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First, be careful...you just never know who's what...

Second, realize that there are people I call "debt fixers", who claim to have special contacts or special methods of dealing with the messes we've all found ourselves in. IMHO, those people are really "debt collectors" who have discovered that you can releive people of their money with offers to help easier than with threats to sue. End result is the same...you wind up paying them money to settle your accounts with the OC.

However, there are some instances where a debt fixer can help. You have to judge for yourself with your own particular circumstances. Just make sure you realize that paying a CA is not the same as paying the OC...that any "savings" you may get by settling for less than the full amount may be "taxable income"...that your FICO scores are probably going to get tanked either way...and, if its not in writing, it didn't happen, so it may not be the end of the matter.

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Hello Worried,

Who is cash flow coach? That would be me. My name is Larry Armstrong. No, I am not a spammer. I am a financial planning specialist. My pm to you was not and is not in any way a solicitation for your business. But rather a sincere offer to help someone (you) who appears to be trying very hard to do the right thing, but is terribly confused.

My pm was in response to your November 26 post What to do? On the one hand you signed up with a DS company, and then agreed to make payments to an attorney to stop a lawsuit.

In the settlement process you must stop paying on all your unsecured debt in order for unsecured creditors to be willing to settle. Threats of lawsuits are part of the game creditors play in order to intimidate you into exactly what you did - begin paying again. No credit card company will settle with you as long as they can coerce you into paying through fear - fear of lawsuit - fear of collection calls. Fear is their primary weapon against you and they use it well. In your case, it worked.

If this was not explained to you thoroughly by your DS company, I fault them severely. The fact is, as Willing explained, there are many companies in the DS industry who are in business for the quick buck and tell you what you want to hear to get your money. From top to bottom, the credit card industry is filthy. As Willing also said, " you just never know who's what. He is right, it is extremely difficult to know who to trust.

My major question is: what is your debt elimination strategy, what is your plan? If you cannot pay in full, you need a debt reduction. If you need a debt reduction, but cannot settle your debts, your only remaining option is bankruptcy.

It appears to me as if you are disorganized and confused without an understanding of debt elimination or a plan. Understand, I am not criticizing, blaming or finding fault with you. You are going through what everyone who wants to get out of debt, but does not know what to do goes through.

Perhaps I can help. No, you cannot hire me to do a debt elimination plan. I am not available. However, the invitation I extended to you in my pm stands. If you wish to contact me and discuss your situation and options, I am available to provide you guidance and direction to the best of my ability to do so. Perhaps I can help, perhaps I cannot. I have offered to try. Your choice.

Good luck and best wishes. Better days are ahead.

Cash Flow Coach

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CashFlowCoach...just a comment. In general, I've found its better to have ALL discussions out in public. Yes, I have had PM from many people here, and I've responded to them...but...I really do try to have all pertinent conversations where others can see and add their comments. I say this because we have had instances where "debt fixers" have been soliciting business here...


In the settlement process you must stop paying on all your unsecured debt in order for unsecured creditors to be willing to settle.

...is one of the mantras of the debt fixing crowd. Is it true? Don't know...but I don't think so. Waiting until you're right up against the "I won't pay, so sue me" barrier before you try to fix your problem is not sound advice in my opinion.

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