Debt settlement refers to the process of reaching agreement with your creditors to pay a debt, often at less than the current balance, within a negotiated period of time. While we can all agree that reaching a legal debt settlement agreement to pay our obligations at a fraction of the outstanding balance sounds like an attractive option, negotiating a debt settlement agreement with an attorney may not be the right option for everybody.
There are many factors to consider in determining whether hiring an attorney for the purpose of debt settlement is the right option for you. Unfortunately, we see many clients in our office who have spent thousands of dollars with other attorneys (often out of state attorneys found on the internet) on failed efforts to negotiate settlements of their debts because they were not properly advised before embarking on the settlement process. For instance, an individual interested in retaining a debt settlement lawyer must be aware of the following factors.
First, if the debt in question is settled for less than the full balance owed, the client must be aware that there is potential tax liability on the amount of debt that was forgiven as a result of the settlement. It should also be known if the client has filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Second, funds for the settlement are often required in a very short period of time for the debt settlement attorney to reach the settlement that maximizes the client’s savings. To illustrate, ABC Bank may be willing to settle the $10,000.00 credit card balance for $5,000.00 (not uncommon), but in most cases ABC Bank will require those funds be received within 7-10 days of the settlement being reached. In short, to maximize the savings achieved via debt settlement the client, in most cases, will need cash on hand for the settlement.
Finally, as with any negotiation process, a debt settlement attorney cannot guarantee the results of settlement before embarking on the process. Each client comes to the debt settlement attorney with a different set of circumstances. In addition, each lender is unique in their approach to settlement. Read more about settlement from the Federal Trade Commission.
If you find you do need an attorney’s assistance in your debt settlement case, our experienced debt settlement attorneys are here to help you in the process.