Monday, January 28, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Credit Card Debt Settlement Tips

Settling your own debts, especially credit card debt is no easy feat. However, it is doable. If you think that you need to hire a professional debt settlement company to help you out, that will depend on whether you can take the stress or not.

Truth be told, dealing with creditors and collectors can be very frustrating, stressful and downright intimidating. If you understand what debt settlement entails, then you know that it involves defaulting on your credit card payments. That will surely agitate your creditors enough to start making frequent calls.

If you are intent on saving the money for the service fees, then you need to do one thing first: research. Any debt relief option that you will take should be undertaken with a level of education. Know your options. The benefit of a debt settlement company is they have the expertise and experience in handling creditors. The absence of these qualities require you to do your own exploration so you know what you are up against. That can only be done by careful research.

One of the things that you need to read about is the FDCPA or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Creditor and collectors can get really intimidating. While they have every right to collect from you, they are bound by several rules to make debt collection fair and just. They cannot threaten you with jail time or harass you with calls anytime of the day. They are also prohibited from calling you in the workplace - especially if you requested them not to call you there. If you want to negotiate with them, you need to know what they are capable of doing. The FDCPA will give you all the answers to this.

Another tip when doing your own debt settlement is to keep mentioning bankruptcy. Your creditors, while they are capable of suing you in court for what you owe, are actually afraid of bankruptcy. If you have nothing to liquidate (no house or car or any valuable possession), then the chances that they will not get anything is more likely. This will make them more inclined to accept your settlement offer.

Try to be very patient when you are talking to your collectors. Remember that they are only doing their job and you have the responsibility to pay off your debts. It may be true that you did not ask for your current financial crisis - but neither did your creditor. So be patient, kind and try not to lose your temper. Sometimes, you get the best settlement deal if you remained cordial the whole time.

Lastly, make sure you record every communication and agreement in black and white. Never send payments if you do not have a written copy of the settlement agreement. You need to have proof that they agreed to your proposal. A verbal consent or acceptance will not hold much value - unless you were able to record the conversation.

Of course, if things get too complicated, go for a professional debt relief company. They can assist you by handling all the calls for you. That makes concentrating on debt payments easier to handle.

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