Though bankruptcy can help you stop collection actions and discharge unsecured debts, it is not the right choice for everyone. In some cases, negotiating your debt can make more sense than filing for bankruptcy.
Our Gilbert, AZ debt negotiation lawyer at D.M. Bankruptcy Law Group, LLC will always help you explore the full extent of your debt relief options. We can evaluate your current circumstances and determine what strategy will be most effective in helping you overcome financial difficulties. If you are overwhelmed by credit card debt or hospital bills, our experienced team may be able to help.
Every situation is different and requires a tailored approach. Debt negotiation – also called debt settlement – can serve as a viable alternative to bankruptcy under certain conditions.
It is important to understand that you will not be able to pursue debt negotiation if a creditor believes you have the means to repay. Debt negotiation generally only becomes an option once you have fallen seriously behind on scheduled payments and it becomes clear you do not have the financial resources to catch up.
Only certain types of debt can be negotiated. Any debt secured by property – such as a mortgage or car loan – cannot be settled. Most creditors will also refuse to negotiate federal student debt loans, but there are other relief options that can help you manage those types of obligations. Only unsecured debts can generally be negotiated, so unpaid medical bills and credit card debt are good candidates.
The ideal debt negotiation client has only one or two major sources of debt that are eligible for renegotiation. The debtor should also have a lump monetary sum to negotiate with. For example, a debtor might have exorbitant credit card debt that they have fallen behind on paying. Their current financial circumstances prevent them from catching up, but they recently received a generous tax refund that gives them some leverage to negotiate with their creditor.
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A successful debt negotiation typically involves paying creditors a lump sum to settle the debt. A creditor may recognize that you do not have the means to pay the debt in full, and they may be willing to “settle” the outstanding amount for less than what they are actually owed – so long as they receive a substantial amount in a lump sum payment. In their eyes, receiving something is better than receiving nothing.
Creditors in these situations are generally not interested in negotiating a new repayment plan with smaller payment installments. Creditors and collection agencies will often become frustrated if you attempt this approach, so it is important to have a lump sum available before initiating negotiations.
Debt settlement companies will sometimes make grand promises but fail to emphasize key factors that can impact a debt negotiation and your finances. For example, if the company groups all of your outstanding obligations in a bundle and begins negotiations, they may not sufficiently stress that any individual creditor can still sue you during the process. Ultimately, you need every single one of your creditors to accept a debt settlement. The creditor that refuses to accept is the one that matters. You must also understand that any debt that is negotiated down is considered taxable income.
Our Gilbert, AZ debt negotiation attorney will never try to “sell” you bankruptcy. Our team at D.M. Bankruptcy Law Group, LLC has successfully handled over 1,500 cases and is prepared to help you implement affordable debt relief strategies. If we believe debt negotiation is the best path forward in your case, we will communicate with your creditors and work to secure the best possible outcome.