Even if you are watchful of your budget, things do happen. Particularly tragic to a household budget is a large, sudden debt, or the loss of income which may hinder your ability to repay.
Debt negotiators may be able to help you come to equitable settlements for your debts.
Professional debt negotiators can work with your creditors to explain the situation and to negotiate on your behalf. Even if your creditors refuse to offer a repayment plan that suits you, don't jump to the 'bankruptcy' mind set. Recent federal laws now require credit counseling before proceeding into bankruptcy. But there are also federal laws to help protect you from unscrupulous collection agencies.
The primary reason creditors may accept a settlement is because it is cost effective for the creditor. The degree of the discount (how much they will forgive) will vary case-by-case; therefore, a creditor will take into account many factors when determining their bottom line on accepting a settlement.
They calculate the probability of recouping the debt; either by a collection agency or via legal action, versus the amount of a settlement offer.
Before they agree to any settlement, they will often consider your income, state of residence, age of the debt, type of debt, and your assets.
Professional negotiators will appeal to your creditors that it is in their best interest to settle the debt.
Major difference between Debt Management and Debt Settlement
In a debt consolidation program, also known as a Debt Management Plan (DMP), the debtor pays back 100% of their debt plus interest. Interest is commonly reduced to the 8% to 10% range. Additionally, most Debt Management Companies have a monthly service fee tacked on to the monthly payment. Most people pay back about 130% of their debt over 5 to 6 year period. Debt Management has a moderate affect on a good credit file and will improve most poor credit files. But, a Certified Debt Arbitrator is qualified to explain both programs to you and will be able to provide you the differences in monthly payments as well as the pros and cons of each program.
In a Debt Settlement program, most clients pay back an average of 54% of their total debt, including all agency fees as well as accruing fees and interest. This 54% figure is based on the client's starting balances.
Debt Settlement has a major impact on good credit but will improve credit for people that are 6 months or more past due. This improvement in credit profile is caused by bringing outstanding balances down to a ZERO balance.
Is debt settlement right for you?
Some consumers get so deep into debt, that bankruptcy seems their only way out before debt takes over their lives. Unlike bankruptcy, debt settlement is a far simpler process in comparison, and has less of a 'stigma' attached to it.
Toni Phelps is a financial contributor for http://www.CreditFederal.com which offers consumers credit knowledge as well as financial products.