Other than the obvious (repaying your debts) which most clients just can’t do, workable options that we can recommend are limited.
A lot of clients ask us about “debt settlement” companies which are all over late night and early morning television and who can afford to advertise heavily through television, radio and direct mail to consumers. We cannot endorse any of these companies who continue to prey on the desperate consumers who fall victim to marketing ploys and schemes, hoping to settle their debt for pennies on the dollar, without having to file bankruptcy, and at very low cost to them.
These claims are simply not true. We repeatedly speak with consumers who have tried these companies. We’ve had dozens of people who have signed up with these companies (which are always out of state!), pay huge amounts of money into a fund to be used for “possible settlement negotiations,” and then never hear anything about their debts being settled. When the consumer runs out of money and can’t make the “settlement payments,” the companies stop paying the creditors and then the creditors sue. Once a lawsuit is filed, the desperate consumer contacts the company who conveniently fails to respond to calls and letters. Sometimes consumers are in these schemes for several years, struggling to make payments while no debts are ever negotiated.
By the time the consumer comes to us, they are out thousands of dollars (we’ve had clients who have lost as much as $7,000), have no debt settlements with any creditors, and one or more collection lawsuits pending. Do the math. For a couple of thousand dollars in legal fees and filing fees to the bankruptcy court and 4-6 months of your time, you could’ve just filed bankruptcy and had immediate relief from creditors, certainty about your finances, and closure within 4 months, usually (in our jurisdiction).
Contrast the debt settlement company with a credit counseling service. Most attorneys will suggest that if you have any disposable income, you first consider meeting with Consumer Credit Counseling Service, the only credit counseling service most attorneys would recommend their clients try before considering bankruptcy. CCCS has offices all over the country and they are well worth the time it takes to meet with them to see whether they can formulate a workable budget for your financial situation.
Lucy Hebron represents clients in East Texas counties: Camp, Cass, Harrison, Marion, Upshur, Anderson, Cherokee, Gregg, Henderson, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Smith, Van Zandt and Wood and the following cities: Pittsburg, Linden, Marshall, Daingerfield, Gilmer, Palestine, Jacksonville, Longivew, Arp, Athens, Brownsboro, Carthage, Overton, Emory, Henderson, Kilgore, Tyler, Bullard, Elkhart, Frankston, Rusk, Mt. Enterprise, Gun Barrel City, Canton, Quitman, Hideaway Lake, Lindale, Whitehouse, Troup, Winona, Van, Ben Wheeler, Grand Saline, Fruitvale, Edgewood, Wills Point, Quitman, Mineola, Hawkins, Yantis, Alba, Tatum, Holly Lake Ranch and Winnsboro.
We are a debt-relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code.
The information on this site is for general information only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for your individual case. You should consult an attorney for advice on your own situation.