When it comes to getting out of debt there are number of viable options and one of the most common is the debt settlement process. While debt settlement might not be the best option for every situation or individual, it can be a great way to reduce large portions of debt without causing great damage to your credit rating. So, what exactly is a debt settlement and how does it compare to filing a bankruptcy claim? The following article will supply you with the information you need to know in order to make the best possible decision.
Essentially, the debt settlement process involves direct negotiations with your creditors with an end goal of reducing the total amount of money you owe. Negotiation can be done either directly or through the use of a debt settlement attorney. Although you can save some money dealing with your creditors directly, an attorney based debt settlement is far more likely to produce the type of results you are looking for. The reason for this is that most attorneys are skilled in the art of negotiation and they know how to deal with creditors in ways that most others don’t. There are even some settlement companies that claim to be able to reduce the total amount owed by up to 70 percent!
Of course, there are some things to consider when selecting a settlement attorney. Rather than choosing the cheapest attorney you can find, consider hiring an attorney that will only be paid based on a successful outcome. Ideally, you should pay a flat percentage fee based on how much debt they are able to reduce. Doing this means that you won’t be subject to the risk that is often involved when working with questionable companies.
Perhaps the biggest downside to the settlement process is the fact that your credit score will take a huge hit in the short term. While not as damaging as filing bankruptcy, a debt settlement will make it difficult for you to borrow money for at least 2-3 years. As always, you should discuss any significant financial decisions with a reputable financial advisor prior to making a firm commitment.