A debt settlement company helps their clients to renegotiate the amount owing on their debt and to pay of they debts in lump sums for less than they actually borrowed. Debt settlement companies create a suitable monthly savings plan based on the total outstanding debt. The plan enables the borrower to write a check to pay off the amount due without having to pay the entire loan off.
Debt settlement companies charge service charges to set up a borrower’s debt settlement savings account in addition to an initial administration fee/charge. The terms and standards of different debt settlement companies vary and their charges usually depend on the amount that the borrower stands to pay back to his/her creditor. In short, debt settlement means relieving a borrower’s debt for a minimum possible amount over the shortest span of time without filing for bankruptcy. What debt settlement actually does is to reduce the amount of the loan to a size that is manageable for the borrower to repay. The borrower on his/her part needs to understand certain things about debt settlement.
The following are a few ‘must know’ points of debt settlement.
• Every worthwhile debt settlement company must be able negotiate with a creditor to bring down the borrower’s debt to including its own fees to around 50% of the original debt amount. For example, if you obtained a loan for $30,000 and at sometime during the repayment find yourself unable to cope with repayments and fall in a debt trap and seek debt settlement services through a good debt settlement company it should be able to get your debt settled at approx $16,000 to $17,000 including its own charges.
• It is advisable for borrowers not to be in a hurry to sign a contract with any debt settlement company.
• When looking for a debt settlement solution it is best to look for an IAPDA certified professional. IAPDA stands for International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. They are specially qualified to deal with all aspects of debt settlement and possess an in-depth knowledge of debt settlement laws. They are also trained to understand the financial conditions of borrowers. They are able to help borrowers to liquidate their dues within 2 to 3 years of entering a debt settlement program.
• It is necessary to know the service charges related to the debt settlement in advance so that any confusion at a later date is avoided.
• Any debt settlement company that appropriates the initial payment towards its fees should be avoided. The major portion of this should be directed towards the debt settlement. A borrower should check with the IAPDA professional about the ways his money is going to be used.
• The savings of the borrower should be used towards paying off the outstanding debt within the stipulated time
• Reputed debt settlement companies do not report to credit reporting companies. It is therefore important for borrowers to select a debt settlement company carefully so that their credit reports do not reflect negative remarks or low credit ratings
• It is important that a debt settlement company gives a service guarantee. The contract between the borrower and the debt settlement company should specifically state that in case the company is unable to settle the debts of the borrower then all or part of the service fee charged by the company will be refunded.
• The debt settlement company should have a Better Business Bureau membership.
• Debt settlement is meant to provide debt relief to a borrower to prevent him from filing for bankruptcy. It is therefore important for borrowers to select a debt settlement company that can guarantee debt relief.