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Debt Negotiation Guide:Stage One
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This page is about online Debt Settlement, which is also known as debt negotiation. This should not be confused with Debt Management/Consolidation, which is covered in a separate section. Whereas debt management is about finding a way to repay everything you owe, Debt Settlement involves only repaying a significantly reduced proportion of the original amount of your debt. People normally opt for debt settlement when they do not have enough spare income for a debt management plan.
Please Note: Debt settlement is a practice that is widespread in the US, but it not really found in the UK because there is a better alternative called an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement. UK citizens interested in writing off a large proportion of their debts should refer to the IVA page.
Debt settlement is a service provided by specialist companies whose experienced advisors negotiate with your creditors to pay off your debts at reduced rates. They usually do this by agreeing to wipe out substantial portions of your debts in exchange for paying the remainder in a lump sum. Reductions in the overall debts are frequently between 40% and 60%.
These agreements may take varying times to negotiate with different creditors, and you meanwhile agree to pay an affordable monthly payment to the debt management company or into a separate account. While the negotiation process is taking place, your monthly payments are being saved up to use to pay off creditors when terms are agreed. The money will normally be kept in a trust account for this purpose.
The companies who offer debt settlement online charge for their services, and this is usually a proportion of the debt that they manage to get wiped out. Provided that you select a good company who negotiate well on your behalf, the benefits of the debt reduction should well outweigh the fees involved.
Debt settlement is a process designed to help people in real hardship. This means that to be suitable to enter into a debt settlement program you need to be unable to afford to repay the debts that you have. People experiencing hardship have often lost their jobs, been through a divorce or suffered some change in their circumstances which has led them to consider alternatives such as bankruptcy. These are the circumstances that debt settlement is designed to address.
If you have enough money to keep up with the repayments due on your debts, you do not need debt settlement and are unlikely to be accepted by any reputable company. It is only a viable option if you do not have enough money coming in to keep up with payments due now or into the future.
Debt settlement negotiation is an extremely common solution for credit card debt, but can be used for other unsecured debts such as store cards, personal loans, bank overdrafts, catalogue debts, etc.
Debt Settlement cannot be used for 'secured' debts (such as mortgages), or for council tax, alimony, child support, tax arrears, council tax, etc.
It is important to be aware that there are many companies out there offering debt settlement online services, but they are not all equal. Unless you choose a reputable and established company with a good track record of helping people, you are likely to end up with an agreement which fails, leaving you in more debt than when you started.
Unfortunately, some debt settlement companies are less concerned with finding the right solution for your situation and negotiating the best deal for you, than they are with charging excessive and non-refundable fees. In fact there are many companies to avoid, from the ones who simply do not achieve good results, to the ones who are outright scams.
You should ensure that you get advice and quotations from at least two or three settlement companies so that you can compare the different proposals and make a decision based on which provides the best value for you. You can do this easily whithout any obligation by applying to companies online and seeing what they can offer.
To help you avoid some of the debt settlement online companies that are likely to just give you advice based on what will bring them the biggest profit, I have recommended some of the leading US debt settlement online companies, who are all reliable, good value and reputable.
Remember - Debt Settlement online is only suitable if you have considerable unsecured debt to several different creditors. They cannot cover secured loans or mortgages. You should also have a source of income and some money left over after paying your basic living expenses.
The following recommendations are all for US companies, because that is where debt settlement is a widespread approach. For UK citizens, debt settlement does not really exist in the same way, as there is a much better alternative called an IVA, or Individual Voluntary Agreement. The companies below can therfore only assist US citizens.
Read a full Review of CuraDebt here
Without doubt one of the leading debt settlement and debt management companies in the US, CuraDebt have been helping US citizens with money problems since 1996 and have an exceptional track record of success. One advantage of this is that they already have strong relationships with many of the most common creditors. Their team of very experienced negotiators have already settled well over $100 million of debt, and helped thousands of people to stay on track through the process of becoming financially solvent again.
Curadebt are unusual in providing you with a written guarantee of results. They also undertake business debt settlement for people who run companies that are experiencng debt problems.
Minimum Requirements For Help From Curadebt
For Curadebt to be able to help you, you must have at least $5,000 worth of unsecured debt. Curadebt are unusual in being able to help people in all US states EXCEPT Colorado and can also assist people in Canada.
How To Apply To Curadebt
The online application takes literally seconds, with just eight fields to complete. Just fill in the very simple online form, and then you will get an automated phone call which is just to verify your phone number. This message will give you a PIN number that you need to enter to validate your application. Please note, it is very important to complete the application form accurately and to respond to the verification message, otherwise your application will not be followed up.
Once your application is validated, an experienced debt advisor will get in touch to go through your finances with you.
Oak View Law Group are a firm of attorneys, which is a great advantage as a debt settlement company. They also offer a full money back guarantee for all fees paid if at any point you change you mind, so you really have nothing to lose. I have selected them because they are one of the most open and up front organisations offering debt settlement. They set out very clearly how their fee structure works and the amount they are paid depends on the success of the settlements they achieve.
They have a host of satisfied customers that they have helped and they are a member of the Better Business Bureau, which is an assurance of certain standards of good practice. You can apply very quickly online, after which they will contact you by telephone to discuss your situation.
OVLG offer debt settlement in all US states except WI, WY, NC, WV, DE and ND. You can find their online form here. Just fill in the fields on the right of the page.
Credit.com are another well established and highly respected company who work with a network of different debt help companies, chosen to deal with the many different types of financial circumstances which people find themselves in.
To be considered for assistance by Credit.com, you must have a minimum of $10,000 in unsecured debts and a source of income. Student loans and auto loans cannot be included in the program.
To get a free, no obligation consultation, just complete the online application form and they will get straight back to you by telephone to discuss your circumstances and requirements.
Your online application is used to match you with a provider who specializes in helping people in your particular circumstances. This partner will then go through your situation in more detail with you.
Selecting the right company for debt settlement online can make all the difference to whether you succeed in eliminating your financial problems or not, so I hope these recommendations are helpful.
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