Over the course of any given month, we will inevitability get a phone call from a prospective client, who after going over debt relief program with them, with state something like; “Can you get out of debt yourself?” “I just cannot see any reason why I just cannot do this on my own. I mean how hard can it actually be to negotiate and settle my credit card debt directly with the credit card companies myself?”
The truth of the matter is, you can negotiate and settle your debt on your own. Just like fixing a broken leak in your faucet or changing the spark plugs in your automobile. Sure you attempt debt settlements on your own, the problem is there is a lot more to just figuring out how the debt settlement process works and ensuring you do not make the mistakes that most people do along the way.
This brings up another point. If you have never done anything like this before on your own, how do you know you are doing it right in the first place. In addition, for the nominal fee it costs you to have a professional settle your debt for you, why would you want to spend the time and energy doing this on your own, with the chance of making common errors that could come back to bite you in the end.
If you talked to one of our top professional advisers and feel you understand the debt settlement process to do this on your own, our hats are off to you. Suffice it to say that those that do try it, over 90% will come back to us within six months and tell us something like; “I can’t take it anymore. I cannot get the creditors to stop calling me.” Or, “These creditors will not give me the deals that you guys are able to get!” which is all true. The industry is fraught with “little things” that most people are unaware of and could eventually get you in trouble because perhaps you neglected to get a settlement letter from the creditor when a settlement is made. This is a major stumbling block for those do-it-yourselfers.
That said, if you have the:
• Patience to stick with it over an average of three years.
• You do not mind dealing with harassing telephone creditor phone calls all day and night long.
• You are willing to accept settlements for less than what our team of professional can get you. Then by all means why not.
It is always best to avoid having your debts get to this point, in the first place. We know this, however most of the time our clients fell into what we call the “debt trap” through no fault of their own. This could have been because of a sickness in the family, a recent death, a divorce, a job loss, a wage reduction, the taking in of an elderly parent etc. The list is ongoing. However, once you find yourself in over your head with debt, you should know you do have options.
Debt negotiations can be a very long and tedious process. That is why we recommend a team of professionals to help you, again for a very nominal fee, given all that could go wring would you try to do this on your own. In addition, it is time that could be better spent elsewhere than having to worry about debt settlement itself.
Second, debt collectors can be outright, threatening, harassing and down right mean. Please know that we have heard it all! If the debt collection agency is also a law firm, you could see threats judgments or garnishment of wages against you in no time. Then what do you do? You do not have legal representation by doing this on your own. Now, how much is that going to cost you?
Another suggestion: stay away from companies that state that they have the “secret that the credit cards do not want you to know.” There are no such secrets that are being withheld from anyone. Debt negotiation is debt negotiation. It is professional negotiators, who have years of experience (and have developed relationships with the creditors) who will argue back and forth on your behalf between two parties to come up with the best, most agreeable settlement between you and your creditors.
Third, you should never pay a creditor on any settlement unless/until you have the settlement letter in hand. Sure a collector can tell you that his company will accept X amount of dollars for a settlement. However after you pay it off, assuming you have the money to do so, unless you have something in writing from the other company, it will go back to your word against their word. Get the settlement letter in writing first.
Fourth, most of these companies that will accept a debt settlement will want a lump sum payment in full up front. That is why debt relief companies set up a bank or dedicated account for you to pay off settlements in lump sums. However, some collection agencies will take monthly payments. If you do not have a lump sum to pay off the negotiated amount, how will you attain the settlement?
Finally, never lose hope. Although these people can be down right mean to you, you have to remember that it is unsecured debt that you are dealing with. Unlike secured debt like your home or car, unsecured debt is different, hence negotiable.