Many California consumers considering bankruptcy are also considering debt settlement as an alternative.Bankruptcy is not always the best option for clients. Few clients want to file bankruptcy and debt settlement may be a better option for some.
Is Debt Settlement Right for You?
Debt settlement is a great option for those that can not file Chapter 7 and have no home in foreclosure process or those that can not file bankruptcy due to licensing issues. An ideal candidate usually has a lot of credit card or unsecured debt and the means to settle out over time with the debt collectors or creditors. We speak the debt collectors and creditors for the consumer. In fact, debt collectors can not even talk to our clients once they know we are involved. Our job is to find any exceptions, offsets, or possible violations that allow us to approach a creditor and seek a smaller settlement. Some creditors and debt collectors even will delete a debt when they see we represent a client.
While most clients do not have all the money to settle up front they a modest monthly budget that can be dedicated to settling their old debt. Our law firm can assist clients with most budget restrictions. Once a client agrees to settle with a creditor we obtain the agreement in writing. Our goal is to negotiate the amount due, payment terms, full release of the unpaid amounts, and how it will appear on the client’s credit report. Sometimes when doing a debt settlement the creditor will say that a 1099-C must be issued. You may want to contact a CPA or qualified tax preparer as to possible tax implications.
Advantages of working with Helstowski and Helstowski Law Firm to help settle debt:
- Licensed and practicing attorneys in California
- Debt collectors and creditors can no longer contact consumers after we are retained
- Attorneys can guide you through the debt settlement process
- Dedicated staff that primarily works with creditors and debtors to come to a amicable resolution
- Proprietary computer system that keeps clients informed and helps speed the debt settlement process
- Experience – Some of our staff and attorneys have been dealing with debt collectors and creditors since 2003
- End the Debt Cycle – Since we deal directly with the owner of the debt we will have a finalized resolution on their letterhead or an agreement in writing so a client is confident that the debt is finished and will not reappear again
- We quote a price up front and allow a monthly payment plan on our fees until paid
- Attempt to remove from the credit report through negotiation
How is Debt Settlement Different than a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
- With debt settlement there is no bankruptcy notation appearing on the credit report for 7 years.
- With debt settlement there are no restrictions from lenders. For instance, some mortgage lenders will not give a mortgage until a consumer has been out of a bankruptcy for at least 2-3 years. Some auto lenders will not lend to someone until 12 months has passed from the discharge date.
- With debt settlement you do not have to pay trustees fees. When you file bankruptcy, part of your monthly payment plan is used to pay for the fees for trustee. Most bankruptcy filers are surprised at the large fee the trustee takes. More of your money can go to settle with your creditors without filing bankruptcy.
- Often a skilled debt settlement attorney can negotiate similar or better terms than the bankruptcy trustee can with the creditors.
- Through debt settlement, you can negotiate just about anything including how it appears