Friday, November 29, 2013

Two Debt Reduction Options When In A Financial Crisis

Even if you are in a financial crisis, that does not mean your debt obligations will cease. Regardless of your situation with your money, your debt responsibility remains the same. You still have to pay it off and the problem of making all your payments fit within your income is all yours.

However, that does not mean you cannot get any help. What you need is to reduce debt payments and there are two debt relief programs that can provide you with that. Definitely, creditors will be fighting you for this reduction but if you implement the right program, you have a chance to make it happen.

The first option that you have is the one that is most associated with debt reduction. We are talking about debt settlement. This program involves a negotiation process that will aim to convince your creditors that you are in a financial crisis. You will prove to them that you can no longer afford to pay what you originally owe. But instead of not paying a cent, you will acquire a lumpsum amount of money that you will offer to your creditors as a settlement fund. This amount can be something that you will save on the side or get from your savings. Some people get it from their retirement fund but that is not really advisable. You will offer to pay pennies for every dollar that you owe. The creditors will haggle with you of course, but make sure that you will not agree to an amount that is beyond what you can afford. When you get to an agreement, make sure that you get a signed document from the creditor that paying the agreed amount will forgive the rest of the debt that you owe. Basically, that means the amount that your settlement fund cannot cover will be marked as forgiven and the whole debt will be considered completely settled.

The other debt reduction option that you have is bankruptcy. There are two ways that you will qualify to file for bankruptcy: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. You have to go through a means test to determine which Chapter you will file. This means test will basically compare your salary with the average median salary range in the State where you filed.

If you are lower than the average, you can qualify for Chapter 7. In this type of bankruptcy, the courts will get the eligible assets that you have and liquidate them. The money generated will go to your creditors to settle what you owe. Anything that is not covered will be considered discharged - and you will no longer owe anything on these credit accounts.

If your income is higher than the average, then you have to file a Chapter 13 petition. This is when the bankruptcy court will impose that you go through a repayment plan. This is something that you have to pay off in a couple of years. This usually helps pay off a portion of what you owe. Anything that is not covered here will be discharged by the courts.

Both debt settlement and bankruptcy may be appealing because of the debt reduction but you have to know that they can ruin your credit score. But if you really cannot afford your usual debt payments anymore, then you need to let go of your credit score and just deal with the debt problem the best way you can.

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