Saturday, May 25, 2019

Know The Process And The Risks Of Debt Settlement Beforehand

Wazzup Pilipinas!

If you want to make your debt settlement process a success, you will need to know the risks that you may face apart from the working process of it. In simple terms, debt settlement is one of the most popular strategies of finance industry wherein a negotiation is initiated between the creditor and the borrower finding it difficult to pay off the debt to that particular creditor.

As a result of this negotiation, an agreement is arrived in which the creditor accepts a lower amount than the actual debt balance as full payment and the debt is cancelled. Simple! Well, it is not that simple at all.

Why? Because:

A debt settlement negotiation may or may not be initiated by the creditor especially when there is a third party negotiator involved

The amount that you or your debt settlement company offer to the creditor may not be accepted

When you stop making payments to your creditor in this process it will damage your credit score which is why most people having a good credit avoids this process

Debt collectors may still continue to hound you for asking to make your payments that you have stopped

The creditors may still sue you for not paying and if they win they may even garnish your wage to recover their money for unsecured loans and confiscate the collateral for secured loans

The escrow account created by the debt settlement company needs to be managed well and the company will charge you a monthly fee for that matter along with their original service fees making the debt settlement process costly

There is a fair enough chance of being duped by scam debt settlement companies if you are not careful with your selection and do not compare the debt settlement ratings for that matter

It can take a long time, anything between two to four years to reach to a settlement and accomplish it and

It can take years after a successful debt settlement just to discover that you owe some tax on your forgiven debt as per the Internal Revenue Service clause.

Therefore, with all such risks involved, debt settlement should be your last resort, in spite of its benefits.

Limits of debt settlement

There is no way in which you can opt for debt settlement right away. There are a few limitations for this process to come into play.

Typically, debt settlement process is not possible unless there are not any skipped or late payments and unless it is a potential collection account. However, deliberate failures will not facilitate debt settlement.

The creditor has to believe that you really are in a state of financial crisis and it is better to accept what you can afford and offer rather than lose the entire sum if you file for bankruptcy down the road. If they believe that you can pay the full amount that you agreed to originally, they will not settle your account.

Debt settlement is the most suitable option for unsecured debt such as credit cards. You will not be able to settle a few specific types of debts such as federal student loans or a secured loan on a house that can be foreclosed on or even a car loan as it can be repossessed.

Add to that, debt settlement offers will only work when you open a separate savings account and stop making payments to your creditor and instead pay a monthly sum in to this specific savings account to build a substantial amount of money which the debt settlement company can offer to your creditor as a lump sum offer for a reduced debt amount.

This means, when debt settlement does not work you will need to look for other available options to repay your debt. These options includes taking on a debt management plan as an income based repayment plan or taking on a debt consolidation loan.

No guarantees for success

When you opt for debt settlement you take on a lot of risks because there is no guarantee for the success of this process. Moreover, even if the creditor allows settling your debt for a lower amount, there is no clear cut process for its success. Often scam companies will advertise that they will reduce your debts by as much as 50% and make you debt free within three years but the fact can be far from it.

Considering the facts and statements of two of the largest debt settlement companies namely, National Debt Relief and Freedom Debt Relief it is found that no more than $8 billion in debt has been settled by the for about 450,000 clients since 2002. This figure may be substantial but they still do not guarantee success for debt settlement considering the fact that a few of the creditors do not even negotiate with them.

Another research conducted by a nonprofit research and policy group The Center for Responsible Lending it is found that at least four of the loan accounts of most the consumers needed to be settled to gain the net benefit. In addition to that there is always the risk of the debt total rising due to fees accrued and therefore aggressive collection attempts still continued in most of the cases even after the loans were under consideration for settlement.

If you are already a delinquent customer you will be badly hit if you opt for debt settlement. This is because the reports of delinquent accounts stay on the credit reports for several years when the lenders report that the debt has been charged off.

Therefore, you must consult a reputed credit counselor before you take on debt settlement as your option to prevent the risks. However, every debt relief option may come with its significant amount of risk. It is for this reason you are advised to take on as much debt as you can afford to repay back on time and not fall behind. Following a proper household budget is the most prudent way to manage your finance, debt and your mental peace.

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