Myth-Busting Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyer Targets Debt Settlement

December 16, 2011 3:20 pm Published by

“While other businesses struggle to stay afloat, the debt-settlement industry is flourishing,”target notes SmartMoney.com. It should come as no surprise to regular Bankruptcy in Indiana readers that, as a debt consolidation lawyer, I’d say all that flourishing comes at the expense of people who can least afford the additional pain and financial worry.

As bankruptcy attorneys in Indiana, all the lawyers who work in all four Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices see the aftermath of what SmartMoney correctly calls the “hefty price” of debt settlements, with fees often running into thousands of dollars.  In fact, SmartMoney cites an example of someone with a $50,000 debt load who was charged as much as $10,000 in fees. “Those fees need to be paid before the consumer can start paying off the settlement itself,” points out the reporter. 

After 25 years offering Indiana bankruptcy help, including bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana, Chapter 13 bankruptcy and small business bankruptcy in Indiana, I’ve seen more than my share of clients who, after paying those hundreds and even thousands of dollars in fees, were unable to complete the debt settlement program and ended up filing personal bankruptcy in Indiana anyway (which would have been the less costly and quicker solution from the start!).

By way of providing importantIndiana bankruptcy information, I wanted to share one very important judgment SmartMoney offered:  Besides the loss of money and time, debt settlement entails a real risk.

“Since debt settlement companies instruct consumers to stop paying their bills while they’re saving for a settlement, their balances continue to swell with interest and late fees and credit scores plummet.  In order to get paid, creditors may even sue.”

One of my Columbus bankruptcy attorney colleagues becomes especially enraged on behalf of her clients when she learns that they’ve been charged debt settlement fees without the banks or credit card companies who are their creditors having promised to settle anything!

“Debt settlement is sometimes confused with debt consolidation, in which borrowers are offered one big loan to pay off their smaller debts,” says Money.msn.com. “But debt settlement is a different animal.  Instead of offering a loan or repayment plan, debt settlement companies typically advise their clients to stop paying their bills and instead save up cash, which the company then will use to negotiate lump-sum settlements,” continues Money.msn.

As I’ve seen over and over again in my Indiana bankruptcy law practice, the creditors are not holding their breath or waiting politely for that settlement negotiation to take place.  In the true story highlighted by Money.msn, for example, the debtor was receiving what he called “brutal calls” every 15 minutes!

The fact is, only bankruptcy comes with an Automatic Stay.  Only bankruptcy stops those brutal phone calls cold and halts legal actions against a debtor.  Whether it’s bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana or Chapter 13 bankruptcy law in Indiana we’re talking about, the bottom line is that only bankruptcy buys time to breathe!

Far too often, debt settlement does nothing but make matters worse!  Whether you need help to stop foreclosure or just help to stop creditors from calling or your wages from being garnished, individual bankruptcy in Indiana is the best tool for making a fresh financial start!

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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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