Is Debt Settlement a Good Idea?

With so many individuals and families struggling due to the economic recession in the U.S., the number of debt settlement companies has multiplied. These companies advertise their services, looking to capitalize on people who want to pay off their debts. Unfortunately, these companies frequently mislead individuals as to the relief they may receive and not extend the assistance debtors expect.

If you are being offered a debt settlement by a credit card company or are considering turning to a debt settlement company for help, speak to a lawyer first. At the Law Offices of Beth B. Carter in the Lake Norman area of North Carolina, you can learn more about your debt relief options. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to file for bankruptcy rather than to work on settling a debt, if settling one debt would only be a short-term fix. Particularly, if one is dipping into retirement monies to settle debts, please speak to an attorney first.

To schedule a free consultation with attorney Beth Carter to discuss your debt settlement options, call 704-817-0269, toll free at 888-354-6975, or contact her online. Home and off-site visits are available by appointment.

How Debt Settlement Works

In most cases, a credit card company or other creditor is not going to consider settling the debt unless the account is delinquent. If a settlement is being offered, it may be possible to negotiate with the help of an attorney or have the attorney review settlement terms to be certain they are clearly understood.

Many people with accounts that are past due may be enticed by seeking the assistance of a debt settlement company. It is very important that you clearly understand the relief being offered before you pay any entity money to assist with your financial crisis.

If a debt is settled, you may receive a 1099c tax form for the settlement, leaving you liable for paying taxes on a portion of the amount of debt forgiven. This tax liability may not be discussed by the creditor and may be an unwelcome surprise after you believe that you have gotten your finances in order.

Avoid Debt Negotiation Scams

Some debt settlement companies are not all that they seem. You may be paying a company monthly amount and think that money is going toward your debts. However, the company may not be paying your creditors and instead is saving your money to pay when the debt is settled, acting as a savings account while your creditor accounts continue to become more delinquent. In these instances, the creditors can still file a lawsuit to try and collect from you.

If you get involved with a debt settlement company, it is important to read all contracts very carefully and be skeptical. You can save your own money in anticipation of proposing a settlement to a creditor instead of paying a debt settlement company to do so for you.

Protect Yourself With an Experienced Charlotte-Area Attorney

The Law Offices of Beth B. Carter in North Carolina offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions about credit card debt relief. To schedule your meeting at either the Denver or Huntersville offices, call 704-817-0269 (toll free at 888-354-6975) or contact the office online.