Want To Join Debt Relief Programs? Here Are Some Tips
In today's slow economy and skyrocketing prices of commodities, thousands of Americans are in need of debt relief programs. If you're one of the many Americans struggling to get yourself out of debt, you have several options you can consider when it comes to debt relief programs.
Before you attend debt consolidation programs or similar debt relief offers, be aware that there are scammers out there. They know that people who are looking for debt relief programs are desperate. Scammers are everywhere, and debt relief programs are no exception. In the case of such programs, you'll find people and companies that will promise everything; they're simply out to take money from people who are already in deep financial troubles.
When you're trying to join debt consolidation programs online, look for the Better Business Bureau or BBB logo on their sites. This is one way you can weed out the scammers from the legitimate debt relief programs. You can also search for "debt relief scams" online.
First Alternative: Do It Yourself
So, how do you eliminate debt? You have a number of options when it comes to choosing debt relief programs. Your first option would be to deal with creditors on your own. Whether you are dealing with IRS debt relief or credit card debt collectors, the rule of thumb is to be honest with them and to talk to them as soon as possible. This keeps you from being labeled as "bad" by your creditors. Construct a monthly budget which shows the money you earn and the money you spend, and show it to your creditors. Your openness on this matter will help them to see that your non-payment is because you cannot afford to pay them without sacrificing money for food, housing, clothing and transportation, and not because you don't want to pay them. Creditors are in fact aware that you will not be able to repay them if you have no house, clothes, food or transportation. Majority of creditors are willing to create a plan with you that will allow you to pay off your debt while still being able to pay for your other monthly expenses. You can also opt in for debt consolidation programs or loans.
Second Alternative: Employ a Debt Settlement Firm
If you are the kind of person who has trouble dealing with creditors, you should consider hiring a debt settlement firm as one of your debt relief programs. Basically, you hire an individual, who may be a lawyer who deals specifically with debt negotiation, or a company to deal with creditors in your name. They will take care of resolving your debt, and on occasion, they are able to negotiate and lower your debt considerably. You should be aware, however, that there are a few companies that falsely advertise themselves as debt settlement experts when they are really only after your money. Take note of the warning paragraph at the beginning of this article and make sure to ask around before you sign anything.
Debt Relief Programs Option #3: File for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is a debt relief option, but it should be the last option, one anyone needs to avoid unless it is the only choice left. This is because whether you file a Chapter 7 (liquidation) or Chapter 13 (partial payback), your credit record is going to reflect this bankruptcy filing and will remain there for at least 7 years. A bankruptcy in your credit record can have serious consequences, including career implications and future loan applications.
If you're facing a lawsuit, however, for not being able to pay your debts, bankruptcy may be your only option if only so that you can hold on to certain critical assets such as your home, car and retirement accounts. If you think filing for bankruptcy is your only option for debt relief, find a lawyer specializing in bankruptcy laws.
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