Individuals struggling to meet their monthly bills often consider debt settlement as a form of debt relief. In doing so, these same individuals wonder whether or not they should think about hiring a debt settlement attorney to assist them with their debt. So, is it really necessary to hire a debt settlement attorney, or do you have other options available to you?
It is my personal belief that no, it is not necessary to hire a debt settlement attorney, but I'm definitely biased, based on some of the horror stories I've heard from people who have become clients after disastrous results with debt settlement attorneys. Allow me to share some of these results, as well as provide you with some information regarding the fee structure of debt settlement attorneys.
Unfortunately, some people are misled into believing that debt settlement attorneys will represent them in court if a lawsuit should be filed against them by one or more of their creditors. This is not the case, because most of these debt settlement attorneys hired by individuals are not licensed to practice law within that person's state. If the lawyer is not licensed in that state, they will definitely not be representing that particular client. Of course, the debt settlement attorney can inform these people how to handle a lawsuit, but again, they will not be represented in court.
Another problem I have with debt negotiation lawyers is that they are exempt from the FTC laws in place to protect consumers against up front fees charged by debt negotiation companies. As a result, debt negotiation attorneys do indeed charge large up front fees. Oftentimes, these debt settlement lawyers may charge as much as 35% of people's debt, and I find these exorbitant fees to be absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary. The fact that debt settlement attorneys can legally charge these fees up front - before performing a service - is baffling. How is this protecting consumers, or helping consumers become debt free?
Obviously, I've been very clear on the fact that I don't agree that hiring a debt negotiation attorney is necessary if debt settlement is your chosen debt relief option. Your money is much better put to use if it's being placed in an account to be offered to your creditors when the time is right to begin negotiating settlement agreements with them. If you hire a professional and honest debt negotiation company, they will ensure that your creditors come first, and their fees are not paid until after they have reached good results for you and your creditors.
You have several options to choose from, and this is good, but it's best to exercise caution when making your decisions so that you choose wisely when it comes to your debt relief. Some people may feel that hiring a lawyer to settle their debt is a good idea, but please remember that the fee structure that debt negotiation attorneys have in place is simply not one that puts you or your creditors first - their number one priority seems to be lining their own pockets. In order to be a number one priority, you should only hire a debt settlement company that does not charge up front fees, or monthly service fees. This is simply not necessary. A good debt settlement company or attorney will ensure that your freedom from debt is their number one goal.
I understand that seeking out a debt relief option can be difficult, and even intimidating. For this reason, it's important to avoid being railroaded and falling for the sales pitch of an aggressive and unethical sales person. So, keep in mind that I've outlined some things in this article that you'll want to avoid. If you thoroughly investigate your debt relief options, and any debt settlement attorney or company you're considering, you should be just fine. And remember, the BBB was designed to help consumers, so use this valuable tool and make sure that you choose a company that has very few - or even zero - complaints. If they have a good track record, there's a very good chance that you'll be pleased with the job they perform for you.
Please keep in mind that seeking debt relief can be complicated and intimidating. The last thing you need is to be railroaded and fall for a sales pitch. Keep in mind the pointers I suggested above, and conduct ample research to ensure that whatever route you choose is the best debt relief option for you. Also, when seeking the assistance of a professional, please make sure that they are BBB accredited, and that their BBB record is satisfactory. We wish you the best of luck in your efforts to resolve your debt.