Can a Debt Collector or Creditor Sue Me?

If you cannot keep up with the minimum payments due on your credit cards, a creditor or debt collector may decide to file a CLAIM against you!



If this happens, you will receive a SUMMONS.

The summons will show who the PLAINTIFF is.

This is the creditor or Debt Collector.

You will be named as the DEFENDENT.

The summons will state the particulars:

How much the debt is, etc.


It will also say something like...

You have 30 days to APPEAR and give an ANSWER.

This DOES NOT mean that you have to go to court in 30 days!

It means that if you have WRITTEN PROOF why you do not owe this CLAIM/DEBT, you have 30 days to submit your ANSWER to the court.

This ANSWER must be in the proper legal form and often requires an attorney to prepare and deliver to the court.

Not only will you have to pay the attorney, you will also have to pay a FILING FEE!

If you know you owe the debt, there is no use wasting your time and money.


This is where a lot of people get themselves into trouble by ignoring the summons! 



If you ignore the summons and the court awards the PLAINTIFF a DEFAULT JUDGMENT, then the PLAINTIFF has options to collect on the judgment:

1) If you have earned income (mainly W-2 income), they can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT on your wages. 

In most states, this is 25% of your AFTER TAX/TAKE HOME income!

Let's say you earn $5,000/month and your over-all tax rate is 30%.

That means your after tax/take home is about $3,500.

If you are garnished, your employer has NO CHOICE but to comply with the WRIT OF GARNISHMENT or face legal action.

That means that your employer would have to send 25% of the $3,500 to the PLAINTIFF!  THAT'S $875, leaving you only $2,625 to live on!


2)  The Plaintiff could apply for a BANK GARNISHMENT!

If awarded, a notice is sent to your bank and any funds you have in your checking and/or savings would be frozen and sent to the plaintiff!

That would be devasting!

Yes, there are EXEMPTIONS on what "TYPE" of income deposited in your account can be garnished such as income from:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income benefits (Disability)
  • public assistance benefits
  • unemployment benefits
  • veteran's benefits
  • child support, and
  • federal employee and civil service retirement benefits.

But, the problem is twofold:

Even if your bank account SHOULD BE exempt, many times the bank does not protect you and your funds are FROZEN FOR A LONG TIME!

The bank account is NOT PROTECTED from garnishment if you             CO-MINGLE exempt funds with NON-EXEMPT FUNDS.

Let's say you have your Social Security and Retirement checks deposited automatically in your bank.

You do a little "side job" or even earn a few dollars part-time and deposit that money in the same account.

You just CO-MINGLED funds and now all of those funds are open for garnishment!

Starting to get the picture?

There are several options on how to deal with a SUMMONS that can prevent all the above, but you have to be PRO-ACTIVE.

In most cases, a STIPULATED AGREEMENT negotiated.

This is a basically an agreement saying as long as you pay such-in-such, the Plaintiff will not apply for garnishments.

The Stipulated Agreement is filed with the court and once it is completed or "satisfied", it is removed.

It is also possible to negotiate a SETTLEMENT for less than the balance claimed in the summons.  

This is usually about 70%-80% of the balance and usually must be paid in a lump sum or in some cases, over a period of time.

Actual Settlements See what we have  done for our clients! Click here!

To summarize...

If you receive a SUMMONS, you need to take care of it as soon as possible to prevent a judgment and potential garnishment or bank levies.

If you receive a SUMMONS, it usually means you have more debt than you can handle.  We can help:

Personalized  Program Comparison Click here!



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Tags: stop wage garnishment, receive a summons, can a creditor levy my bank account, credit card debt relief oregon, credit cards, exemption from garnishment, social security benefits, summons, judgments, wage garnishment

What a Debt Collector Can and Cannot Do...Know Your Rights!

You do not have to put up with debt collection harassment, but you need to know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in order to put a stop to it!

Our nation's consumer protection agency is call the Federal Trade Commission or FTC.  This agency enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA.  The FDCPA was designed to put a stop to abusive and unlawful attempts by debt collectors to collect debt.

too many credit cards

Debt Collectors are strictly prohibited from using unfair or deceptive techniques in their debt collection activity.

Not all debts are covered by the FDCPA.  The act covers basically all debts, such as:

  • personal loans
  • credit cards
  • store cards
  • medical bills
  • student loans
  • mortgages
  • auto loans

The FDCPA does not include debts you may have incurred in order to operate a business.

So, what happens if you find yourself in a financial situation where you can no longer meet the terms of your loan or credit account?

Once your account has been charged off by the original creditor and placed with a collection agency, the telephone calls will start.  This is the most abused type of debt collection activity, but you have rights that you must not only be aware of, but take advantage of!

Unless you agree to it (and who would), a debt collector cannot call you before 8am or after 9pm.  They also are prohibited from calling many, many times during the day.  Many debt collection agencies use an automated dialer to make thousands of calls a day, hoping to catch someone.

Here is some good advice on how to deal with a debt collector's call:

If you have the address of the debt collector (from one of the many letters you have no doubt received by now), then don't answer.  Your caller ID should indicate an "unknown" number or a number that is certainly not one of your family or friends.

If you (or perhaps one of your family should answer by mistake), briefly tell the debt collector that you are working on the problem and will get back to them...then HANG UP!

REMEMBER...Debt Collectors are professionally trained to get you to agree to pay back your debt right away!  Trying to explain your circumstances hoping for some understanding and/or sympathy is usually a waste of your time.

If you don't have the address of the debt collector (I'll explain why in a minute), then ask for it from the debt collector or at least get the debt collector to identify the company.  Now, you can go on line to get the address...WHY?

Because the FDCPA specifies that once a debt collector has received a written demand to stop placing calls to you, they must stop!  They are allowed one more call to tell you they got your letter and will not call again or that they intend to take further legal action in an attempt to scare you them money!!!

In most cases, the debt collection agency will honor your demand letter and stop calling you.  That doesn't mean that you are not still responsible for the debt, but at least they will stop call you.

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

What about calling you at work?

A debt collector is also prohibited from calling you at your place of employment if they are told orally or in writing that you are not allowed to receive calls at work.  Again, most of the time, they will honor your request.

What about calling your family or neighbors?

Yes, but only to find out a little information about you:

  • Do you still live at....
  • Is your phone number still....
  • They may ask about your place of employment as well.

But, they may not discuss your financial situation!

I'll discuss what you can do if they are violating the FDCPA in just a minute, but here are some other basic practices or techniques that are also prohibited by debt collectors:

They are prohibited from...

  • using threats of violence or harm (but, after a dozen years in dealing with debt collectors, I have never heard of this violation)
  • using obscene or profane language
  • making false statements, such as claiming to be an attorney or representing the government
  • making statements such as "you may go to jail" if you don't pay!

threatening to garnish your wages or seize your property if, in fact, they have not been awarded a judgment after several months of legal efforts.

threaten to take legal action if, again, they don't follow through

OK, so what can you do if you feel that a debt collector has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

First, contact your State's Attorney General's office to file a complaint.  Usually, the best way to do this is to go on line. 

For example, in Oregon, you can file a complaint at:

Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection

Next, you will want to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

FTC Complaint Assistant

Your state's attorney general's office as well as the Federal Trade Commission doesn't take abusive debt collection practices lightly!  In fact, you have a right to sue a debt collector in a state or federal court within one year of the violation.

If you plan to do so, you should consult an attorney.

Finally, dealing with debt collectors is no fun and is certainly not easy. But, knowing your rights can really help.

Need mor advice?  Let us help:


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Tags: debt collection, fair debt collection practices act, fdcpa, debt, debt collection in oregon, credit card debt relief oregon, credit cards

When is Debt Settlement Your Best Option?

Too much credit card and other unsecured debt?  Not able to keep up with the payments?  You may be a prospect for Debt Settlement.

But, before you decide, consider the following:credit cards cut up

Debt Settlement is a very effective program to help people settle unsecured debts for less than the total balance due.

  • The unsecured debts I'm talking about are:
  • Credit Cards
  • Store Cards
  • Home Shopping Club accounts or cards
  • Personal Loans
  • Repossession Deficiency Judgments
  • Medical Bills
  • Personal Student Loans (although there are programs to help on Federal Student Loans as well)

When faced with too much debt and not enough income or cash flow to keep up with at least the minimum payments due, there are only a few options to keep the debt collectors at bay:

A Debt Management Program

A Debt Management Program used to be called a "Credit Counseling Program" and sometimes it is still called by that name.  In a Debt Management or Credit Counseling Program, a person signs up with a "non-profit" (only for taxable reasons, YES, you will be paying fees!), and they will have set up a program with each of your creditors.

Usually, the interest rates are reduced or sometimes eliminated, late fees and over-the-limit fees are usually forgiven after you have made a few payments, and your account is now classified as being paid as agreed or on time.

However, the problem with a Debt Management or Credit Counseling Program is that there is very little forgiveness if you miss or are late on a payment!  I've seen people who had been consistent for many months, and then, due to an emergency, just couldn't come up with the total due that month.  The Debt Management Program was canceled or voided and they were back to square one!

Also, in a Debt Management or Credit Counseling Program, the total monthly payment may be more that the total minimum monthly payment you are required to make now!  And, the company is charging you a monthly service fee as well!

So, if you go through the process of trying to enroll in a Debt Management Program and find out you cannot qualify, what now?

A Debt Acceleration Program

A Debt Acceleration Program (sometimes referred to as a Debt Snowball Plan) is perfect for someone who is making the minimum monthly payments on each of their debts and yet, due to high interest rates and annual fees, realize that at this rate, it will take 15-20 years to pay off those debts!

A person who should look into a Debt Acceleration Program also could add another $100 - $200 each month to help reduce or accelerate paying off these debts.

Most people in a Debt Acceleration Program are DEBT FREE in 48-60 months, saving thousands of dollars in interest and fees!

I prefer the Debt Acceleration Program to a Debt Management or Credit Counseling Program because as far as your credit report is concerned, you were a very consistent debtor and not only paid all of your payments on time, but actually did so sooner than required!



OK, but what if you are one of so many people that due to:

  • Job loss
  • Divorce
  • Disability
  • Death of loved one
  • Major Financial Emergency

...just cannot meet the total minimum payments due on your unsecured accounts and cannot qualify for a Debt Management or Debt Acceleration Program?

Then, you should consider a:

Debt Settlement Program

Debt Settlement is designed for people who have a severe financial hardship, have tried to keep up with all of the bills, but some or all of their credit card accounts and other unsecured debts have been turned over to debt collectors.

These debt collectors are calling all day and even harassing you at work. But, before I explain how a Debt Settlement Program works and could help you, here's how to put a stop to those collection calls:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

In a Debt Settlement Program, you will go through a thorough financial overview to determine several things, such as:

  • Type of employment (self or W-2)
  • Basic Monthly Budget
  • Retirement status
  • Type of income you are receiving (disability, social security, unemployment, etc.)
  • Assets (mainly do you have equity in your home)
  • Are you renting?

Once you know where you stand, you will have an amount (that you can afford) deposited into your Debt Settlement Reserve Account (FDIC insured bank) monthly.

The Debt Settlement company will be contacting your creditors and/or debt collectors to arrange settlements.  As you reserve account grows, each of your accounts should be settled for much less than the total balance due.

But finally, what if you just are barely making ends meet on your basic bills and have little or nothing left over to put towards a Debt Settlement Program?

Then, you should consider:

A Bankruptcy Program

There are basically two types of Bankruptcy Programs for individuals:

  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 13

The Chapter 7 is not used as much these days as it is basically designed for someone to liquidate any assets they have (obviously, not very much) and that small amount is paid to each creditor, and the balances of your debts are "forgiven".

In a Chapter 13, a bankruptcy attorney will present a type of repayment plan to the bankrutpcy court based on your financial status.  Usually, a person will be making a monthly payment of $200-$400  (or whatever your bankruptcy attorney comes up with) for about 3-5 years.  Each of your creditors receives a small portion of the balance due.

At the end of the Chapter 13, the balances of your debts are forgiven.

Oh, by-the-way, if you receive a 1099-C, in most case, you should not be liable for any additional taxes due on the amounts forgiven.

Debt Settlement is a great program for the right person.









 Photo Credit:  Daniel Oines

Tags: credit card debt, debt settlement, Credit Score, Bankruptcy, credit report, debt relief in Portland Oregon, chapter 7 bankruptcy, chapter 13 bankrutpcy, credit card debt relief oregon, credit cards, credit card debt help

What to do if you receive a 1099-C after a Settlement?

If you have had a debt settled for less than the total balance, you may receive a 1099-C.  You may or may not have to pay any additional tax.

Get out of debtWhen you settle a debt for less than the full balance due, and this is for $600 or more, the creditor or debt collector may report this to the Internal Revenue Service.  I say "may report" because they don't always report a settled or "forgiven" debt. 

Over the past decade that we have been helping people get out of debt, it seems that in the last year or so, more and more creditors and/or debt collectors are reporting settled or forgiven debt.

I have to start out by stating that I am not a CPA or licensed professional tax consultant, so any advice here should only be used to help point you in the right direction.  If you do receive a 1099-C, please seek the help of a professional tax consultant!

So what should you do if you receive a 1099-C?

                             DON'T IGNORE IT!!!!

Let's say that you had a Credit Card that had a balance of $10,000 and because of circumstances beyond your control, you just couldn't make the minimum payments.

Most likely, this account was sent to a collection agency after the original creditor made numerous attempts, such as annoying and often harassing phone calls and many collection letters.

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

The debt collector may have sent you an offer to settle for less than the full amount due or perhaps you or a Debt Settlement Company were able to negotiate a good settlement.

Using our $10,000 example, let's say that the settlement was for $4,000.  The debt collector was willing to "forgive" (in IRS lingo) $6,000.  The debt collector reports this to the IRS in order to write that amount off as a loss and you are sent an IRS form 1099-C.

At first glance, it may look like you owe $6,000 of additional tax, but this is not so!

You will need to file the proper forms with your tax return to have the settled or forgiven amount EXCLUDED from being added back in as additional taxable income.

As usual, the IRS seems to have complicated the process, but in reality, it is not that difficult to file properly.

The basic and most important question that you must answer and prove to the IRS is:

"At the time of the settlement or forgiveness of the debt, were you insolvent?"

What is "insolvent"?

If, AT THE TIME OF THE SETTLEMENT, you had more debt than you had in assets, then you were insolvent. (Sounds terrible, but that's just their terminology.)

So, how do you find out or prove if you were insolvent or not?

It is really not difficult.  Take a piece of paper (or use your computer if you want) and one side list all of your assets, such as:


  • Net equity of your home (Current value less amount you owe = net equity)
  • Cash or money in the bank
  • Net DEPRECIATED value of things such as furniture, appliances, tools, etc.  remember, even though you paid $2,000 for that refrigerator a few years ago, today it probably would sell for only $200-$300!
  • Net value of your autos, boats, campers, etc.  Same thing, NET, DEPRECIATED VALUE!

Total all of these up.

On the other side of your sheet, list all of your DEBTS OR LIABILITIES, such as:

Since you've used the NET VALUE (Depreciated Value less Balance still due) on the ASSET SIDE, were probably talking about:

  • Credit cards
  • Store cards
  • Student loans
  • Medical Bills
  • Personal loans
  • Possibly Home Equity loan or 2nd you forgot to list before!

Add all of these up.

Subtract the total of all of your LIABILITIES (DEBTS) from your NET ASSETS. Which is greater?  If your Liabilities are greater than your Net Assets, you were insolvent at the time of settlement and therefore, the amount forgiven WILL NOT be included as taxable income.

The next part seems a little difficult, but it's not.

You are going to complete:

  • IRS Form 982
  • A copy of your ASSETS VS. LIABILITIES worksheet
  • A copy of the 1099-C

You are going include these along with your normal tax return.  By the way, don't be surprised if your tax preparer seems a little confused as to how to handle a 1099-C.  I've had clients pay tax that they didn't need to because the tax preparer didn't file the proper forms.

We have prepared a FREE 1099-C PACKET that you can download and use. 

It includes:

  • Instructions
  • Examples
  • IRS Forms

Get yours by clicking on the button below:


What happens if your Assets were greater than your Liabilities?

You are going to need the help of a qualified, tax consultant or preparer.  You still should be able to exclude a large percentage of the forgiven debt, but there may be other ramifications, so I advise you to get help.

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Tags: credit card debt, debt settlement, 1099-C, IRS Form 982, credit card debt relief oregon, credit card debt help portland or

How Oregonians Can Find Debt Relief

how-oregonians-can-find-debt-reliefIf you live in Oregon, I've got some good news on how you can find debt relief!

If you are fighting each month to just barely get by, you are not alone.  Statistics abound about how the average family has several credit cards and several thousands of dollars of debt.

What can you do about it?

Face the problem, honestly!

When is the last time you sat down and completed and honest, up-to-date HOUSEHOLD BUDGET?

If you are having a difficult time with too much credit debt, then the natural tendency is to avoid or ignore the facts, but you can't get out of debt without know exactly where you stand financially. Once you know exactly what you have coming in and exactly what you are spending your money on each month, we can devise a plan.



In a Debt Management Program, you will be making ONE PAYMENT to a Debt Management Company or what some people call a Credit Counseling Company.

This company will in turn have contacted each of your creditors to arrange a repayment plan.

Most Debt Management Programs take about 48 months to complete. 

Once you have competed the program, you will not only have saved a substantial amount of money in reduced interest and fees, but your credit report will reflect that you have $0 balances and your credit score will start to improve.

The problem with most Debt Management Programs is that depending on the amount of debt you owe and your left over or net, disposable income each month, you may not qualify.


Let's say you have $25,000 of various credit card debt.  At 2% of the $25,000 you owe on all of your cards, your minimum payment was $500.

Because the credit card industry figured out that they will make much more money in the long run if they make the minimum payment so small that that most people will take 10 -15 years or more to finally repay the debt.

And, the most tragic thing is that if and when you finally do pay all of the credit card debt, you will have paid 3 - 4 times more than you originally borrowed!

But in a Debt Management Program, you most likely will need to pay about 2.5% of the total, or in this case of $25,000 total credit card debt, $625 monthly!

But don't panic!  There's another option:

Debt Settlement

In a Debt Settlement Program, your payment or actually, your deposit to a bank insured reserve account is based on several factors:

  • The type of income you are receiving
  • The amount you have left over at the end of the month
  • Your health
  • Your retiement status

In a Debt Settlement Program, your creditors will not be receiving normal, monthly minimum payments as before.

Most people who have so much debt that they cannot keep up have fallen behind already or have had some accounts turned over to debt collectors anyway.

A professional Debt Settlement Company will negotiate a reduced balance (usually around 50% and sometimes less) with the creditor or debt collector.

Once the debt has been settled (by lump sum payment or over series of payments), the debt collector will report the debt to have been "settled-as-agreed" to each of the Credit Reporting Agencies.

For more information about Debt Settlement, click below:


But what if you do not qualify for Debt Management or Debt Settlement?

If that is the case, then you may need to seek BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION from your creditors.

Bankruptcy is a viable option to finally get out of debt.  Bankruptcy should be viewed as the last option (in my opinion) and not just a "get out of jail card" so to speak.

You will need to sit down with a BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY in your area to discuss your situation and your options.

Depending on your specific financial circumstances, you will most likely be placed in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The bankruptcy attorney will explain the differences.

We have been helping Oregonians become DEBT FREE for over 10 years.  Don't let fear of the unknown keep you in contast turmoil over too much debt.

You have options for debt relief, and we can help!










Tags: credit card debt, Bankruptcy, debt settlement in oregon, credit card, debt management, Best Debt Settlement Companies, chapter 7 bankruptcy, chapter 13 bankrutpcy, credit card debt relief oregon

Do It Yourself Credit Score Check Up

do it yourself credit score checkupWould you like to know how to improve your credit score?

 Here are a few very helpful tips you can use to do it yourself.

I've written several articles and blogs on the subject of Credit Repair, How to Improve Your Credit Score, How to Have Errors on Your Credit Report Corrected, etc. over the years.

When it comes to the subject of "CREDIT REPAIR", there are several misconceptions, but the most prevalent is that you can get the top three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) to remove negative information from your credit report.!

You may have seen ads from the newspaper, TV, radio, on line or phone making claims such as:

  • "We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens and bad loans from your credit report!"
  • "We can erase bad credit!"
  • "We will help you create a new credit identity that is 100% legal!"

Credit Reporting agencies sell (that's right, they are in business to make a profit) your credit history to those who need to know that if they loan you money, you have (or have had in the past) the ability and track record to repay that loan!

Make sense?  Sure.  Then why would you think that you or some Credit Repair Company could magically make negative information disappear?

Yes, there are some credit repair companies who, in my opinion (and most likely your state's attorey general) have the methodology to have some negative items removed from your credit report for a short period of time or until the creditor realizes it and makes a claim to have it replaced!

Some people will pay a lot of money for this type of shady "credit repair" in order to get a loan or possibly qualify for an apartment or even for employment.

Be very careful of these claims!  They could come back to  haunt you!

The Federal Trade Commission has written many good articles on this subject and credit repair in general.

Here's a link to a very good article: CREDIT REPAIR: HOW TO HELP YOURSELF

OK, but what about LEGITIMATE ERRORS?

If you haven't done so already, you need a copy of your credit report (not necessarily your score at this time) from each of the top 3 Credit Reporting agencies.

If you have applied for credit, insurance or employment, and were denied, you can request a copy of the report, if you do it within 60 days.

You are entitled to a FREE CREDIT REPORT every 12 months.  Just go to or call 1-877-322-8228.

Carefully check all of information on all 3 reports.

Make sure you name, social security number, address, etc. are correct.

What you are looking for is accounts that you know (and can prove) that you have paid off.

Also, depending on your state's statute of limitations, negative information in the past (charge offs, accounts that you were late paying often, etc.) can be removed after a certain number of years.

For example, if you live in Oregon, the statute of limitations is 6 years on most accounts.

But, the biggest thing you are looking for is for accounts that you have paid off and are still showing a balance or may have been turned over to a collection agency.

Make a copy of your the page of the credit report showing the account you wish to dispute.

  • Circle the account.

Gather the proof of payment:

  • Letter or account statement with $0 balance
  • Copies of check and/or money order you used (you may have to contact your bank or go on line)
  • Letter of satisfaction if you paid off a judgment


Now, you are going to write a letter with this information to EACH OF THE 3 CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES.

Yes, you can go on line and in many cases this works best, but somehow I think the "paper trail" of a letter with proof is more effective.

If you do not get a reply within 45 days, make sure to follow up!  Don't GIVE UP!

This is where I think it may be a good idea to hire a professional, ethical credit repair company to do this for you.

Yes, it will cost you some money, but there is a lot of time and effort that will go into challenging several items and you may not want to spend the time.

Check with your state's attorney general's office for a list of good, reliable credit repair companies.

If you live in Oregon, click here for a list of registered companies.

Comment on the subject of Credit Report Disputes:

Recently, I had written a blog about this subject and received a comment from a Credit Repair Company owner.

The blog was titled "Best Options for Credit Card Debt Relief" in which I listed and explained several ways to help get debt.

He commented and asked the question why I did not explain how to "fight for non payment of a credit card" rather than file for bankruptcy.

I understand and apprecitate the comment, but in my opinion, if you or I agree to repay a debt by taking out credit, then we have given our word...made a promise to repay and should do so if at all possible.

I don't think it is right to try an find a loophole such as they fact that a debt collector (as much as I don't like most of them) can't provide sufficient paper work to prove that the debt is legitimate in order to get out of paying a debt you know you owe.

On the other hand, I've had cases where after a creditor or collector agreed to accept less than the full balance due to the severe financial hardship of the consumer, the remaining balance showed up at another collection agency later.

Of course, in that case, you should (and we successfully did) dispute the claim.

I understand that there are many circumstances that happen that may make repayment impossible.

In those cases, if a Debt Management Program or a Debt Settlement Program can help, then a person should take advantage of such programs.

If things are so dire that neither program can help, then Bankruptcy may or should be the only option.


  • Order a FREE Credit Report
  • Check for errors
  • Gather proof of payment
  • Write letters
  • Follow up! Follow up! Follow up!

If all of this sounds like TOO MUCH, we can help:





Tags: dispute errors on your credit report, credit repair, credit report, debt relief in Portland Oregon, credit report dispute, credit repair scams, credit card debt relief oregon, Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, credit reporting companies

Best Options for Credit Card Debt Relief

best options for credit card debt reliefWhen you have too much credit card debt, you only have a few options. 

Here are 3 options for credit card debt relief:

#1 Debt Management or what is commonly referred to as Credit Counseling

The credit card industry makes billions of dollars loaning us money to purchase things with credit versus using cash.

You can get several types of credit card interest calculator programs on line, but I found a good one at ZilchWorks.

You will be shocked to see how much interest and fees you really pay on your credit cards!

For example...

Let's say you have a Visa Card with a balance of $2,500 at an annual percentage rate of 21%.

How long (and how much) do you think you will repay if you make the minimum payments until the balance is fully paid?

I know it is hard to believe, but you could end up paying back anywhere from 4 to 5 times the original amount you borrowed!

If your one of the 7 out of 10 people in the US that has a credit card balance, and are only able to make the minimum payments each month, you should consider a DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.

In a DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, you will have:


Most Debt Management Programs take about 4 - 5 years to complete, and the consumer will not only be DEBT FREE, but save thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

Does a Debt Management Program hurt you credit score?

Common question, but the answer is not just a simple "yes" or "no".

There are many factors that go into determining a credit score and I've written several blogs over the last few years.  Go to "What Determines My Credit Score" for more information.

But for now, the best answer is "no" because with too much credit, your credit score most likely has already been damaged.

The only way to improve your credit score is to start paying off those debts and a Debt Management Program may be the way to go for you.

But, not everyone can qualify for a Debt Management Program. If that is your situation, then you should strongly consider a DEBT SETTLEMENT PROGRAM.

#2 Debt Settlement Program

Features of a Debt Settlement Program:

  • Have ONE MONTHLY PAYMENT (that will fit your current budget)
  • Each of your debt will be negotiated at a balance that is approximately 50% of the current balance.
  • A QUALIFIED, PROFESSIONAL Debt Settlement Company will explain all of the pros and cons of a Debt Management Program.

There has been a lot of good and bad press written about Debt Settlement Companies.

Here are 3 tips on choosing a good Debt Settlement Company:

1)  Check with the Better Business Bureau.  It is not important that the company be an "accredited" company with the BBB.  The BBB charges a fee (no, the BBB is not a government agency but a "for profit" company.  What you are looking for is the rating (A+) and complaints.  Stay away from "shady" companies!

2)  Are they registered with the state?  Not all states require registration, but if your state does, DO NOT choose a company that is not on the state's list of registered Debt Settlement/Management companies.

3)  When you call the company, are you connected with someone you can understand and that seems to be more interested in you than just "signing you up"?  A good Debt Settlement Company will offer a FREE CONSULTATION WITH NO OBLIGATION.  Don't let anyone or any company pressure you into making a quick decision!

If you do not qualify for a Debt Management or Debt Settlement Program, then you may need to seek BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION.

#3 Bankruptcy Protection

Although the word "bankruptcy" brings up all kinds of sentiments and feelings, in some cases, it is not only the only choice, but could be the best choice!

If your financial situation is so dire that you cannot make payments towards your debts, then you must seek the counsel of a qualified attorney who specializes in bankruptcy.

He or she must offer an initial free consultation and demonstrate not only a professional but personal quality.  If you would just like to get more information without making any commitment, then click on the button below:








Tags: credit card debt, debt relief options, credit card debt relief portland oregon, debt management, credit card debt relief oregon

Credit Card Debt...HELP!

If you are overwhelmed by too much credit card debt, we can help!

Many people find themselves drowning in credit card debt and other unsecured debts, but don't know what to do about it?

We get calls daily asking for advice from people who have too much credit card debt in Portland, Oregon (where our office is).

Maybe you find yourself in this situation and have considered:

  • Debt Management,Consolidation or Credit Counseling
  • Debt Settlement
  • Bankruptcy

There are many factors that should be considered before deciding on which program or debt solution would be appropriate for you:

Are you still working or have you retired?

Is you primary source of income from Retirement Sources?

  • Social Security
  • Pension
  • 401(K)

If unemployed, what are the realistic chances that you will find a job within the next 3 months or so and if so, will you be earning the same as before or less?

Let's discus the first option, DEBT MANAGEMENT.

Debt Management is the term used today can also be referred to as "Debt Consolidation" or "Credit Counseling".

In a Debt Management Program, you most likely will have several credit cards or other unsecured accounts and you are making the minimum payments, but the interest rates and fees are making it almost impossible to pay off these debts within 15-20 years!

In a Debt Management Program, you will get credit card debt help as you will have:


How will this affect your credit score?

Your credit score is deteremined by several factors. Here are a few:

  • How much debt to income you have (debt/income ratio).
  • How much debt you have taken on compared to the available credit you have.
  • Your payment history.
  • Types of credit accounts you have.

You must realize that having too much credit is usually the main reason your credit score is low.

Any program that helps ELIMINATE DEBT, will ultimately help improve your credit score!

If after a thorough FINANCIAL CONSULTATION, it is obvious that you cannot afford a Debt Management Program, then may qualify for a Debt Settlement Program.

In a Debt Settlement Program, you will have ONE MONTHLY PAYMENT that is designed to fit your budget.

It is usually much lower than what would be required of a Debt Management Program's payment.

In a Debt Settlement Program, your accounts WILL NOT be getting a monthly payment.

Most people who choose Debt Settlement over Debt Management, have had a severe financial hardship or have had accounts that have been charged off or are severely delinquent.

Debt collectors are calling constantly.

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

In a Debt Settlement Program, a trained debt negotiator will arranage a reduced payoff of that account.

Once settled, the company or creditor will report it to the credit reporting agencies as "paid as agreed" or "settled as agreed" or in some cases, "paid in full" or "settled in full".

Now your credit report will show a $0  balance and your credit will slowly improve as your debts are paid!

Finally, after examining your first two options, you may be forced to seek BANKRUPTCY for protection from your creditors.

There are basically two forms of BANKRUPTCY available to most consumers:

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Before considering bankruptcy, you should consult a Bankruptcy Attorney.

Look for a local bankruptcy attorney who specializes in bankruptcy.  Many law firms try to be a "one stop fits all" firm and that is not for you!






Tags: credit card, credit card debt relief portland oregon, credit card debt relief oregon, credit card debt help portland or, credit card debt help