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  1. I am brand new to this forum. I am also new to this area of debt, finances, and what I should do about my situation. Currently, we are current on all payments, cards, etc. We have an approx total amount of $25,000 with credit cards and a student loan. We have excellent credit as well. I want to eliminate this debt as soon and as fast as I can. Should I hire a debt settlement company that is reputable? Or do credit counseling? Or do I really have the opportunity and ability to settle them myself? I understand, that only when you get behind, can you enter into settlement. I have lots of questions, not sure what I should do. Need guidance.
  2. How important is it to sequence debt settlement? I just negotiated 2 debts and dont have any money for my 3rd. I am worried that this 3rd creditor will see I settled the other 2 and no that Bk isnt really an option. Anyone with thoughts on how this plays out ? ? ?
  3. I am looking for some advice and some things to consider about debt settlement. I've done quite a bit of credit repair so far and this is by far my worst baddie. We got into a deal on a 2004 vehicle from GMAC. Shortly after, my wife lost her job and our income went in half. We then went into credit card hell. We have been working hard on that. So consequently, we got about two months behind and thought the best thing to do was just to give up the vehicle and deal with the credit cards. Yeah, I know, hindsight is 20 - 20. So we were contacted by them and set up a payment arrangement. I don't know if we have any of the original documents that they sent around the time the vehicle was sold. I do feel they have followed the rules in that regard. We are currently paying $200 a month to GMAC with no interest. We started out owing about $13000 and we've got it down to about $7,000 or $8,000 now. I would like to know how to best settle this, and to consider and research before writing them a letter. If you can help on some advice about a letter please let me know.
  4. Hello everyone, I am looking for some expertise and I think this may be the place to get it. Well here is my story. In 2003 I went delinquent on about 6 CC's and hired a debt settlement firm to help me clear them up. Well needless to say I didn't like the first one I hired so I being stupid hired another that was in 2005 and this one was a little more help than the last one. What happened is while in the program I got served and so I went a looking for monies. I was able to cash in on my house through a equity loan and able to settle. I had a few extra $'s left over so I put the settlement company to work on my Cap 1 card and the response the rep got from Cap 1 was that they had no record of my account so I had to fax my last statement to the settlement co who in turn was to send it to Cap 1. After about a month of no response I decided that I am really paying them for something I can do. I really didn't have that much left over to deal with Cap 1 so I left it alone and paid other things with the money. Anyhow here it is 2008 and I need to refi because I am in a ARM and I am being told that I will need to pay them and the bill went from approx $8,000.00 to $22,000.00( be still me heart). I have always been a responsible person and really couldn't tell you how this all happened except I did lose a very good job in 2001. Now here is where I will need advice. I need to have enought equity in my house to at least cover what I actually owe them and that my be tough. The CC has yet to send me anything even contact me and the SOL is up I am most certian of that. My LO wants me to contact them and ask for a settlement well we all know them and they are the most notorious of all. Oh and if they don't agree I will not get my refi and what do you think will happen than I will most definetly get sued.However I do not need to contact them until the apparsial is in so that is good. I was thinking of consulting an attorney and forcing the issue due to the fact that we are out of SOL and I did try to contact them a few years ago. I did call the settlement company this week and they still have it in there records that they called them on my behalf. Another thing is I have a strang address on my CR and I am not sure where it came from and when I disputed it the CR said that an account was attached to it so I think I need to take care of that as well. I am so sorry this is long but if someone would read this and offer some advice I would be forever greatful. This is my last baddie I have cleaned everthing else up and I would like to pay this as well. Thanks Bobkat
  5. In December of last year I stopped making my credit card payments and I had $133,000 in credit card debt that was growing monthly at 29.99% interest with late fees and overlimit fees. I was more than panicked with many sleepless nights and the phone ringing off the wall. I'm happy to say that with the right planning; I borrowed from my 401k, received money from family, cut back on my expenses and sold personal possessions - I was able to come up with enough money to settle my accounts. I had the following results: BOA - 38% at 90 days delinquent Chase - 45% at 120 days delinquent Citi - 38% at about 100 days delinquent (they called me) Discover - 50% at 170 days delinquent (the hardest one to settle) Sears - 0% financing for 5 years at 120 days delinquent. I now only owe $6,000 in credit card debt with Sears and resolved my credit card situation in about 7 months. I still have some tax implications to deal with, but I'm trying to sell my home so I can take care of that. If I do not sell by filing next April, I will just have to work something out with the IRS. I am insolvent for about $45,000 of the savings so my tax implications should be around $12,000 - I receive a refund generally of $5,000-$6,000 so that means I'll have $6,000-$7,000 left to pay them; the IRS will take a installment plan at 8% interest if you work it out with them and I could do that until I filed a few more years. They can have my refunds, to me it beats paying those credit cards who were at $4,000 a month by the time they were done with me. So with all that said; I'm hoping to have my house sold and the IRS paid in the next year. I have another smaller home I am moving to that is less expensive that has been rented. The tenant is moving on August 31st so I will move to that house before winter in September because I have a wood pellet stove there and it will be much cheaper to heat. If I don't sell this house here, I will rent it for the winter (no one moves in the winter). So I have some breathing room if I can keep the car running (it's 8 years old) and I can get the house rented or sold. Hopefully, the housing market will turn around some more so I can make more money and get back on my feet. I think that is more likely to occur next year so I'm planning on a rough winter. I did my own negotiating with the creditors and found that if you treat them wth respect; most of them treat you with respect. I talked to some very caring people that could relate to my situation. I guess I would say from my experience, to anyone thinking of doing debt settlement, is to sit down and figure out what you owe and figure 50% of that amount is what you will need settle your accounts. I was fortunate because I saw it coming and was able to borrow before it was too late and that is what made my debt settlement successful. If you wait until it is too late and you have no resources to borrow from or family to help you; you will be less successful. I think the biggest mistake people make is waiting and trying to keep paying until they are at the end of their rope. If you know you are in trouble, see it coming and still have some assets available by borrowing from your home or 401k or you still have some savings; don't use up all your resources until you have nothing else to tap into; stop the bleeding before it's too late.
  6. I would to start negotiating with my 4 credit cards and I've heard conflicting responses about making payments during the process. Here's my situation in a nutshell: I got credit cards without my husband's knowledge and proceeded to charge up $32k over the course of the last 7 years. Now I cannot make the payments and interest rates have been hiked and I'm hitting the credit limit (over on a couple) due to interest and late fees. I've tried the credit counseling and cannot keep up those payments for the length of time they require so I was going to change to a debt settlement company. Just this week I was going to sign the contract but the wording was so ambiguous that I just couldn't see doing it on a hope & a prayer. So, I see that many of y'all are settling with the credit card companies on your own and I'd like to try to do that. So, after all that, is it best to be making $50 or so payments "in good faith efforts" or just stop altogether and pool that money until I can make a settlement payment? ANY advice would be well received. Thank you! Troubled in Texas
  7. This forum provides a wealth of knowledge for those people that want to go about cleaning up their finances but for those of you that are still considering contracting with a debt settlement company......please be very careful. Recently, another forum had rave reviews about James Lombardo, aka Sifxpert & Debtxpert and then all of a sudden, the man and the company basically dissapeared and closed down his forum because too many of his clients were comparing notes and gathering information about his deceptive practices and criminal activities. He asked people to set up special accounts and then give him power of attorney so that he could settle the accounts for his clients. The problem was, is that he wasn't paying off the creditors and left many people with accounts in collections that they thought were completely settled and paid for. I was taken for about $12,000 and about a dozen other people that I know of were taken for another $90,000 or so. Who knows how many clients he stole from. He closed his forum about a month ago and really hasn't communicated with anyone for about 4 months. I just don't want to see anyone on this forum get burned like so many people on several other forums did.
  8. Okay here we go. I've been with Lawgistix in Florida since 2004. I signed up with three cards. Two have since been settled so I thought all was well. That was until this past Friday. My Captiol One went to another collection agency and they needed my contact information to Lawgistix. I told them I'd get back to them with the information. Well I can't get nothing but dis-connected numbers. Has this comapny gone out of business, or what? I can't find my login username to get onto the website (My Last Puter had that info on it and it crashed and no I didn;t have the files backed up). They use a third party called Golbal Client Solutions to which my money is withdrawn monthly from my bank. That date is the 17th of every month as to which this withdraw is made. If I can't get in touch with Lawgistix I want to stop this payment from going through and I want my monies I have in that account returned to me. I'm I out of luck, and what can I do if anything? I'm going to contact Global Solutions tomorrow when they open up. Hopefully they can help. After I get this settled I'll just delegate with my new "Collector Friends" myself, but for now I want to close all relations and get my funds back. Reason being is because if they did go out of business I should have gotten a letter,a nd even if the numbers have changed I should have recieved something about that as well. It's just bad business. By the way this Capitol One was my biggest debt. It now stands at $17,000 when I signed up it was $7,500. No judgements yet. I have approx. $2,500 in my Global Account. Thanks in advance for your responses. Blame
  9. Hello, everyone...thank you for taking the time to read through my posting...I sincerely appreciate any help. I could seriously use some advice on how to go about the debt settlement process…I have read a LOT of great information on here…learned so much from you all, but I bite my nails all the time wanting to make sure I am taking the right steps and hoping to get personal advice from you all who can tell me EXACTLY what I need to do. (I’m sure most or all of you have felt the same.) I first heard about debt settlement by calling one of the companies that advertised on the radio…but was advised by a bankruptcy lawyer that it was the worst thing I could do. Also told me if I claimed bankruptcy, they would take my land…but long ago when I tried getting a mortgage, the bank didn't consider it an asset because there was no structure/house on it....but it doesn't matter, good news is that I just sold the land for cash...which is why I want to settle with my credit cards on my own now. But I’m a little lost with the process and I want to make sure I do it right and know what I’m getting myself into. I appreciate any and all advice. I will give you a quick rundown and I suppose I’ll let you take it from there… General idea of my numbers.... bank of america - 12,845 bank of america - 15,836 wachovia - 7,641 (all 3 are bank card services now, or something like that) geico mc - 3,800 chase - 4,900 car 11,000+/- (2 yrs left of payments) $55K salary per yr $50k property sold this week From the beginning of the year to present I’ve been late and not always making the minimum payments, but would try to give them something….recently Bank Card Services put me on a hardship program to cover 3 of my credit cards…one is Wachovia and 2 are BOA. But I STILL can’t make the total payments and now losing my job due to my boss' passing, which means I'm losing my job security that I was supposed to have for life. I am not in collections yet...still current with everyone. *In my situation, should I try to call them now or is it too early?? I thought because I will have the cash in a week, I could offer them an amount right now. * Is it possible to only settle on a few cards instead of all of them? * Can they sue me and take any money I have in my bank account (which was nothing until the sale of the land....I live paycheck to paycheck)? * Will they find out about the sale of my property? It’s land with no structure on it…so there is no home value. But if they see the amount I sold it for, they will see that I am able to pay all my debt without settling…so that’s a worry of mine. *Should I put the money I just got from the property sale in a new bank account under someone else's name? * The whole tax portion of this….I’m wondering if I will get stuck paying taxes now that I sold my property to help pay the debt? Also will credit card co’s know that I sold it for "x" amount and try to get more from me and take the money out of my bank account? Is salary considered an asset because at this point I don't have any assets…I don’t own a house, I rent. *What exactly is considered an asset? *Should I try to settle over the phone or write letters? THANK YOU ALL FOR LENDING AN EAR! Also, congrats to all of you with success stories...
  10. Hello, So I went through a third party debt settlement company a few years ago concerning this debt. After a couple offers, we finally agreed on a Final offer with the CA this past week. The agreed offer would be $9,000. I just received the final settlement letter that originated from the CA, as it shows the CA's letterhead(name of company and address) and it only states that I am settling for $2,000! The debt settlement and/or CA made a HUGE mistake! It is in writing and agrees to a full and final payment along with reporting this info to the credit bureau(s). It also references the OC and account number. Is this settlement letter legally binding, as it's in writing? It's very specific and thorough verbage. The only discrepancy could be lack of a signature. The letter ends with a "Sincerely, Collections Department and their phone number". I'd much rather pay $2,000 instead of $9,000 obviously. The negotiater I talked to at the debt settlement company was very flaky and realized her mistake after I mentioned it and came right back with a corrected settlement letter replacing the $2,000 with $9,000. That was the only difference between the letters. I told her I'm ok with paying $2,000 and she replied by saying, "Paying on the non negotiated letter even though it is in writing will not fly. I had a client several years a go do that and they still tried collecting for 2 years afterward. I remember they would not even show the deducted amount on his credit report." Is she just saying this to scare me into paying the $9,000? Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  11. Let me tell you guys my situation. Me and my wife have about 60K in debt. It was all originated from the 0% balance transfer. I started to cash those 0% APR balance transfer checks into my checking account and use them un-wisely one year ago. I thought I could pay them off before the 0% APR ends but I lost my job at the end of last year. I don't think I will be able to pay anymore. I did some research on my own and found 1 good debt settlement company under the the so called "Better Business Bereau"?. It's called the "Solve Debts". Has anyone have any experience with this company? When they explained the procedure to me, I do realize that it takes about 6 months for them to negotiate with the creditor or the collection agencies. And I have to stop paying any of them to show financial hardship. They usually want to wait until the creditors send those debts to collection agencies so that they can negotiate on the "already-reduced-amount". However, during that 6 months, the interest and late fees add up. And there is no guarantee that the creditors or collection agencies will settle for the less amount. If they don't settle, you will owe a lot more than what you owed before. 2nd, if they accept the settlement and you now have a reduced amount (50%) to be paid off in 3 years. During that 3 years of times, can they stil sue you and take money from wages? 3rd, what about the tax consequence? If I only need to pay 30K of my 60K debt, will that 30K taken as income at the end of the year? I think I have enough questions. Thank you for spending the times to help me out.
  12. I provide info for people in debt and mortgage trouble, at ... and I am looking for someone to interview who has been through credit card debt settlement and doesn't mind talking about it. If you've been through it yourself, or you help others, great. I'd love to talk to you. I don't want to violate the TOS on this forum so perhaps just reply here or PM me if that works, or I'm at support at ... Mods: if I am screwing up, please let me know! Thanks --Richard
  13. Hi everyone, I made arrangments to settle my debt with some creditors. I will be sending each creditor a letter to sign this agreement, and a deletion on my credit report. I read about sending the signed letter of the agreement to the credit bureaus. Has anyone used this approach? I appreciate the help
  14. Can someone here recommend me a good debt settlement? I have someone helped me to settle Discover for me a year ago. I would like to settle my other account but unfortunately he wasnt very responsive in occasions. Sometimes he will not answer my emails for a long time so I will get worry. I finally have a decent job that pays pretty well now and would like to definitely get back on track with the remaining three accounts I have (Sears - about 7000, Chase - 2000 and Citibank - 30000). Thanks!
  15. Hi, I found this site a few days ago, and it's great - a wealth of information. I have a few questions about debt settlment. We are in the process of getting a home equity loan, but it's not enough to cover all the cc 's bills - unfortunately, we've way too many from built up debt over 20+ years. On one of the accounts, Household Bank, I was offered a 30% settlement in a back in May. It's quite a large balance and didn't have the means to settle the account then. It is now on my credit report as a write off. I also have a couple of other accounts that are late. One of the accounts, Fleet, was on the verge of being written off, and they made an offer if I paid 3 consecutive payments, they would bring it up to date, but my monthly statement will still show a much larger minimum payment amount due. So far, I have made 2 of the 3 payments. There are also a few other cards that have had late payments that I would like to try and settle with. They are Discover, Chase, Citi, First USA (which recently became Bank One) and possibly Sears. Since my loan amount will not be enough to cover all my cc's, what is the best way to try and get settlements from these credit card companies? Also, how would I word the debt settlement letters, since I am getting a loan? (hopefully) I would prefer them not to know this, although the one that was written off will be paid by the mortgage company, because they said they would have to pay that one in order to get the loan, and to start the process now for settlement. I would assume they would be able to tell after the loan is processed from my credit report if it goes through. I hope this makes sense, and would appreciate any input. Thanks!
  16. Hi! I've made the personal decision to settle a couple debts that are listed on my CR. I've spent the day soaking up as much info as I can concerning the debt settlement process. Nonetheless... For all you settlement experts I have a question for ya: in your settlement letter did you insist that the CA/JDB/OC not sell the remaining portion of the debt? I'm under the impression that if you don't state this clause in your settlement agreement the CA has the ability to sell the remaining portion off to a new CA or JDB. For FYI purposes, the 2 CAs I will be dealing with are some of the most disliked- RJM and AFNI- so I don't want to take any chances. Thanks so much in advance!!
  17. I've read that in California if you send the CA a full certified letter explaining that you'll be sending a check in 15 days for a settlement amount and then in 15 days if they cash the check with the restrictive endorsement on the back with similar verbiage that legally they have to consider the account paid-in-full and not respond to any CRAs. Apparently if this is done and proof can be shown then it's legally binding. Does anyone have experience with this type of debt settlement technique? As discussed:
  18. I have an apartment collection from the time I used to live there with my soon-to-be ex wife. The balance was $600 first reported in August 2007 (almost a year ago), and since both of our names were on the lease, the collection was on both of our credit reports. I sent the following letter to the collection agency along with the Debt Settlement letter found on this website: ------------------------ I'm writing you regarding the account mentioned above. I have had (and continue to have) many financial hardships. I'm going through a divorce at the moment, which is making it very difficult for me to be able to invistigate any debt I owe. I am still not sure why I'm owing $615.71 to Lakeshire. I considered hiring an attorney to take care of this matter, but then I was advised that it would be far cheaper to just settle this debt with you rather than fight this collection. Regardless, my financial situation is still bad, and I cannot afford to pay off the debt in full. However, I just received a very small tax rebate, and I might be able to use it to settle this debt. However, I know for a fact, that a collection on your credit report is a negative remark, paid or unpaid. Therefore, it would do me no good to pay this debt if it was to remain on my credit report. Therefore, this is my offer: I pay half of the amount that you say I owe ($307.85). In return, you agree to cease all debt collection against me regarding this debt, and you will permenantly remove any record of it from my credit report in all three credit reporting agencies: Transunion, Equafax, and Experian. This is the most I can pay, as I have very large lawyer bills and other debts. I believe this agreement will be fair to all parties concerned. I also know that collection agencies pay pennies on the dollar to buy this kind of debt. Therefore, 50% payment should net you a very handsom profit. I attached a debt settlement offer for you to sign, as I can only follow through on this deal if, and only if, we have a written agreement that you will remove this collection from my credit reports after I make the said payment. I look forward to hearing your response. ----------------------------------------- Today, I received this reponse: ----------------------------------------- We received your letter today requesting to pay $307.85. We will allow you to pay your halfof the debt in the amount of $307.85 which will clear only you, and the reminder of the balance will be the responsibility of your roommate. We will not sign the letter you sent us, but what we will do is notify all major credit bureaus to update your account to a paid in full status and provide you with a paid in full letter. ------------------------------------------ The letter is named and signed. Any opinion on what to do? Obviously they're not gonna delete it. Should I accept? should I try something else? This is my first time doing anything like this. I'd appreciate any responses.
  19. I am going to use the sample letter from this site to negotiate my debt with a ca and have the negative listing completely removed from my reports. On my credit report it shows the oc with a "charged off as bad debt" and also shows the ca with a listing of "collection account". Should I be dealing with the ca or oc? If I get the ca to agree to a settlement and delete the negative listing then what about the oc's original negative report? I want to wipe them both clean, any advice? Thank you.
  20. I spent about a half hour on the phone today with the IRS regarding cancelled debt and reporting it as income. She told me that many people do not realize that if your liabilities exceed your income you are considerd insolvent. We discussed only individual situations, not business or corporate. She advised that I must fill out the 982 form and include with that a balance sheet including Assets and Liabilites, those might include: Assets: Savings Checking 401K Real estate value Vehicle value Personal property value Jewelry value Any other assets Liabilities: Real Estate Loans Car Loans Personal Loans Credit Cards 401k Loans Other Debts Owed After you have added up your assets and your liabilties if your liabilties exceed your assets, you are insolvent. So say my assets are 100,000 and my debts total $140,000 - I am insolvent for $40,000 so the first $40,000 of cancelled debt is exempt from tax. You file out the Form 982 and do a balance sheet and attach it to your taxes. A balance sheet must be done at each point prior to settlement. Otherwise, if they take your payment on May 5th, your balance sheet should be done the day before on March 4th. Then if you settle another card later, a new balance sheet shoud be done and etc., etc. I'm not a tax professional, but I hope someone else find this information helpful and you can always call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your situation and ask for the complex tax situations department.
  21. An article posted answering the question.. (link removed)
  22. I have decided I can't handle the amount of credit card debt and I have decided to do debt settlement. Amex already referred my debt of about $17500 to a lawyer although it is only 2 months delinquent. I had faxed letter to OC offering to settle for $1700 based on New York's exemptions and what I could afford. Any advise on negotiating would be appreciated?
  23. This is my situation-my wife and I earn over 100,000 a year. We have been stupid and we are 50,000 in debt to credit card companies along with owing 40,000 to our retirement fund which automatically comes out of our salaries. Right now we are current with our credit card companies but it is beginning to be a strain and we don't seem to be paying anything off. I also have to pay taxes since we own nothing and I will probably have to pay 6,000 this year which I may have to borrow from our TDA. It is a non-ending cycle. The bills are out of sight and due to our income we are paying stuff off. But we are not saving a dime other than our TDA which 20% of our income goes into and it is causing a strain in our marriage. We live in NY state. I have been in contact with Sifxpert and found him to be very direct. He thinks he can do everything for us within a year and it would cost us 13,000. I have not yet spoken to him by phone and I am really concerned about paying the taxes on the savings from the debt settlement if we go that route along with the possiblity of a collection agency buying our account once it is settled. I work as a manager of an public agency and cannot deal with collection agencies calling me at work. So we are feeling really helpless. Am I better off going the bankruptcy route? We really own nothing other than a new car (yeah, I know it is stupid but it is really the only thing of value that we own and we are paying it off) and our retirement accounts. That is it. Any advice would be useful. Last thing is I know we f**ked up and I just want to make a new start and get rid of these debts.
  24. Hello I have been reading some of the post on the forum, and I am hoping some one can give me some advice on my situation. I am 25 yrs old with $55,000 in debt. $12,000 in cc, $23,000 in personal loans and $20,000 in school loans. I am current on all of my payments, but I live pay check to pay check. As I make my payments on my cc I use it to buy groceries, gas and what ever necessities I need. I am at a point where I feel as though I will never catch up. I called a debt settlement company to see if they can assist me, but as I was reading on the forum, they are worthless. Also I was reading an article that in stated in the state of New Jersey it is illegal to us a profit debt settlement company. Now I am thinking should I just file for bankruptcy? Any advice would be great. Thanks
  25. Hi every body I am a new commer to this forum and I like some advise regarding debt settlement. I am currently in credit couselling services and will get lay off in 5 weeks, I will not have any money to continue my debt counselling services starting from this month on. My best laternative is to settle my debt on my own, question is can I start sending settlement letter to my creditors right now or need to drop all credotor from credit counselling fisrt. Any advise will be appriciated.