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How to survive a debt settlement negotiation

settle your debtsAre you stuck under a pile of credit card bills, student loans or a mortgage? You are not the only one. Across the world, people are struggling to come to terms with and control their debt. The worst part is when all your debt accounts are handed over to a collections agency and they come calling at your door. With all their harassment and insults, they make you feel like it’s the end of the world. Don’t worry and remember that it’s all a part of the game they play to get their job done.

Before all this starts happening, the best thing to do is take a reality check. The moment you realise that your debt situation is out of control, start thinking of ways to control it. There are ways and means on how to negotiate debt settlement.

Deal with the collectors

Face up to these guys and come to a settlement. What are some of the considerations while dealing with the collectors?

  • Get the priorities right. When you decide on giving money to your creditors, first make sure that all your basic needs are covered. After keeping aside money for food, lodging, medicines, etc, then you start prioritizing the debt that you need to pay off. Never get intimidated by the collectors.
  • Keep records. When it comes to money matters, make sure you have records of every deal and interaction along the way. All the letters, the e-mails, must be saved. Try and avoid voice interactions as much as possible and keep the correspondence written. Whenever any agreement is made, make sure it’s all in black and white and signed by the appropriate authorities.
  • Again, don’t be coerced into paying more than what you can realistically afford. Don’t be taken in by the demands of the collectors and always offer to pay less than what you can actually afford. Always appear to be in control of the situation. If you show your vulnerability, they will zone in and try to take advantage of your weakness. This is one of the prime rules in how to negotiate a debt settlement.

Getting the services of a debt settlement company

Do you feel that confronting credit sharks is not in your style? Then you can always hire a company to deal with your creditors and do the negotiations. Again, step very carefully when you are hiring a company. Only hire a company with a good, solid reputation. Always go by referrals and recommendations. Remember that a respectable company wont need to solicit services through telemarketing and email blasts. They will rely on their good reputation through a steady clientele.

One important question to ask yourself before hiring a firm is whether their fees will add to your existing debt or actually sort out your debt problems? Be sure to get a clear picture of what their fees are and how those are being charged. Get it in writing to avoid grey areas.

Be well informed and aware

Make sure you are protected by knowing your rights. The more informed you are, the stronger your position will be. No one will be able to take you for a ride. You can get free data on debt settlement firms and collectors, from bodies like the state attorney general’s office, the FTC and so on. Then you will know what these people are allowed to do and not, with your debts. Get information about the debt settlement firms from your local Better Business Bureau before taking any definitive steps.

Act on time, and your future will be a steady one.

Ashton is a reputed freelance writer on topics like finance, debt and real estate. He has been published in internationally known publications over the past five years, where he has written articles on how to negotiate debt settlement. Ashton loves watching fantasy movies.

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November 15, 2013 um 8:17 am
Budgeting,Debt,Personal Finance
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