If you own a large sum of unsecured debt then a debt settlement attorney can help to reduce the amount that you owe by negotiating with your creditors. Unsecured debt generally is a debt that did not require specific collateral, including credit cards, medical bills, or student loans. Many consumers are unable to make minimum payments on their debt and fall behind. When this happens, the creditor will often begin legal proceedings to recover the outstanding balance. A good lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf with the creditors in order to get you the best possible deal and minimize the time it takes for you to pay off your debts.
Before you begin looking for a debt settlement attorney, it is essential to know what options you may have. If you have tried unsuccessfully to work out a payment plan with your creditors, you may want to consider filing bankruptcy. This may seem like a quick and easy solution, but in fact, it could take years for you to successfully repay all of your outstanding debt. It is also important to know that filing bankruptcy will impact your credit report for at least 10 years.
The first thing to do when you need a debt settlement attorney is to stop making monthly payments on your credit cards. These debts are what the creditors are interested in. If you are able to make payments but your balance is still too high, then your creditors may be more willing to work out a payment plan. If you continue to make regular payments but the balances increase, you may find that the interest rates on your credit cards increase and the payments become larger. Instead of continuing to carry credit cards, you may want to consider obtaining one of many debt relief options available.
When you first meet with a debt settlement attorney you should be prepared to discuss the various options available. Depending on how large your debts are, and if there is any collateral or equity that you have in your home, this may be the initial consultation. You should also expect to be asked questions about your current financial situation, how much money you have available to pay off your debt, your level of discipline, your desire to resolve your debt issues, and your goals for filing bankruptcy.
Your debt settlement attorney will ask some questions of you during the initial consultation. They will want to know how much money you make each month and any other debt you currently have. They may also request copies of credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies to see if there are any mistakes on your reports. In addition, they will want to know your total income, if you are currently employed, and any other information they can gather. It is important to remember at this time that they are not looking to negotiate a lower settlement amount; they are merely looking to get you to a point where you can make one monthly payment.
Your debt settlement attorney will present your case to the company you owe money to. They will review all documentation and paperwork they have, as well as their own research. The goal is to come up with a payment plan that allows you to pay your creditors according to your income. If you are able to agree upon a lump sum payment or another suitable payment plan, it will be considered a settlement in accordance with the current guidelines of the federal debt settlement laws. If negotiations fail, the company you owe money to will pursue collection on the balance owed.
As mentioned above, when working with a debt settlement attorney, you must remember that they are not “judgers of character”. They will never ask you to drop something as important as your right to pay your creditors. Your attorney will also fight tooth and nail to get your creditors to agree to a plan that will keep you out of debt. Most often, your creditors will reach an agreement without you having to fight them at all.
If you are one of the many Americans dealing with rising medical bills, lost wages, and over-stretched finances, don’t give up on your goal of settling your credit card and other bills. Contact a debt settlement attorney today – they can help. They are trained professionals who know how to talk to creditors and reduce settlements and balances, so that you can get back on your feet and start living comfortably. They can also negotiate with your creditors to eliminate late fees, over-limit charges, and any other unexpected fees that have piled up and are making it difficult to make your monthly payments.