If you are struggling with debts you unable to pay, there may seem to be little alternative other than to deal with the harassing phone calls from debt collection agencies while waiting for legal actions to be filed. Bankruptcy can provide much-needed relief in these situations, but there are some alternatives to bankruptcy you may want to consider first. Whichever path you choose to take, make sure you are dealing with an experienced and reputable debt relief attorney. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scam artists out there who know the vulnerable position you are in and are looking to take advantage of it for their own gains.
Debt Repayment and Settlement Plans
There are several options you can explore before choosing to file for bankruptcy, depending on the types of debts you owe:
For Credit Card Debt
Credit cards represent unsecured debt, meaning there is nothing the creditor can repossess in order to get back some of the value of the amount you owe. This puts you in a good position to negotiate a debt settlement, in which you offer to pay back only a portion of the loan. To get interest or past due payments waived you may also have to agree to a somewhat higher payment plan going forward or come up with the funds to settle the account in one lump sum.
For Mortgages and Car Loans
You may be able to negotiate better terms on your home mortgage if you act quickly before you have missed more than one payment. Car loan companies and banks may be less likely to cooperate in reducing your interest or payments on a car loan. If these are debts you can no longer afford and you are willing to part with the property, selling may be a good idea.
For Past Taxes
If you owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for past due taxes, payment plans can be arranged, or you may be able to make an offer in compromise. This allows you to settle your debt for less than the total amount you owe. If a job loss or other difficulty is the reason for your current problems, the IRS may be willing to delay collection actions until you get back on your feet.
Beware of Debt Relief Scams
When seeking ways to reduce or eliminate your debts without having to file for bankruptcy, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers to be wary of debt relief scams. These companies often advertise on television or may contact you through robocalls, offering to settle or reduce the total amount you owe. While charging hefty fees for their services, they fail to follow through and may even steal your personal information to others in the process.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
To discuss realistic options for dealing with outstanding debts you can no longer afford, contact the Law Offices Of Eric G. Zelazny. Our dedicated Tinley Park debt relief attorney can help assess your situation and the best course of action to put you back on financial track. Call or contact our office online today to request a free consultation.