If you are considering negotiating a debt settlement plan with your creditors or you are hoping to avoid filing bankruptcy by settling your debt, it is essential to confer with an experienced debt relief attorney. Each creditor handles their debt settlement procedures differently, so working with a knowledgeable lawyer can help ensure a positive outcome.
It is important to also understand that a creditor is typically not required to negotiate a debt settlement plan with you. In fact, there are several factors that most creditors take into consideration when deciding whether to settle with you, including:
- Your total amount of debt owed
- The type of debt (secured by collateral or unsecured)
- Whether you are negotiating with the original creditor or a debt collector
- How much interest has accrued on the debt
- The amount of your total income
- Whether you have previously filed a personal bankruptcy and how long ago the filing occurred
- Whether you have any pending foreclosures or asset seizures
A significant advantage of working with a lawyer who handles Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings to handle your debt settlement negotiations is that your creditors will understand that bankruptcy is an option for you. This is important because many creditors will be paid nothing if you file for bankruptcy, so it motivates them to settle for a lower amount in order to avoid not getting paid at all.
An attorney can also ensure that the creditor is not tacking on unwarranted interest or fees to the amount you owe. Additionally, having a lawyer draft (or at least review) your settlement agreement is important to ensure that your best interests are protected. Finally, if negotiations do not work out with your creditors, your debt relief attorney can help you understand whether filing for bankruptcy is a beneficial option for you.