Bankruptcy vs. Debt Settlement
Debt Settlement or Debt Negotiation
Whether a debt settlement program or negotiator can help you comes down to the number of credit accounts with outstanding balances, how much is owed on each account, how long you have been delinquent on those accounts, what your current household budget requires for necessities and whether you have disposable income. Too many people fall for the out-of-town debt settlement pitches on TV, radio, or the internet that promise the world but don't deliver. These programs tend to have high resolution and servicing fees, and their basic structure does not help people with significant credit card debt.
As much as these companies claim to have secrets and strategies to help people resolve debts through their programs, the reality is that there are no secret solutions. Their strategy is to have you stop paying your credit card bills, save money, and then try to negotiate settlements with the credit card companies once sufficient funds are available for settlement. After the credit card companies realize you cannot afford the full balance owed, they may become amicable to taking something rather than nothing. However, there are many pitfalls to this option that you need to be aware of before heading down this road. At EDF Law, we can help you determine if debt settlement is a realistic option. Why speak to an out-of-town representative with no formal legal training when you can speak to a Pennsylvania-licensed attorney who has been helping people resolve their debt issues for over a decade? Our fees are often lower than what the out-of-town debt settlement companies offer.
Unlike Debt Settlement Programs, the automatic stay laws of the Bankruptcy Code go into effect in most cases from the moment the bankruptcy is filed. This law stops creditors from continuing their attempts to collect the debt you owe, including phone calls, collection letters, and pending or starting collection lawsuits. It can result in a quick remedy for the creditor harassment and demands.
Once your bankruptcy case is successfully completed, the discharge of the debts picks up where the automatic stay leaves off and permanently prevents your creditors from ever collecting a discharged debt for the rest of your life.
Whether bankruptcy is right for you depends on your current situation and what you have done so far to try and fix it. You probably have heard that bankruptcy should be your last resort for debt relief. The problem with that statement is that it can be misleading, causing a person to look into options that simply will not work for them.
The best way to find out if bankruptcy is truly your last resort or is currently your best option is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney that also offers alternatives to bankruptcy services. At our office, Attorney Eugene Frank has extensive experience helping people gain a financial fresh start through the bankruptcy process or avoid it when realistic.
Unlike some attorneys that offer only bankruptcy services to help a person resolve their debts, our office has many ways to assist our clients, depending on their circumstances. We will not try to "convince" you that bankruptcy is the only option if in fact there are other ways to help you resolve your debt issues.
We also provide additional services to our bankruptcy clients, including free credit report analysis before filing the bankruptcy case as well as after the case is closed to ensure any inaccuracies are properly disputed. We can also provide tips on how to restore your credit once you have obtained a financial fresh start.
We are a debt relief agency that helps people file for bankruptcy relief pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code as well as helping people avoid bankruptcy when it is the more appropriate choice.