Is Debt Settlement in Suffolk County a Good Idea?
When the residents of Laurel, NY are in over their heads financially, they turn to Richard S. Feinsilver, Esq. of Your Long Island Bankruptcy Lawyer. With more than 25 years of experience in bankruptcy law, Mr. Feinsilver has successfully helped thousands of clients throughout the Suffolk County area alleviate their financial woes with fast, effective, and affordable debt consolidation solutions. You don’t have to struggle alone; with debt management guidance from Your Long Island Bankruptcy Lawyer, you can put an end to your financial worries and start a new chapter in your life!
When the bills are piling up, collections agencies are calling you around the clock, and the mail is filled with late notices from creditors, you’re probably wondering how you can consolidate debt and repay what you owe. You see a commercial on the TV or hear an ad on the radio from a debt settlement company that claims they can settle debt for a fraction of the total amount that you owe. You’re thinking to yourself, “This is the answer that I’ve been searching for!” But is it?
While debt settlement might sound like a perfect solution, it isn’t exactly what it seems. In reality, it can end up doing more harm than good, and it can cost you a pretty penny, to boot. Is debt settlement really a good idea? Before you jump on board, here’s a look at some important things that you should know.
How Debt Settlement Works
Debt settlement is a financial service that is usually offered by third-party companies. These companies claim that they will work with your creditors to negotiate settlements for your debts, thus minimizing the amount that you owe.
Generally, these companies instruct their clients to stop paying their bills and communicating with their creditors, and instead, they ask them to send monthly payments directly to the debt settlement company. The payments are held in an account that the company establishes on your behalf, and once there’s enough money in the account to settle your debt, they’ll pay off your creditors in one lump sum.
The Benefits of Debt Settlement
Debt settlement does offer some potential benefits. Namely, these benefits include:
A single monthly payment
Similar to debt consolidation, when you sign up for debt settlement, you’ll only make one monthly payment as opposed to several monthly payments to multiple creditors. Instead of repaying a credit card or a loan as you would with debt consolidation, however, you would pay the company that’s managing the settlement.
You may be able to repay your debts in a shorter period of time. Generally, debt settlement companies claim that they can repay your creditors in full within a two to four year period. That’s probably a lot faster than you’d be able to pay off your debts on your own; a process that can take years, if not decades to do if you’re following your original repayment schedules.
When you hand your debts over to a debt settlement company, they’ll handle your creditors and payments for you; all you need to do is make a single monthly payment to the company and they’ll do all the rest. When you aren’t juggling several bills, there’s no doubt you’ll feel a lot less stressed.
The Downsides of Debt Settlement
While debt settlement companies might be able to yield successful results, that isn’t always the case. Furthermore, there are certain risks involved with this repayment plan.
There’s no guarantee
While a reputable Suffolk County debt settlement company will certainly try their best to negotiate with your creditors, there’s no guarantee that your creditors will agree with those negotiations. In other words, there’s no way to guarantee that a settlement will be reached, so in the end, you could end up right where you started off.
Reduced credit score
Generally, debt settlement companies encourage their clients to stop making payments on their accounts. Once they’ve collected enough money in the account they’ve created on your behalf, they’ll pay out your creditors in one lump-sum. Since your creditors won’t receive any payments for a prolonged period of time, your accounts could become delinquent and your credit score can take a huge hit.
You could amass even more debt
When you stop making payments to your creditors, they might increase your interest rates or hit you with late fees, which will be tacked onto your balances. In the end, instead of alleviating your debt, you could end up accumulating more!
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: A Better Option than Debt Settlement
If you’re really struggling financially and you’re looking for a way that’s guaranteed to erase your debts, consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of using a debt settlement program.
Like many people in Laurel, NY, you may be under the assumption that bankruptcy is a bad thing and that you should avoid it at all costs. While it’s true that it’s never the ideal situation, when you’re in over your head financially and there’s no way out, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is actually the most viable solution. Why? – Because your creditors are forced to respond, whereas, with debt settlement, a lot of creditors won’t even think about negotiating. Additionally, bankruptcy completely wipes the slate clean; there aren’t any hidden fees to contend with and you won’t accumulate even more debt. Once the process is complete, you’ll have a blank slate to work with and can work toward rebuilding your credit.
While bankruptcy can affect your credit score, it’s important to note that it can actually have less of an effect on your credit history than debt settlement and debt consolidation. Plus, you can start working to rebuild your credit right away. It’s also important to note that in today’s economic climate, bankruptcy has become extremely commonplace, and as such, it doesn’t bear the same stigma that it once did.
In short, if you’re looking for a proven way to erase your debts and start fresh, bankruptcy is your best bet.
Your Long Island Bankruptcy Lawyer: Suffolk County’s Most Trusted Bankruptcy Attorney
If you live in the Laurel, NY area and you’re interested in learning more about bankruptcy, contact the Suffolk County bankruptcy expert: Richard S. Feinsilver, Esq. at Your Long Island Bankruptcy Lawyer.
With more than 25 years of experience and a proven track record of success, Mr. Feinsilver can help you start fresh and guide you toward a brighter financial future. To schedule a consultation at our Laurel office, please call 516-873-6330 at your earliest convenience.