Negotiating Debts Instead of Bankruptcy. Settling With Creditors.

I get calls from people who can not or do not want to declare bankruptcy. They want to negotiate a payoff of their debts.

The way to get rid of the debt is to contact the attorney for the creditor and negotiate a payoff.  “Pleading poverty”, convincing the bill collectors that getting something is better than nothing is the best they can hope for.  How can you do that?  By calling and explaining that you have little in the way of assets.  Also that your current and future income prospects are low. You may need to show the creditor bank statements and pay records.

Once you successfully do that you’ll probably be given 2 alternatives:  
1) Pay a lump sum at a discount (eg 50%) or
2) Agreeing to pay the full amounts in payments

I don’t believe there’s any advantage in having an attorney communicate on your behalf.  There’s really no legal expertise involved.  In fact, having an attorney working for you may make it appear that you have more money than you do. Plus it’s rarely worth spending money on attorney’s fees for this.

If you agree to pay in full, you want to receive a release of all liability. If a lawsuit has been filed you also want to get a dismissal of the entire action with prejudice.

If you agree to monthly payments the creditor may require that you stipulate to a judgment. You want to get the creditor to agree not to enter the judgment against you so long as you do not default.

You might want to have an attorney review the settlement documents.

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