from it. I would know, read my Bill Collector Hub...I'm in the legal business for 30 years, and I too am being harassed for a paid debt from 1999! Right now, as we speak. So far over 17 agencies, and law firms have purchased the paper, and the harassment continues non stop.
My point to stressing this is to try to avoid your name from even getting to the collection circuit...That alone is worth it's weight in gold! Otherwise prepare for the bombardment of phone calls, threatening letters, law suits, and more! The industry of debt has become incredibly low class.
What I would do if I had huge credit card debt. If there are assets, then you can file chapter 11. Or you can enroll in Debt Settlement with a lawyer. Once I did that, I would then get a new phone number, (magicjack, cell#, etc.) This way you at least have a free line to speak on without the constant harassment of collectors. They cannot track magicjack numbers at this time.
I would set the payments to an amount I know I can afford. Sticking to the plan is the objective to get you out of the situation once and for all. I'd rather pay for 3 years, as opposed to 15 years! The damage to the credit has already been sustained, so you may as well take advantage of the lowest settlement possible, that can be negotiated on your behalf. You can out live this damage by paying on time for 12 months. You'll see a increase in your score as time goes on with the plan.
Do not believe culprits who tell you things like, everything will be removed from your credit, or you don't have to pay it back, and we can still remove it. Typically with these scammers, they will remove things from your credit. Only to find them put back on the following month! You just got scammed, you cannot get your money back, and they had an iron clad contract you signed. It said they would remove the items from your report...it didn't say if they would be put back on though.
It took me a full year to find the company I became an official branch with. Heavy scrutiny went into the process, how the cases are handled, and are the consumers really being serviced? Nationwide lawyers handling the cases "hands on", with no others involved. It's the most secure way to protect yourself, and accomplish getting out of debt the right way.
- Nationwide Debt Settlement Law FirmOfficial Branch: Long Island, NY
- Debt Settlement
- Here's a recent case scenario:
- $42,000.00 Tot. Debt @ $1,748.00 original payment$23,445.00
- Settled Total(1st Payment: $885.00)
- with 37 payments of: $610.00Debt Free in 38 months!(As opposed to 12-15 years with minimum payments)
- (all settlements are negotiated to thelowest amount possible: Avg. 40%)All cases handled by Lawyers only
This is the correct way to settle debts, with proper representation, and legal protection. Doing it any other way risks your entire future, credit profile, and opportunities to advance in life...after the collapse of our economy. It's up to the people to make the right moves now.
Proceed with Caution, and you will fair well.