Overview on Debt Settlement

Posted By Oakland Bankruptcy Lawyer || 14-Dec-2013

There is no question that the emotional and psychological effects of debt can be devastating and impact numerous aspects of a debtor's life. Debt can affect your ability to have a nice dinner with friends to your ability to go on a much needed vacation or pay for everyday living expenses. Having too much debt can take the joy out of living.

Given the economic downturn that has impacted millions of Americans and homeowners, especially in the sunshine states such as California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, it's not surprising that so many debtors are considering their bankruptcy options or their alternatives to bankruptcy. One such alternative to the traditional bankruptcy is called "debt settlement."

One of the greatest things about the financial industry is that virtually everything is negotiable. Even if you think an interest rate or a price is set in stone, sometimes getting a discount or a reduction in fees comes down to knowing when and who to ask for it.

Debt settlement is the process of offering a large, one-time payment towards an existing debt in exchange for the forgiveness of the remaining balance. For example, if you owe $30,000 on a hospital bill and we approach the hospital and offer a one-time payment of $20,000. In return for this one-time payment, the hospital agrees to forgive the remaining $10,000.

Why would a hospital be willing to accept a $10,000 loss? Hospitals frequently provide medical services that they are never paid for, especially when the patients are uninsured or cannot afford to pay their bill. The hospital is trying to protect their bottom line, which is a key fact to remember during negotiations. Since creditors such as hospitals or credit card companies represent unsecured loans, there is no "collateral" for them to seize in order to help repay an unpaid balance.

Getting a creditor to accept a settlement on a balance may seem too good to be true, but it's possible. Lenders don't generally like to advertise settlement, but if you're quickly falling behind on your payments and heading towards bankruptcy, your lender may be willing to take whatever they can get, giving you one last opportunity to get back on your feet.

If you are considering debt settlement as an alternative to bankruptcy, it's important to discuss this option with a qualified professional from The Bankruptcy Law Firm. Not only are there specific procedures that encourage a successful debt settlement, if handled improperly, the creditor may accept a payment yet continue to collect on the remaining debt, which would defeat the purpose of debt settlement.

Contact us today to discuss debt settlement as well as all other viable debt relief options that can put you on the track to a financial fresh start!

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