Help! I need debt settlement advice!

debt settlement advice I have too much credit card debt and need debt  settlement advice.

 What are my options?

 When overwhelmed with too much unsecured credit card debt, before you decide on a course of action, take some time to analyze your unique situation.

Can you meet the total minimum payments on all of your cards?

If the answer is no, then Debt Settlement may be the best choice for you. 

How does Debt Settlement work?

Instead of continuing to make normal minimum monthly payments that do little to reduce the original principle, determine how much you an set aside each month in a savings or reserve bank account with a qualified Debt Settlement Company.

These funds will be used to negotiate a settlement of you account in the future.

Can I negotiate settlements on my own?

Yes, but understand that the collectors you will be dealing with are trained professionals.  Their job is to get as much money out of you as possible and they will use every technique possible to do so!

Most Debt Settlement Companies have experienced, trained negotiators who may be able to settle you debts at 30%-40% and even including their fees, the total may be less than you would be able to negotiate on your own.

It also takes a lot of time to negotiate a settlement.  If you do not have the time or patience, you may end up spending much more than if you hired a professional debt settlement company.

What happens after the settlement?

Before you agree to a settlement, make sure, absolutely sure, that you get the agreement in writing before authorizing a check-by-phone or sending any money!

It is not uncommon for unsuspecting credit card customers to be lied to when negotiating a settlement.  Remember...NO WRITTEN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT...NO DEAL!

Once the settlement is completed, you should request a letter stating the account has been settled-as-agreed.

If you do not receive a letter, then contact the creditor until you get one.  Do not be surprised if it takes a couple of months!


Tags: best way to eliminate credit card debt, debt relief solutions, settling credit card debt on your own, debt settlement help

I need relief from too much credit card debt!

  • My bills are piling up.Free Debt Summary
  • I can't make the minimum payments.
  • I have too much credit card debt.
  • What can I do?

You have maxed out most or all of your credit cards and due to circumstances beyond your control:

  • Loss of employment
  • Sickness
  • Emergency expenses
  • Divorce
  • General economic recession going on...

There is just not enough money to pay the main bills like the rent or mortgage, food, utilities and/or medical or medicines...not to mention to pay off the credit cards.

What now?

The first step is to get a clear picture of exactly where you are financially.  A simple budget spreadsheet will really help. 

I know this is scary and most people avoid know "how bad things are", but you need to know.

Knowing where you are may reveal:

  • You're not in bad a shape as you thought
  • You're in worse shape than you thought
  • Regardless, you'll know what you have to start attacking the problem!

Let's say after listing all net (after-tax and other deductions) you have $150/month to use toward paying off credit card debt.

The problem is, the minimum payments total over $300/month!


You can call each of your creditors to ask for a lower interest rate and payment so that your account will not go into default.

WARNING!  Creditors don't usually care about your hardship and may not be willing to help. If they will change the interest rate and lower the payment to fit your budget, great. If not...

Consider contacting a Debt Management Company to see if you would qualify for a Debt Management Program (formerly referred to as Credit Counseling).

If you do not qualify (payments would still exceed $150), then you should consider Debt Settlement.

After an account is delinquent more that 120-180 days, most creditors will consider settling the account for less than the full balance.  The problem is that they want 50%-75% of the balance and they want it now! 

Of course, if you had a couple of thousand of dollars on hand, you probably wouldn't be in trouble in the first place.

In some cases, they may consider a term-settlement plan, whereby you agree on a settlement amount and then a payment over several months.

Again, most creditors will tell you they cannot do that and that they would need all of the money in 6 months or less.

We have been helping people settle accounts for many years and have documented proof that they will indeed take a term-settlement for longer than 6 months.

If you cannot negotiate a reasonable settlement, then you should consider contacting a professional Debt Settlement Company.

For a Free, No-Obligation Review of your situation and possible solutions, click here.


Tags: best way to eliminate credit card debt, debt elimination without bankrupcy, create a budget, settling credit card debt on your own

Disability Income...Can it be garnished?

I'm 68, retired, living on disability income only.  Can a creditor garnish for failure to pay my unsecured credit card?I need help!

I've written about how abusive debt collectors can be, and have offered advice on how to deal with them in previous blogs.

But today, I want to zero in on an actual situation we dealt with recently.

A client of ours is 68 years old, retired, and living on disability income only.  He rents and must spend a large amount of money each month on medicine and medical treatment for his disability.

In order to make ends meet, he has had to use his credit cards as so many people have done and continue to do today!  Let's not get into whether he should or shouldn't have, it is what it is.

One of his creditors called. After using several intimidation tactics,the collection agent told him that if he did not set up a repayment agreement, they would take him to court and sue him. So he agreed to a repayment plan of the entire amount even though he could not afford it!

He contacted us after the agreement was made and we explained to him that even though the creditor has a right to be paid and could choose to file a claim in order to be awarded a default judgment, they could not touch his disability income.

According to the Federal Trade Commission certain wages are EXEMPT from garnishment:

Can federal benefits be garnished?

Many federal benefits are exempt from garnishment, including:

  • Social Security Benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
  • Veterans’ Benefits
  • Civil Service and Federal Retirement and Disability Benefits
  • Service Members’ Pay
  • Military Annuities and Survivors’ Benefits
  • Student Assistance
  • Railroad Retirement Benefits
  • Merchant Seamen Wages
  • Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Death and Disability Benefits
  • Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Benefits
  • Compensation for Injury, Death, or Detention of Employees of U.S. Contractors Outside the U.S.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Disaster Assistance

But federal benefits may be garnished under certain circumstances, including to pay delinquent taxes, alimony, child support, or student loans.

This also applies to funds in your bank account.

But be careful here!

If you co-mingle funds, meaning you earn a little extra income in addition to your disability income, DO NOT PUT THOSE FUNDS IN THE SAME CHECKING OR SAVINGS ACCOUNT!

You should open a 2nd account for that extra income (and keep the balance very, very low!)

After explaining this (again) to our client, we have helped stop the agreement.

DON'T BE INTIMIDATED!  If you are, perhaps you should seek the professional help of a debt management company.

Photo by Caston Corporate


Tags: disability income, wage garnishment, best way to eliminate credit card debt, settling credit card debt on your own

Are There Alternatives to Bankruptcy?

Just the sound of the word...BANKRUPCY sounds scary, doesn't it?too much debt

If you find yourself overwhelmed by too much debt, don't think that bankruptcy is your only choice. 

Millions of people just like you have resolved their debt problem by using alternative methods.

The worse mistake you can make is to DO NOTHINGIf you cannot afford to make the minimum payments due on your credit cards or other unsecured debt, don't put you head in the sand but start to take action.

Call your creditor before the due date of your payment.  You may be able to work out a temporary plan whereby you pay little or nothing for a few months or until you get yourself back on track.

However, don't be surprised to learn that even though you have been a good customer for many years and have never or rarely been late or missed a payment, they refuse to help you.

You'll soon find out that the credit card and banking industry is in business for one reason and one reason only...PROFIT!

Never forget that they DO NOT CARE:

  • That you've lost your job
  • That you have a family to take care of
  • That you've had a serious illness
  • That you've gone through a nasty divorce


So what can you do?

You should contact a Debt Management Company to see if you can qualify for a Debt Management Program (DMP). If you do, then your interest rates and fees will be greatly reduced and your single payment may be a little less that the total of your current minumum payments due.

If you can't afford the DMP, then you should consider a Settlement Program

Once your accounts are delinquent for 120-180 days, the creditor may be willing to accept a settlement offer at about 50% or so if you have that much to make in lump sum.

Of course, for most people, if they had that kind of money, they would be behind in the first place!

You may try to arrange a term-payment settlement, but you may not get as good a deal if it takes 6 months or so to complete.

The main problems with do-it-yourself debt settlement is:

  • You will be dealing with professional debt collectors that are trained to intimidate you into sending them as much money as possible.  Be very careful!
  • The debt settlement process takes many hours and for most people (who have a job and or family), they just cannot spend that kind of time.

You may want to seek the help of a professional debt settlement company that has the experience to help you.

The point is, there are alternatives to bankruptcy and you should explore them first.

Tags: debt settlement, best way to eliminate credit card debt, debt elimination without bankrupcy, alternatives to bankruptcy, settling credit card debt on your own

Debt Settlement Help

Too much debt? You may need debt settlement help.

debt settlement help

You've done your best to keep up with all of the credit card or unsecured debt you have, but there is just no way to keep up with the payments any longer.

After responding to an ad on TV, you find out that you cannot qualify for a Debt Management Program because the monthly payment is too large.

Rather than filing for bankruptcy, you may want to consider debt settlement help.

Debt Settlement is a program designed for those who are:

Facing severe financial hardship due to circumstances beyond their control.  Unemployment, rising cost of living to those on a fixed budget, divorce, disability...situations that can happen to anyone.

After your accounts have been past due for 120-180 days, most creditors will consider a settlement on the account.

In fact, you may receive a letter or statement offering a 75% settlement if you can send the entire amount by the end of the month. Of course, if you had that kind of money, you probably would not behind in the first place.  What can you do?

If you have 40%-50% that could be paid in a lump sum (most likely, you don't), then play hard-ball and offer 40%.  If you have a lump sum, you should be able to get the account settled for a much lower amount that 75%.

If you do not have the lump sum needed, then counter with a term-payment settlement of what your budget will allow.

Here's an example:

You have a credit card with a balance of $8,000.  It has been charged off and is with XYZ Collections.  

You don't have $4,000 (50%), but you could put $1,000 down and then make $300/month payments on the balance of $3000, for 10 months.

The agent will most likely say that they cannot go beyond 3 or 6 months.

Tell them you have no more funds and if the offer is rejected, then you would most likely have to file for bankruptcy protection.

If the answer is still no, then hang up.  You may get a call right away with a counter.  If you do...Hold firm!

Wait about 3-4 days (ignoring their calls) and then call back and hold firm with your offer.  You may have to give a little (12 months of $300 instead of 10 for a total of $4600 total), but you still have a decent settlement.

If the agent agrees, GET THE AGREEMENT IN WRITING! Never send or authorize a settlement payment without having the written agreement in hand!

Finally, don't be late on your payments!  There will be a phrase in the settlement agreement stating that any missed or late payments will VOID the agreement.

As you can see, it is possible to settle debts with your creditors on your own.  However, if you are uncomfortable with this proccess, there are Debt Settlement companies out there to do it for you.  Since you will have to pay a fee for their services, it may cost you a little bit more.  However, you will still save thousands and have an experienced debt settlment professional doing the negotiating for you.  Either way, Debt Settlement is a great option!

Tags: best way to eliminate credit card debt, debt relief solutions, Credit Card Debt Negotiation, settling credit card debt on your own, debt settlement help

Credit Card Debt Negotiation

credit card debt negotiationCredit Card Debt Negotiation


When faced with extreme financial hardship, making it almost impossible to pay the minimum payments due on your credit cards, you may want to try credit card debt negotiation. 

But before you jump in, you need to understand a few things:

  1. Credit card companies, and especially collection agencies, DO NOT CARE about you or your financial circumstances! Don’t waste time trying to explain.  
  2. If your account has not been charged off, you are probably not going to get a very good offer or any offer at all.  Creditors usually wait 120-180 days before giving up and charging off an account. 
  3. Once the account has been charged off, it most likely will be assigned to a collection agency.  The agency will begin to call (incessantly) in order to get as much money from you as possible. 
  4. Collection agencies can make agreements (within their client’s guidelines) to settle accounts for less than the full amount.   
  5. But BE AWARE!  The collection agent has been trained to get as much money out of you as possible!  They will use all kinds of tactics (many that violate the FDCPA) in order to intimidate you. 
  6. You may be told that they never settle for less than the full amount, but this is not true. 
  7. They may say that they settlement agreement must be in a lump sum and usually by the end of the month.  This is not true.  Term settlements can be arranged. 
  8. If you agree to a settlement, GET IT IN WRITING!  Do not be tricked into a verbal agreement. 
  9. Keep records of payment.  If there are any discrepancies or disputes in the future, you must have proof.

Credit card debt settlement is not easy!  It takes many hours and precise follow up to successfully negotiate with your creditors, so you may want to consider seeking the help of a Debt Settlement agency.

Photo By SqueakyMarmot

Tags: debt collection harassment, debt settlement, debt elimination without bankrupcy, Credit Card Debt Negotiation, settling credit card debt on your own

Is Settling Credit Card Debt on Your Own a Good Idea?

Is Settling Credit Card Debt on Your own a Good Idea?

People call in asking about our Debt Settlement program every day.  Once we discuss the program and how it works we are often asked the question, " Why can't I just settle these debts on my own?" 

The bottom line is, you can settle your outstanding unsecured debts on your own.  All you need to do is call up your creditors, explain your hardship situation, and make them a settlement offer.  Sounds pretty easy, right?

It's not quite that simple.  You absolutely can settle your debts on your own, but you would be doing yourself and your wallet a disservice!  Debt Settlement programs offer you years of experience and expertise in dealing with your creditors and collections agencies, and most of the time they can get your debts settled for MUCH LESS than you can on your own. 

Why can Debt Settlement programs get you a better deal?

  1. Years of practice: Good Debt Settlement negotiators have been settling debts for years on end.  This is what they do, and they have had a lot of time to hone their debt negotiating skills.
  2. No emotional attachment: When you negotiate your own debt, you are emotionally attached to the situation. The debt collectors know this and will use it to their advantage. 
  3. knowledge of the rules: Although Debt Settlement programs do not need to have any attorney on staff, they do have to have an understanding of the debt collection laws of each state.  They know what a creditor can and cannot do in a given situation, so the creditors cannot scare them into settling for more than they should.
  4. Peace of mind:Collections agents can be extremely threatening and scary to deal with.  It is the Debt Settlement negotiators job to handle all communications with your creditors.  You have a highly qualified professional in your corner and that in itself is indispensable.  
  5. Dedicated savings plan: Most people don't have thousands of dollars sitting around to use when negotiating with their creditors.  Debt Settlement programs put you on a dedicated savings plan to build the funds necessary to get your debts settled once and for all!

These are just a few of the reasons why settling your own debt could cost you in the long run. Using the resources of a Debt Settlement program will save you money and relieve the pressure of dealing with your creditors.  Although settling your debts on your own can work, Debt Settlement programs are most often the better choice.  

Tags: debt relief programs, debt settlement, best way to eliminate credit card debt, debt elimination without bankrupcy, settling credit card debt on your own