Debt Settlement and Debt Negotiations - Is it for you?
 
Editor's ChoiceFree Credit ScoreBlogForum
 

Debt Settlement and Debt Negotiations - Is it for you?

Debt Settlement : Is this for you?



If you presently find yourself with a huge debt burden, you do realize that you somehow have to resolve this situation. There are a few options that you have. Some are straightforward enough, but some require some explaining. So here are your options you can take.

1. Get a job that triples your present pay or win the lottery - It may be unrealistic for most, but for some lucky few, this could be just the ticket to pay off your debt without resorting to the other options below.

2. Bankruptcy - For some, this may be the smartest option. But for many, the stigma and the fact that this stays on your credit report for 10 years matters. Furthermore, bankruptcy is in the public records and requires you to appear in Federal Court. If you file for a chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may still have to pay your creditors a portion of what you owe them even after you have emerged from BK! Bankruptcy is most appropriate if you cannot even make payments either because of loss of job, medical condition (disclaimer: this is not legal and you are adviced to seek legal opinion).

3. Obtain a debt consolidation loan - This normally takes the form of a home equity line of credit (so essentially you need to have a home). With the latest financial crisis and loan losses suffered by banks, this is becoming a more difficult option than it was a couple of years ago. Furthermore, if you do a debt consolidation loan secured by your home, it puts you in an even more precarious situation because if you ever miss your payments again, there goes your home! This method will be suitable for some with sufficient equity in their homes, has a stable job and essentially can afford their interest payments but want to lower them.

4. Consumer Credit Counseling Services - This is usually a "non-profit" organization that is funded by contributors from various creditors (whose side are they on?). This is how it works. The consumer credit counseling service will usually get you a lower rate from your creditors. You will have to pay them a monthly payment, which they will disburse to your creditors. Your monthly payment will include a fee to them (for negotiating a lower rate for you).

The advantage of going this route is that your monthly payments will be lower. This disadvantage is that your debt burden is not reduced. This will only work if the new monthly payments are lower than your existing payment (including the fee). If all you have is credit card debt, you should first actually try to call the credit card companies yourself to try to get a lower rate.

5. Debt Settlement for less than the full balance - If done correctly and under the right circumstances, the majority of creditors will settle for less than the full balance. Debt negotiation will work for those who are in a situation of heavy debt burden, but will actually do just fine if that burden is reduced.

Since debt negotiation is my specialty, let's go over this in more details.
Debt negotiation is not for everyone. It is most suitable for those people whom just a reduction in their debt load would put them back on a stable financial footing. If you are too deeply in debt, have lost your job and have no savings, bankruptcy may be the only option for you.
Debt negotiation is only available for unsecured debt. That means things like credit card debt, medical bills, department store credit cards. There is really not much you can do with debt that is secured like your mortgage (backed by your home), student loans (which you cannot get rid of even in a bankruptcy), alimony and child support (mandated by the courts), although these days, you may just try to negotiate your mortgage with your bank. Depending on the creditors, it is possible to settle as low as $0.35 on the dollar though some will accept about $0.60.
Off course you can. But before you do so, there are some vital things you have to know before you go DIY.

  • You need to be a good negotiator and have the right mindset - Your creditors just aren't going to say YES, give you your wishes and write down thousands of dollars of debt without a fight. As with most negotiation process, this can be a drawn out process and you have have perseverance and patience. Only you yourself will know if you are the "negotiating type".
  • Beware that creditors often threaten litigation - Many times, they are bluffing. But sometimes they are not. When should you call their bluff? Or how do you even know they are bluffing? Truth is that most folks will not know unless you have been in the business and know how they respond to debt settlement negotiations
  • You need to know what is a good settlement? - Is $0.50 a good deal or not? Truth is it all depends on the creditors. Some creditors are easier to work and then to settle for a bigger haircut. Others may never settle for less than $0.60 on the dollar. The trick is to know the the patterns of the different creditors so you'll know when to hold out and when to accept an offer
  • You have to negotiate differently with different creditors - just like different creditors will settle for different amounts, dealing with different creditors requires different negotiating tactics. Different creditors simply have different guidelines as to on how to deal with this matter. What works for one may end up triggering a lawsuit for another.
  • Very often, debt settlement is about who you know and who you spoke to rather than what you know - Getting to the right person can make all the difference in the world between getting a settlement or not.
  • You need to know if you should negotiate with the creditors or let your account go to a collection agency and negotiate with them instead - this can be tricky. The answer is that it usually depends. Sometimes, it is better to negotiate with a creditor and at other times, it is better to negotiate with the collection agency.
  • What do you do if your accounts is referred to a law firm? - Does it mean that you will definitely be sued. Not necessarily. We have negotiated settlements with law firms over the years. There is a different approach to settling with them than with a typical creditor.
  • Can liens and judgments be settled? - Yes they can, BUT there is a proper way to do it and you have to ensure that the proper paperwork gets filed at the courthouse when all is said and done.
  • Understand that there are various methods to settle your debt - You could get the principle reduced and pay it off over 2 to 4 years or negotiate a lump sum. Depending on which method you choose (or can afford), you could potentially protect your credit score.

    What are the different ways to settle your debt?

    There are two ways to do this. You could settle your debt for a lower principle and pay it off over 2 to 4 years. Alternatively, you could settle your debt and pay it off immediately once you agree to the settled amount. This process usually takes a few months. If you can afford a lump sum settlement, we can negotiate terms for you so that your credit will not be affected.

    What are the drawbacks of Debt Negotiation?

    Debt Negotiation is NOT for everyone. Rather than painting a beautiful picture, I'd rather give you both the good and the bad and explain some of the issues you may face if you decide to go this route.
     
  • No debt negotiation company can guarantee that they can stop all collection calls - The good ones will be able to dramatically reduce the number of collection calls (sometimes even all). But you may still get calls from collection agencies.
  • No credible debt negotiation company can guarantee any specific amount - Just like no investment advisor can guarantee a consistently high returns every year. But what they can guarantee is a sound investment philosophy. Similarly, a credible debt settlement company use use sound practices and protocols that will over time produce consistent results. But this cannot be guaranteed for every client.
  • Your credit score will take a hit - Under most circumstances, your credit score will take a hit UNLESS WE NEGOTIATE A LUMP SUM SETTLEMENT ON YOUR BEHALF. But you already understand this, you cannot not to pay your bills, get them reduced and not have your scores affected.

    Why People Use Debt Negotiation Associates?


    So let's get to the chase. Why do people use us instead of doing it themselves or using other firms? Well, for several good reasons.
     
  • You do not have the time to see through this process. Look, as much as I like it to be like time, debt settlement takes more than a 10 minute phone call with your creditors. And they are not going to just rollover with you and agree to your proposal. This process requires planned phone calls, letters and constant negotiations which will take months.
  • You just do not know how to go about doing this - each creditor has their own policies and procedures and you have to deal with different institutions differently. You will probably do this only once in your lifetime (hopefully) while I have done it for years. I know the different creditors and how to negotiate with them.
  • By utilizing us, you get away from the emotional baggage that comes when you are constantly battling with your creditors and collection agencies. In certain cases, your agreement with your creditors will specifically state that you cannot negotiate with them. In that case, you simply have to use a third party. More to the point, if you are not in a perfect state of mind, you cannot negotiate. That is why people who make a lot of money always use a recruiter or their agent to negotiate for them because emotions get in the way of making the best decisions
  • If you can afford to settle for a lump sum payment, we have learned how to do this while protecting your credit - Yes, in fact, I think that we are the only firm that does this and we have learnt to negotiate lump sum settlements in return for creditors protecting your credit.

  • I hope you have found this information helpful for yourself. I have given you an outline of the various choices you have if you are deep in debt (especially unsecured debt). You have various choices as we have outlined above. Debt negotiation is not for everyone. For whatever the solution is for you, you have to take action. If you do nothing, your circumstances will not change. If you do something about your situation, then you could potentially

  • sleep better
  • know that you will not be in financial ruins
  • get that debt burden off your shoulder
  • heal any rifts in your relationship with your loved ones because of the stress you are going through


  • Remember, only you can decide your future. I hope you have found this information useful. If you decide to engage in my services, all you have to do is just to fill out the form below. There are a couple of requirements for us to work with you. Firstly, your unsecured debt must be at least $15,000. After going through your situation, you must be in a position to service the new reduced debt. If we feel you should consider bankruptcy, we will advice you to consult a bankruptcy attorney.

    Either myself or one of my associates will call you and talk to you about your problems and hopefully, help you out.