Debt settlement is the process of negotiating with creditors to reduce the overall principal amount of the debts. For example: if you owe $8,000.00 on a credit card, we will negotiate with that credit card company on your behalf in order to get them to accept much less than the $8,000.00 as a full and final settlement of the total debt given your individual financial hardship. If you are unable to make the minimum monthly payments due to financial hardship and you are not realistically going to be able to pay off the debt in 2-4 years, debt settlement can be one of the most attractive options available to you!
Can I Really Pay Less Than I owe?
You may be asking why the credit card companies would be willing to settle the debt for a fraction of what is owed them, and the answer is simple: better something than nothing. The credit card companies are very aware of the fact that getting you to pay the debt once it has gone delinquent is slim to none. Credit card companies makes tons of money off the interest you pay so they want you to keep making minimum monthly payments to them forever. However, when you start missing payments because you can’t afford the payment given your hardship, the credit card companies start losing money on the predatory interest rates they are subjecting you to. At that point, they begin to get concerned and become open for negotiation. The credit card companies know all too well that bankruptcies are on the rise in todays’ difficult times, and they would much rather collect something than nothing.
How Does It Work?
After evaluating your individual circumstances, we will custom-tailor a program that fits your needs and set you on the road to financial freedom which can be yours in as little as 1-3 years.
Will creditors continue to contact me? How can I get them to stop?
As attorneys, we can shield you from the harassing calls and demands of the creditors. Once the credit card companies become aware of the fact that the Gershfeld Law Group is representing you, they will deal directly with us–giving you space to breathe!
Can I Settle Debt on My Own?
We tell our clients that they certainly can try to settle their own debt, and some of them have tried—only to return to us after no success. Here are just some of the reasons why hiring the Gershfeld Law Group is the best choice for you:
- Credit card companies are more cautious when dealing with us. As attorneys, they know that we have the knowledge, skills and ability to litigate or help you with bankruptcy proceedings if necessary;
- Credit card companies know they are dealing with people that are well versed in the laws and statutes;
- They know that we cannot be intimidated and bullied, because dealing with adversarial situations is what we do for a living;
- As attorneys we tend to have stronger negotiation and oral advocacy skills, thereby leading to better and quicker settlements;
- If a creditor decides to sue you, which is rare because it is not in their best interest to do so, we are in the best position to defend you against such lawsuits. Moreover, even in the face of a lawsuit, we continue to negotiate on your behalf.
How Do I know If I Qualify for Debt Settlement?
If you are struggling to make the minimum monthly payment on you accounts, or you anticipate not being able to afford minimum monthly payments due to unexpected financial hardships, you may qualify.
Our experienced and highly trained debt analysts will first gather information that we need in order to obtain a full, accurate and thorough picture of your finances (income, expenses, assets and liabilities) and your financial hardship. Next, they will gather more, in depth, information about every outstanding debt you have and every creditor you owe money to, as well as the status of the account.Once, we have a full understanding of your financial situation, hardship, list of creditors, and status of your creditor accounts, we will custom tailor a legal debt resolution program based on your ability to pay—not what creditors dictate you should pay!
What type of debt qualifies for debt settlement?
It’s important that you understand the difference between Unsecured Debts (which we CAN help you with) and Secured Debts (which we can’t help you with).
- Secured Debt is a loan where the creditor retains a security interest in any item of real or personal property. If you fall behind on payments, the lender can repossess the property. You may also remain liable for any deficiency balance owed. Examples of secured debt is your mortgage or car lease payment.
- Unsecured Debt generally arises out of a contract you enter into with a creditor, which enables you to obtain goods or services on credit in exchange for your promise to pay the creditor back. This debt is NOT secured by any real or personal property. As such, if you fall behind on these debts the lender cannot repossess any tangible property, and can only initiate legal proceedings against you to attempt to collect on the debt. The most common types of unsecured debts are: credit cards, medical or collection debt, unsecured personal loans, deficiency balances on vehicles already repossessed, and some unsecured business debt.
How long does the process take?
We will customize a legal debt resolution program based on your ability to pay which can range from as little as 6 months to as much as 4 years. Even our longest program is still significantly less than the 20-40 years it would take you on your own by just making the minimum payments.
How will this affect my credit?
Before we answer that question, let’s talk a little about what affects credit. What most people do not know is that other than non-payment, there are many things that affect your credit. Just the fact that you have a large amount of debt on various credit cards is an important factor that negatively affects your credit. In fact, unless you are paying off your credit card balances in full each month, there will be a negative effect on your credit. Moreover, your credit score is only one part of what lenders look at when deciding whether to lend you money. They look just as much at your debt-to-income ratio. If the ratio of your debt to income is too high, it won’t matter if you have a perfect credit score–banks will still not want to lend you money.
More important, let’s examine what it means to have good credit. Why is it so important to preserve a good credit score? There is only one real answer to that question: TO GET INTO MORE DEBT! We need a good credit score to be able to get credit. Credit=Debt. While we are not saying that it’s not important to have a good credit score in the long run, you have to focus on what is really important to you in the current moment. In other words, you need to choose your battles and weigh your options. At this time in your life, are you looking to get into more debt, or are you looking to get out of the $20,000, $30,000.00 or $50,000 thousand dollars of debt you are currently drowning in?
Bottom line is: Yes. Your credit score can be impacted, but a credit score is temporary and repairable. As we begin to settle your debts, one at a time, your credit will start repairing itself. So, you must ask yourself if it’s worth temporarily lowering your credit score in exchange for living a debt free life. We know you will see that it does!
How is this different from bankruptcy?
There are too many differences to mention in a quick answer—so just ask Yana! Please see the video in Yana’s Corner where she answers that very same question!
How do I know this is not a scam?
There are many companies out there that claim to be able to settle your debts. These are known as debt settlement companies, which are just basically ordinary businesses. You want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm—not a fly by night unregulated company. Not only are we an established firm with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, as a law firm, in addition to being regulated by many administrative and regulatory bodies—the Gershfeld Law Group is regulated by the State Bar in every state that we operate in. As lawyers, we have many ethical requirements that we must comply with and duties that we owe our clients. As professionals, the standard of care is much higher than for an ordinary business–and that should give you peace of mind—which is priceless!
WHO WE ARE
The Gershfeld Law Group provides a variety of legal services, ranging from Debt Relief to Civil Litigation and Business Transactions. We pride ourselves in providing excellent legal service with a personal touch. At the Gershfeld Law Group, you are not just a name. We take pride in having a personal relationship with each one of our clients.
Here at the Gershfeld Law Group, we understand that “Strategy” makes the difference between success and failure. Every move we make on behalf of our clients is carefully planned and methodically executed. With proper leverage and excellent negotiation skills, we always put our clients in a position of strength so they can effectively achieve their goals.A
HOW WE CAN HELP
Let this year be the year you make a commitment to becoming debt free. Call us for a personal and free consultation where we can review your financial situation and walk you through a number of possible options!!!