Can a Debt Collector Take My STUFF?

When we enroll a new client for the Debt Settlement Program, most of the time they are confused about what a debt collector can and cannot do.

Although the whole experience of facing severe financial circumstances is stressful, let me help alleviate your fears.

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OK...

For all kinds of reasons or circumstances, you just cannot keep up with the minimum payments required on your credit card accounts.

The annoying calls and letters come many, many times a day!

The last call left a message and the guy said that unless you contact them right away, they may decide to start legal processes to collect the money you owe.

Your mind starts fearfully asking:

  • Can they take money out of my bank accounts?
  • What about my paycheck?  Is it safe?
  • Will I have to sell my house or car?
  • What about my jewelry, tools, or other things I value?

Let me walk you through the debt collection process so you can start to understand what a collector can and cannot do:

Once you miss a couple of months of the required payments due, you'll start getting letters saying something like...

"Mr. Jones, your XYZ Account is seriously past due and unless you call us immediately, your account may be turned over to an attorney for collection."

If you've just had a temporary financial setback and have enough money to catch up or start making payments again, you may want to call and see what they will do to help get you back on track.

They should be willing to work out some kind of plan to start taking your monthly payments again.

But if you find yourself with just too much debt and not enough money coming in to keep up, then what should you do?

It really depends on a lot of circumstances:
  • How delinquent is the account?
  • How much do you owe?
  • What kind of account it is?
  • Who the creditor is (some will work with you and some will not).

If it comes down to paying the rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. (the really important bills) and making credit card (unsecured) payments,

PAY THE IMPORTANT BILLS FIRST!!!!!!

Usually a creditor will try to get you back to paying monthly payments (they need that interest!) for a couple of months.

If unsuccessful, they will either send to their internal recovery department or to a debt collector or even sold to a debt buyer.

An account is deemed "CHARGED OFF" when the creditor decides that they are not going to spend any more time trying to collect and are going to write the account off as a loss.

Yes, there are companies that buy millions of dollars of debt for pennies on the dollar in order to try and collect.

Either way, now you can do a couple of things:

1) PUT A STOP TO THE CALLS!

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

2)  You may be able to negotiate a SETTLEMENT for less than the balance.

Your account may now be with the original creditor's internal recovery department, a debt collection agency or a Law Firm that specializes in debt collection.

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW...

At this point, creditor, debt collector, debt buyer or law firm CANNOT:

  • Garnish your wages, retirement income, disability income (an several other exempt income sources).
  • Levy your bank account
  • Repossess your TV, stereo, furniture, jewelry, tools, etc. (unless they were used as collateral)
  • Arrest you or most any other thing you may think!!!!

BUT... (very important you understand the following!):

If no agreement can be reached, the creditor or collector may decide to file a CLAIM.

CLAIM is a legal document filed with the court of the county of your residence. 

You will be delivered a SUMMONS.

Basically is says that XYZ is claiming that you owe $$$$ and that if you want to dispute the CLAIM you have (avg.) of 30 days to file an ANSWER with the court.

A ANSWER is a legal document (usually prepared by an attorney) that PROVES that you have paid or why you do not owe the debt.  There is a fee for filing the ANSWER and fees for the attorney who prepares it.

Most people know they owe the debt so they don't file the ANSWER.

NOW WHAT???

At this point, an agreement can still be negotiated to stop the legal process, but is it VERY IMPORTANT that you DO NOT IGNORE the SUMMONS!!!

If an agreement cannot be negotiated, the the PLAINTIFF (the creditor or one filing the claim) may move forward for a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.

You don't want this to happen!

If a JUDGMENT is awarded to the PLAINTIFF, then now the PLAINTIFF has the right to apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT OF WAGES OR BANK LEVY.

To prevent this, a SETTLEMENT or STIPULATED AGREEMENT may be negotiated.

A SETTLEMENT is an agreement whereby the PLAINTIFF agrees to accept an amount less than the balance due.  It may have to be paid in a LUMP SUM or in many cases, a LONG-TERM PAYMENT agreement.

Either of these is usually much better than a WAGE GARNISHMENT!

A WAGE GARNISHMENT is usually (in most states) 25% of you net (after tax) paycheck!

Let's say you earn $5,000/month.  If State (if you have) and Federal tax withholding equals 35%, you net take home would be about $3250.

25% of $3250 equals $812.50 ! ! !

If you're facing a financial crisis now, how could you survive if your income was cut by over $800 more!

Again... DO NOT IGNORE A SUMMONS!

SUMMARY:

A creditor or debt collector cannot just "take your stuff" when you don't pay your required payments due.

There's a whole process that must be completed first.

However, YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION!

It is not easy dealing with collectors and attorneys. 

Time consuming and frustrating, but absolutely necessary to prevent GARNISHMENTS!

This may help:

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

 

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Tags: stop wage garnishment, credit cards, BBB, PORTLAND, settlement, mimimum payments

What Should You Expect From a Debt Settlement Program?

Trying to decide if you should enroll in a Debt Settlement Program?


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Debt Settlement is an option that few people know about.

Did you know that given the right circumstances, most lenders will eventually accept an  amount that much less than the full amount to clear an old account from their books!

I'm talking about unsecured debts like:

  • credit cards
  • personal bank loans
  • medical bills
  • store cards
  • "pay-day" type loans
  • and others

Now, although I've been helping people settle debts such as these for many years, and know that it can really help, not everyone should enroll in a debt settlement program.

WHAT?

Let say you find yourself with $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more of unsecured debts and although you are making the minimum payments each month, you are just not seeing the balances reduced due to high interest rates and fees, a DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM may be (notice..."may be") what you need.

You can check out my link above for full details of how a Debt Management Program works, but basically{

  • Each of your creditors agrees to lower the interest rate and in many cases stop or forgive late or over the limit fees.
  • You will make one payment that is about the same (and sometimes a little more) to the company and they will pay each of your creditors according to the agreements.
  • This type of program usually take about 48 months and according to the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), being enrolled in a debt management program is NOT a factor in determining your credit score.

But, what if you have a considerable amount of unsecured debt and are just not able to keep up with the minimum payments and cannot afford the required payment of a Debt Management Program?

Many people will seek the help of a bankruptcy attorney, but that is not always the best option.  Yes, bankruptcy is a viable option, but in my opinion, should only be used when you have exhausted every other option!

 

So, how does a Debt Settlement Program work?

 

Instead of making any payments to your creditors, you will set aside an amount of money (your budget will allow) into a Settlement Account with an FDIC insured bank.

Of course, since you are not making monthly payments to your original creditors, they will eventually be turned over to a debt collection company.

Negotiations will begin and a settlement agreement will be arranged.  This agreement MUST be in writing and no payments should or will be made without it!

Most debt collectors will be open to a settlement.

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

 

So, what should you look for in a Debt Settlement Company?

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Are they registered?
  • A+ rateing and accredited with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Does this company have a lot of complaints?  If so, BEWARE!
  • Does the agent really listen, ask a lot of questions to determine what type of help you really need?  Or, does it seem like you are trying to be pressured into signing up right away?
  • Oh, and by-the-way, the counsultations should all be FREE!
  • Are there referrals or testimonials from formet clients?
  • What about seeing some actural settlements

 

Finally....

Dealing with the stress of a financial hardship requires information and help.

A qualified Debt Settlement Company may be just what you need, but you need to do a little homework first!

FREE
Debt Elimination Summary

 

 

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Tags: debt settlement, Bankruptcy, credit card, Best Debt Settlement Companies, BBB

How to Find the Best Debt Settlement Companies

When you contact the Debt Settlement Company (DSC), do you fee like they are more interested in getting you to sign up or do they take the time to do a complete analysis of your particular financial situation?  If so, be careful.  Read on to learn what to look for in the Best Debt Settlement Companies.

#1  The best debt settlement companies want to know several things about you and the debt you have incurred such as:

  • What type of debt do you have?
  • Is is secured or unsecured?
  • How did you get too much debt or behind on your debt?
  • Are you employed?
  • What is your monthly budget?  In other words, how much to do bring home and how much do you pay out each month. VERY IMPORTANT!

best debt settlement companies

  • If you are retired, is your retirement income (pension, retirement fund, social security) deposited seperately and NOT CO-MINGLED with other income you might earn from another job.  This is critically important!

Click HERE for a FREE Debt Settlement Consultation!

#2 The best debt settlement companies will assign you a counselor or account representative that you can always contact with any question or concerns.

If you feel like you are getting "shuffled from one person to another", be wary!

#3 The best debt settlement companies charge fees that are consistent with the industry and comply with their particular states laws or guidelines.

#4 The best debt settlement companies will rate very high with their local Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

It is not necessary for them to be accredited with the BBB, but make sure to check out any complaints or issues this company may have had.  The best debt settlement companies should have an rating or higher!

Got to --> the Better Business Bureau

 

#5 Finally, the best debt settlement companies will follow through with you after you have requested information and or a financial analysis.  If you have to call them back or feel like they are "too busy" to help you,...keep looking!


 

 

 

 

Tags: how to find the best debt settlement companies, debt settlement, BBB

Characteristics of the Best Debt Settlement Companies

 best debt settlement companyWhen you are searching the BEST DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANIES, here are 3 questions to keep in mind -->

#1 Do they have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?

  • Look for companies that have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of B+ or higher.  It takes a lot of work for a company to receive and maintain a high rating with the BBB.
  • Watch out for complaints and DO NOT DEAL with a Debt Settlement company that has a long list of complaints!
  • Don't worry about accreditation. The BBB is a network of private companies that make money rating companies. They offer an "accreditation" to companies for a large annual fee in order to make more money.  whether or not a company is accredited is not the issue.

#2 Can you call the Debt Settlement company and talk to someone? 

When you call in to a good Debt Settlement Company, you should be able to talk to a live person that will listen to you and work with you to find the best solution possible. 

  • Can you understand them?
  • Do they make you feel comfortable
  • Are they listening to you or are they just trying to talk you into what they are offering?

A quality company seeks to find the right solution for your specific needs and debt settlement is not always the best fit!

#3  Does the Debt Settlement company's website give you plenty of information that without forcing you to "complete the form"?

Quality Debt Settlement Companies will provide a lot of information...FOR FREE, without enrolling in their program. Look for a company website that is informative, educational, and easy to understand.  You should be able to know what the company is about and what they have to offer before you give out your contact information.

Want to know if Debt Settlement is the best option for you?  Click on the link below or call

1-877-492-4109

to talk to one of our Debt Solutions Specialists.

 

 

Tags: Debt Settlement Services, Best Debt Settlement Companies, BBB

The Truth about Debt Relief

truth about debt reliefWhether you ae a shopping addict or use your credit cards to pay your bills, there may come a time when you need help to help organize your bills, repay your debt, and improve your finances. For some, Debt Relief is the answer. But before you jump in head first, it's time for a course in Debt Relief 101.

When Should You Use a Debt Relief Company?

Debt Relief companies combine all of your debts into one payment, with the purpose of simplifying your repayment schedule and lowering your overall monthly payment amount. A Debt Relief company may be able to help you pay off your debt more quickly and alleviate some of the stress associated with paying bills. If you have mounting unsecured debt (e.g., credit card bills, store cards, medical bills, personal loans, collections, etc.), working with a trusted Debt Relief company is something to consider.

What Types of Debt Relief Plans are Available?

A good Debt Relief company can help you choose the best plan for your financial situation based on your income level, type of debt, and ability to make consistent payments.
  • Debt Consolidation Program - This program consolidates your unsecured debt into a single monthly payment. The debt consolidation company then distributes the designated funds to your creditors. They work directly with your creditors to reduce interest rates, eliminate late and over-the-limit fees, and reduced monthly payments.
  • Debt Settlement Program - This plan helps people who can't repay their debt in full and are facing bankruptcy. with a Debt Settlement program, your Debt Relief company will work with your creditors to settle your accounts for a portion of the amount owed.

Are all Debt Relief companies the same?

No! Just as each person's financial situation is unique, so are Debt Relief companies. You need to find a company that offers various plans and has specialists to guide you to the right program based on your needs.

Are There Bad Debt Relief Companies?

Yes! If you choose the wrong company, you could end up in a worse situation than when you started. To prevent this disaster, follow these tips:

  • Don't enroll in a program with a company that hasn't reviewed your financial situation.
  • Don't be lured by companies promising government money to erase your debt. There are no government programs that do this.
  • Check out each company's Better Business Bureau report, and only work with a company that has an A or A+ rating.
Debt Relief plans work most effectively when you choose a reputable and accredited company, stick to the plan and, ultimately, address how you got yourself into debt in the first place.
Our Solutions Specialist can help guide you through the proccess of chosing the right program for you.  If you would like more information, give us a call or request your FREE DEBT RELIEF SUMMARY below!

1-877-492-4109

Tags: debt settlement, debt consolidation, BBB, the truth about debt relief

Characteristics of the Best Debt Settlement Companies

 

best debt settlement companies

Looking for a reputable Debt Settlement Company?

Here are 5 Characteristics you need to look for:

 

 

 

1)  HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN IN BUSINESS?

Years ago, there was a lot of so-called Debt Settlement Companies that started.  They offered big promises, but delivered poor results.

Most of them were nothing more than "get-rich-quick" or "fly-by-night" outfits that took advantage of many people.  The Attorneys General's office of most states were flooded with complaints and took action, levying severe fines against many causing them to shut down.

If you find a company that hasn't been around for more than 5 years...you should keep looking!

2)  WHAT KIND OF TRACK RECORD DO THEY HAVE WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF YOUR STATE?

This is easy to find out, just goggle your state's attorney general or the consumer protection division of your state.

You will be able to find a list of registered Debt Settlement Companies for states that require registration, and you will find complaints and or fines that have been levied against fraudulent companies.

3)  WHAT KIND OF BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU GRADE DO THEY HAVE?

About a year ago, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) lowered all Debt Settlement or Debt Management Companies rating due to all of the fraud and legal action that had been taken by the states and federal government.

You may not know this, but the BBB is an independent business entity and NOT associated with he government or credit bureaus in any way.

Some Debt Settlement Companies are "accredited" and other opt not to seek the BBB's accreditation.  Accreditation means the Debt Settlement Company has paid a large fee (and continuing annual fees) to have this "tag".

The real test of a companies rating is the complaints and resolution of those complaints that the BBB records.

Be aware of companies with too many complaints...something is wrong!

To see our BBB rating and report, CLICK HERE.

4)  WHEN YOU CONTACT THE COMPANY, DO THEY TRY TO "SIGN YOU UP" ON THE FIRST CALL?

There's nothing wrong with a company trying to make money helping people solve their debt problems, but BE AWARE of a company or representative who is too agressive!

In order to do a professional, thorough job, they need to take the time and have the patience to find out all about you and your paticular circumstances.

A professional, reputable debt settlement company wants to explore several options, such as:

  • Debt Management (formerly called Credit Counseling)
  • Debt Consolidation through a personal or equity loan
  • Debt Settlement
  • And yes, possibly Bankruptcy

A few outstanding companies offer more programs or services than just Debt Settlement or Debt Management.

You might think twice if a company who only offers Debt Settlement speaks negative about Debt Management Programs and vice-versa!

5)  HOW PERSONABLE OR PLEASANT IS THE REPRESENTAVIE?

If you get a bad feeling about the rep, KEEP LOOKING!

Professionally trained and experienced Debt Settlement Representatives are PATIENT AND ASK A LOT OF GOOD QUESTIONS.

The company does not have to be local to be one of the best, but on the other hand, if you feel they have out-sourced their services to an overseas company, I'd be a skeptical.

If you call back, will you be speaking with the same rep?

Bottom line...you need to have a good feeling about the rep and company or keep looking!

If you would like more information and a FREE annalysis of your debt, Give Us A CAll --->>> 1-877-492-4109

Or Click on the link below

best debt settlement companies

Tags: debt settlement, Best Debt Settlement Companies, BBB, help with credit card debt