Debt Settlement

You have probably heard the term debt settlement but have questions as to what exactly debt settlement is, the process it entails, the risks and rewards, and whether it is right for you.

What Is Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement, also known as debt negotiation or debt reduction, can be an effective way to settle your debt issues. In a debt settlement program, our attorneys at Cantwell & Goldman are skilled at negotiating with a creditor in order to settle your debt for less than you owe.

Is Debt Settlement For Me?

Debt settlement is an option for those who are feeling overwhelmed and burdened with credit card payments that find themselves either completely falling behind on their payments, or are just barely able to make the minimum payments.

Due to the state our economy, people will face a financial crisis at some point in their lives. Whether the crisis is caused by personal illness, the loss of a job, the inability to find a job to pay for your student loans, overspending, or family issues it can seem crushing; but you can overcome it! Before your financial situation goes from bad to worse contact a professional.

Your Options

The Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, is the nation's consumer protection agency. It recommends various options in order to deal with your credit problems, so you can get out of the red quickly without spending a lot of green. The following are just some of the options you may want to consider:

  1. Realistic budgeting techniques- a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend.
  2. Debt relief services- credit counseling or debt settlement- work out a repayment plan with your creditors or settle your debt for a specific sum.
  3. Debt consolidation- you may be able to lower your cost of credit by consolidating your debt through a second mortgage.
  4. Bankruptcy- Personal bankruptcy also may be an option, although its consequences are long lasting and far-reaching.

Choosing the right option is very important and depends entirely on your level of debt and prospects for the future. Let our attorneys help you decide the best option.

Debt Settlement Process

  1. People who decide to pursue the debt settlement option are those who simply are unable to pay off all their debts. A successful debt settlement will allow you to walk away without having to pay everything, which can potentially save you a considerable amount of money.
  2. A creditor will take as much as it can from the settlement and will wipe your overdue amount so that you will owe them nothing more.
  3. If the creditor agrees to the partial payment of a loan or credit card debt, it will collect on the debt that might have been otherwise uncollectable. The creditor will normally require you to pay a lump sum amount in order to settle the debt.
  4. The settlement renders the debt paid in full.

It is highly advantageous to settle debts before a creditor files suit against you. Once a creditor files suit, costs immediately climb thereby increasing your debt. increasing your debt. A skilled attorney will be able to explain the process to you as well as assist you in negotiating your debt.

Debts that are eligible for Settlement

  1. Credit Card
  2. Personal loans
  3. Medical
  4. Utility bills
  5. Apartment leases
  6. Private Student loans
  7. Auto repossession balances
  8. Mortgage short pay balances
  9. Cell phone bills

Debt Scams

Due to the increase in debt settlement scams, the Federal Trade Commission has published numerous articles advising consumer of these scams. The Federal Trade Commission has found that many companies offer debt settlement programs and engage in deception and fail to deliver on the promises they make. Some companies, for example, promise or "guarantee" to settle all your credit card debts for 40 to 50 percent of the money you owe; there are no guarantees. Other companies try to collect their own fees from you before they have settled any of your debts. Note this is a practice prohibited under the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) for companies engaged in telemarketing services.

Avoid doing business with any company or service that promises to settle your debt if the company or service:

  1. Charges any fees before it settles your debts.
  2. Proposes a "new government program" to bail out personal credit card debt.
  3. Guarantees it can make your unsecured disappear.
  4. Does not explain the risks of debt settlement.
  5. Guarantees that your unsecured debts can be paid off for pennies on the dollar.

Call us if you have any questions regarding debt scams so that our skilled attorneys can steer you in the right direction so that you do not become a victim of these scams.

Risks and Rewards of Debt Settlement

Rewards

  • Eliminate the debt- Probably the biggest benefit to this process is that you will be able to eliminate your debt for much less than you owe.
  • Save time- When you settle your debt, you will be finished with it immediately, which allows you to move on with your life and begin investing your money again.
  • Save money- It is not uncommon to be able to settle your debt for less than half of what it originally was.

At Cantwell & Goldman our experienced attorneys can save you time and money by negotiating your debt for you.

Risks

  • Tax liability- This is probably the biggest downside to debt settlement. Settling your debt does create tax issues. When you cancel a debt the IRS looks at it as income and you will have to report it on your income taxes at the end of the year.
  • Credit damage- By going through the debt settlement process, you will likely damage your credit.

Our attorneys will be able to assist you in minimizing your tax liability and credit damage.

Let Our Firm Help You

The Attorneys at Cantwell & Goldman, P.A. are here to help. Our attorneys will guide you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and will try to lessen your burden by helping you get out of debt. If you wish to schedule a consultation to discuss settling your debts, or if you need assistance with creditors, please contact our experienced attorney.