Should you hire a debt settlement attorney to negotiate your debt?
I would like to know if Lloyd Ward & Associates, 12655 North Central Expressway Suite 1000,
Dallas, TX 75243 is a reputable Law Firm that handles debt settlement? If not and I have been doing business with them, how can I stop? They are drafting money from my checking account and placing it into an account at Note World. I have around $50,000.00 in credit card debt.
What is the best way for me to handle this debt settlement attorney?
At CRN, our definition of a reputable debt settlement service provider, whether an attorney or not, is extremely consumer centric. There are a myriad of reasons why you would not need to hire a debt settlement attorney. The first of which is negotiating a lower pay off on bills that have not been paid is just not that complicated.
There are limited reasons to use an attorney to settle debts that you are perfectly able to do on your own, or with an experienced professional who charges far less than some of the attorneys firms that are nationally marketing debt consolidation and settlement services.
I would be a huge fan of debt settlement attorneys if there were a mass of experienced ones actually offering the services in their local communities. It would be great if it was just as easy to find a debt settlement attorney near you as it is to find a bankruptcy attorney. And if fees attorneys charged for debt negotiation were affordable and standardized like they often are for chapter 7. But that is not the case as of yet.
Debt settlement attorney or company checklist.
The checklist I would encourage you to apply to any debt settlement attorney or company you seek debt settlement and negotiation assistance from would be:
- Does the company charge fees in advance of providing the service? Most cannot after 10/27/10, but at this time, you are being charged advance fees. These days, I find attorneys offering to settle debts to be the most likely to charge advance fees. That is not necessarily a bad thing if the firm is not mass marketed, and is certainly something you should expect if you need a consumer law attorney because your debts have reached the courts.
- Does the company suggest you not communicate with your creditors? This is often ill advised in my opinion. But for reasons that are more related to you losing out on good settlement offers that often come directly from creditors and debt collectors.
- Does the company send limited power of attorney or cease communication letters to my creditors? This is ill advised. In my opinion you should be part of your debt solution and kept in the loop on all communications. And telling creditors and collectors to cease communicating with you when you can still be legitimately sued is just a bad idea.
- Is the company going to wait for my accounts to charge off prior to engaging in the relief they advertised to me? You could lose out on some dynamic settlement opportunities.
- Is the company suggesting a debt negotiation program length that exceeds 24 months? This can lead to increased costs and increased odds of being sued.
If you answered just one of the above questions with a yes, I would suggest that you are getting assistance in the least optimal fashion. I have no problem discussing each element more in the comments below.
If you wish to end your relationship with your current debt settlement company, look to the contract you have with them for the cancellation details and follow through.
If you do choose to connect with a company offering to assist you with debt settlement, first be sure that you are a good candidate to use debt negotiation and settling for less, or whether chapter 7 bankruptcy would be a better, more cost effective and immediate solution.
If you would like to cover this in more detail, please reply in the comment section below with any additional questions and concerns. Anyone thinking about retaining a debt settlement attorney in order to negotiate unpaid bills for you is welcome to post in the comments for feedback.