DIY debt negotiation with banks and debt collectors
I am trying to settle my own debts. I know your company helps people do that and will settle for me if I ask you to. I wish I had come across your web site 7 months ago. I have been reading other sites since I first fell behind with 5 accounts. I thought everything would happen the same way I read other people got their debt settled. I held out for percentages that I saw others reporting they were getting. I saw many claims on web sites.
I have only settled one account and now the other 4 are with collection companies and one of them is an attorney.
What can I do? What did I do wrong? Can you help still?
DIY worked for settling one account now 4 are charged off and with collectors what can I do?
DIY debt negotiation works. You are proof of that. You also point out issues about online debt help posts and forums that I cannot recall having raised on the CRN site before. Please accept any bluntness in my answer that is designed to help you and others who may later read this.
Gathering information about options to deal with credit card debt can start with the internet, but should not end there. Depending on the sites that you have been visiting and whose content you relied upon for your settlement percentage targets and what you need to do to get those deals done, it sounds like you found and followed some not so helpful information.
There are some helpful websites and forums out there, but I often find they only scratch the surface about how to settle debt. And some provide bad information to the point of being counter productive to your goals.
I have read forums where posters comment about holding out for 10 or 20 cents on the dollar as a target for settlement.
These types of dramatically reduced offers do happen, but rarely and are very situational when they do. By situational I mean they are either only offered by certain creditors prior to charge off, or by debt buyers typically after your debt has been bought and sold at least twice. If an original creditor goes this low in a settlement it is usually only for a brief window of time, or because there is a personal hardship involved with the debtor that can be documented and approved by upper management in their recovery department.
Also, percentage targets you read about on the internet may be old news from 2007.
Actually, when a creditor changes their internal policies for settlement and recovery goals (they do make frequent adjustments) a person posting about what they got for a settlement last month could now be considered old news.
You also run the risk that the information you are reading is not completely honest.
There are several popular web site forums that suggest you send letters to your creditors as part of the process of getting a settlement. People posting information about sending in letters are either out of touch with the realities of getting settlements done (by about 10 years), or don’t care that the information they encourage people follow actually hurts the process.
When it comes to getting things done in writing and settling debts; the settlement terms and conditions you must get documented before funding any offer will generally be the only thing done in writing.
What I find worse are the sites that advise readers to send off cease communication letters, or debt validation letters that impede the settlement goal, or some letter raising legal challenges about banking practices.
Here is the straight talk about your situation.
Creditors settle delinquent accounts in the normal course of business. Each of your credit card banks has their own policies and procedures for doing so. Each will have their own percentage targets at different intervals of delinquency. You need to know some of the tricks to getting the best deals and some of the traps that are set up along the way that you need to avoid falling into.
There is good news if you are trying to settle debt with debt collectors.
First, the bad news… if you were in a position financially to settle all 5 accounts prior to charge off, your opportunity to do so is gone because you are now 7 months late and the other four accounts have charged off.
The good news… if you are in a position financially to settle the remaining four accounts, your opportunity to do so still exists.
It sounds like you may have missed some great opportunities, but can still get through the settlements. The deals will just have to be done with third party collections. This is not problematic in the least. In fact, most settlements are done in this stage 0f collection.
The percentage target for your settlements on the remaining accounts are still subject to several variables, like; who the creditor is, the balance of the debt, account history, where the account is now placed, what can be seen about you in your credit report etc… (See, there is a science to some of this).
The one with the attorney, depending on who the law firm and original creditor is, will be the most pressing concern. You will probably need to get this one handled first to prevent a lawsuit being filed. If you are financially prepared to do more than this one, you could literally do all of them at the same time and be done with the 4 accounts in a matter of days or weeks if you knew what you were aiming for and how to do it. Which brings me to answering your questions above more directly.
What can I do?
You can either wing it from here and get the results available when doing so, or schedule a consult to speak with a CRN specialist who works with your creditors and collectors every day who can get you set up with realistic expectations of what can be done, at what rate, and when. Click here to submit a request on line: Need to schedule consult, or call 800-939-8357 ext. 3 for scheduling. A specialist will get the online form, or take your call live, or return any voice message you leave.
What did I do wrong?
Bluntly put; you relied on the internet for information that set you up with unrealistic expectations, or advised you do things in a way that does not lead to success.
Can you help still?
Yes. CRN can help you to still meet your goal of settling these debts on your own. Every day we show our members how to settle debts using our DIY materials and ongoing debt coaching and unlimited support so that you achieve optimum results given your unique set of circumstances.
If you run into trouble, or just simply want us to do one or all of the settlements for you instead, we do.
Any reader with concerns or questions about negotiating and settling their own debt is welcome to post question below in the comments. You will get honest and experienced feedback. That may be all you need to finish up a settlement with your creditor, or a debt collector.