How to Handle Your Debt Settlement Case
If you are struggling to make ends meet and pay all your bills, you may be wondering if hiring an attorney or a debt settlement company to negotiate with your creditors would be a good idea. As a general rule, an attorney experienced in debt settlement negotiations will always be your best option rather than a debt settlement company. However, you need to make sure that you are hiring a legitimate legal firm rather than a debt settlement company that is representing itself as a law firm.
What Debt Settlement Companies Claim
Debt settlement companies will claim that they can talk to your creditors and settle your unsecured debt for less than what you owe. They will also often tell you that if you are current on your payments that the creditors will not work with you unless you quit making payments. Instead of making payments to your creditors, they have you make the payments to them. These payments cover the fee for their work and your savings, which will be set aside for the debts once they are settled.
What the debt settlement companies will not tell you is that once you stop making payments, the amount you owe will increase due to interest charges and various other fees. Your creditors may also be more inclined to file a lawsuit against you after you stop making payments. Learn more about debt collection laws here.
Why Hiring an Attorney is a Good Idea
If you are in need of help settling your debts or are unsure if negotiating a settlement is a good idea, an experienced attorney can analyze your situation and give you practical legal advice. They can also represent you if a creditor files a lawsuit against you.
An attorney will also go over all your possible legal options. They can help you determine if settling your debts is the best option or if you should attempt something else, such as bankruptcy. A debt settlement company will only try to convince you to settle your debts. In addition to representing you if a creditor files a lawsuit against you to collect a debt, an attorney will also be able to protect you if laws are violated by a creditor, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. An attorney can tell you how to proceed and give you specific advice for your particular situation.
Beware of Bad Debt Settlement Attorneys
Attorneys are supposed to uphold certain ethical standards and are required to be licensed. Unfortunately, not all of them follow the rules. Some debt settlement companies hire attorneys to act as fronts for the company to provide the appearance that they are legitimate. However, the attorneys they employee will likely have little to nothing to do with you, the creditors, or the process of debt settlement.
It is typically best to hire a local lawyer with whom you can meet face-to-face rather than hiring one over the phone or internet. You should be able to schedule a consultation to sit down and speak directly with your attorney. Ask if they will be dealing directly with your creditors.
Contact a Debt Settlement Attorney Today
The attorneys at the Cornwell Law Firm have years of experience negotiating debt settlements for their clients and they can help you, too. They will also be able to advise you on what your best options are if you are facing a financial crisis. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.