So what is the debt settlement option? Debt settlement is a method by which a third party negotiations on behalf of the consumer with their lenders to reduce their outstanding balances. Typically, this program works only for unsecured credit cards but may include any other types of unsecured debt like medical bills.
Today’s consumer is asking themselves, “How am I going to get out of debt?” The answer to that question is to consider a debt settlement program as a method to resolve their current financial situation. Consumers have not faced this type of financial climate since the Great Depression and in that situation; they were not overburden by unsecured credit card debt. Consumers are riding a roller coaster of emotions because of their financial situation. This along with the fact they are facing financial hardships because of a lost of job, reduced salary, divorce, death or medical emergency.
The consumer needs to select an experienced debt settlement company. This company should be able to provide answers to all the consumer’s questions in a way that the consumer clearly understands how the program works. The consumer should ask for the following:
- Upfront copy of all documents along with fee and cost schedules
- A company profile
- List of accreditations or afflictions, i.e., Better Business Bureau and associations
With any program, there are pros and cons when considering a course of action. It is the consumers responsible to ask questions and do their research on the debt settlement company they select.
The con’s are:
· Tax ramifications – consumer will need to report any amount of forgiven debt that exceeds $600. This means an increase to your tax bill.
· Credit score will drop
Some of the pro’s are:
- One single monthly payment
- Avoiding bankruptcy as an option. Always consult with an attorney about this step.
- Stopping collection calls
- Possible elimination of lawsuits and other legal action
- Stop any extra charges to the credit card
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