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Bankruptcy Lawyers Hate Me

How we educated their former clients about debt settlement

People often fail to fully understand just how serious bankruptcy is before they consider it.  Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for a decade, frustrating your ability to get a loan, insurance, or even a place to live.  With an increasing number of employers checking the credit of potential employees, it can even hurt your chances of getting a job.  Far from being quick fix, it can turn your life upside down, and it takes a lot of hard work and a lot time before you can be back on your feet financially again. It should only be considered as absolute last resort, after all other avenues have been explored. The fact of the matter is that bankruptcy is the best option for a very small percentage of people with large amounts of debt.

Everyone else would be better off working with their creditors towards a settlement.  Most creditors are just as eager to close the books on your debt as you, and if you approach them in the right way, they can work with you to develop a plan that gets you out of debt a lot faster and saves you a lot of money.

But it is important to understand that not all types of credit can be settled, though the majority of debt that most people contend with can. Typically, you can reach a settlement on most kinds of unsecured loans.  This includes things like credit card debt (something most people are pretty familiar with), personal loans, and medical bills.  If your car has been repossessed, you may even be able to reach a settlement on the remaining amount you owe on your auto loan.  If done right, interest rates or even the amount of these kinds of debts can be slashed down to a much more manageable level.

The debts that can’t usually be settled are secured loans, such as mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and auto loans.   In addition, you probably won’t be able to settle payday loans or debts to the IRS in the form of back taxes. You will also probably have to pay your student loans and debts related to utility bills or unpaid rent in full.

If you have a combination of debts can and can’t be settled, however, it still makes a lot of sense to seek a settlement.  By negotiating lower rates or balances on some of your debts, it makes you more equipped to pay off the loans that can’t be settled.

When it comes down to it, which would you rather do? Would you rather sit down, form a plan, tighten your belt and relieve yourself of your debt in a matter of a few years? Or would you rather file bankruptcy, thus totally upending your life for at least the next decade and probably more?   If debt settlement is at all a feasible option for you, you owe it to yourself and your financial future to find a way to work with your creditors.

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