When to Hire a Debt Settlement Attorney
You’re frustrated. Weeks and months of timely credit card payments are barely covering your monthly interest payments. You’re treading water and losing hope. At this rate you may never claw your way out of debt.
Is it time to call a debt settlement attorney?
That’s a Qualified Yes!
If you’ve reached this point financially, you’ll likely want to negotiate some type of debt settlement. Whether that means hiring an attorney, a debt settlement company, or negotiating with your creditors yourself depends on the amount of legal risk to which you’re exposed.
For example, if your debt is manageable, say, under $10,000, you might try negotiating a settlement directly. Your chances of succeeding are good – you wouldn’t be asking creditors to sacrifice much, so it should be a simple matter to devise a repayment plan satisfactory to both parties, and to avert a lawsuit.
But what about when it’s no longer a simple matter? The following are four times when you might want the aid of a legal expert:
1. When Your Debt Is Sizable
If you’re struggling under sizable debt – perhaps $20,000 or more – failure to negotiate a satisfactory settlement increases your risk of default, which in turn increases your risk of being sued by a creditor or collection agency. At this point you may wish to hire a debt settlement attorney. He or she can prove valuable as both a settlement negotiator and in minimizing your legal risks.
2. When You’re Being Sued
A good debt settlement lawyer will inform you of your rights and responsibilities with respect to your debt, negotiate with a creditor to settle your debt, and, in the event you wind up in court, bring forth your defenses before a judge.
Studies show that those with legal representation are more likely to achieve a favorable outcome in a debt-collection suit.
3. When Your Wages Stand to Be Garnished
If your debt goes unpaid for too long, creditors can come after your earnings. In addition, if you’re in arrears with the IRS, or delinquent on a loan, your troubles will compound even faster since either the government or your bank could seize your wages.
Under such a threat, a good bankruptcy attorney will prove invaluable as measured against the trouble he or she helps you avert.
4. When You’re Considering Bankruptcy
If you’re not sure whether to settle your overdue account or file for bankruptcy, it’s time to consult a professional.
If you’ve amassed enough credit card debt, bankruptcy can provide at least one advantage over negotiating down your debt. Unlike debt forgiven by a creditor, you don’t have to pay taxes on credit card debt eliminated in bankruptcy.
At the same time, fees charged by a good bankruptcy attorney will prove well worth the cost compared to the years of trouble a forced bankruptcy will bring you.
Using an attorney experienced in debt settlement will help minimize your legal risks by outlining for you whether you’d benefit best from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or debt negotiation.
Level Financing’s credit counseling team invites you to develop a customized plan of attack for wiping out your entire credit card debt and lowering your monthly payments to a fraction of what they were – in a fraction of the time it might take for you to do so on your own.