Debt Resolution: Understand Your Options and the Consequences
“Debt resolution” and debt relief-related searches are exploding on Google, as credit card companies discontinue the temporary debt relief options they were offering due to COVID-19.
With the downturn in the economy, over 75 million people in the United States are experiencing some financial hardship. Relief is needed more than ever before, but most consumers avoid debt relief programs because they’re afraid to ruin their credit scores.
The truth is, credit scores can always be rebuilt, but you never get back all that interest you continue to pay every month to stay afloat.
People all across the country are looking for debt relief, free money, government and stimulus relief. Unfortunately, no government options are available to help consumers pay off credit cards, unsecured loans, medical bills, and collections.
This is where debt relief and Debt Resolution programs come into play.
What is debt resolution?
Debt resolution is another word for debt relief and debt settlement, also known as “debt reduction,” “debt arbitration,” “debt adjusting,” “debt cancellation,” or “debt negotiation,” all aimed at stopping the growth of debt and then reducing the debt or getting a portion of the debt forgiven.
The following post is not about government credit card and debt relief assistance. But instead, we’re going to teach you about legitimate debt relief services and the consequences that come with each.
Hooked on High-Interest Rates Preventing You From Paying Off Your Debt?
High credit card balances and loan interest rates are criminal. As a result, many of these credit card companies – big names like Bank of America, Chase, Discover, and Citifinancial – get sued for millions of dollars per year for their lending practices.
Are you only making minimum payments each month?
About 90% of people with debt make minimum payments, so you’re not alone. But, unfortunately, it’s a pay forever plan where all you do is pay interest and penalties, and it can take 17-20 years of making minimum payments to get out of debt. Have you looked at the payoff dates on your statements?
Take a deep breath and relax because we’re about to give you some options to relieve you of this debt and the stress you may currently be feeling.
Debt Resolution Option 1: Consumer Credit Counseling
The first option is Credit Counseling, also known as Debt Management. Credit Counseling is a program where you make one monthly payment for all your creditors through a service provider with lower, pre-negotiated fixed interest rates.
Typically, the rates are between 0% to 9.9%. So, you will be paying back 100% of the debt you owe, but you will be paying back much less interest. Typically, this program takes anywhere from 4-5 years to complete, which is much quicker than the 10+ years it would take to get out of debt if you keep making your minimum monthly payments.
Consumer Credit Counseling can be the right program for someone who can comfortably afford to keep making their minimum monthly payments.
A few drawbacks to a Debt Management Program:
- 90% of the time, the client will NOT see a reduction in their monthly payment.
- It is NOT a cash-flow saving program.
- Credit cards get closed out, resulting in adverse credit effects.
If you are comfortable making your minimum payments, Debt Management might be something you want to explore further. On the other hand, if you would like a reduced payment, keep reading.
Debt Resolution Option 2: Golden Financial’s Debt Resolution program
The second option is our Debt Resolution program. Debt Resolution uses multiple strategies, including debt validation and settlement in some cases, to help consumers resolve their debt for the least amount.
Debt Resolution is a program for people that:
- Cannot afford to make their current monthly minimum payments or are currently struggling to do so.
- Are not comfortable committing to a 5-year credit counseling payment.
- Do not want to file Bankruptcy.
Through Debt Resolution, you will pay a reduced amount of the debt you owe, and you will be out of debt in three years or less. Also, your monthly payment will be significantly less than you are paying now – often half of what you are paying now. We’ll get into more specific details of debt resolution below.
Debt Resolution Option 3: Bankruptcy
The last option is Bankruptcy. Most consumers want to avoid Bankruptcy.
How the Debt Resolution program works
The issues associated with the credit card industry have been legally defined as unfair, deceptive, and even predatory. If you remember how you originally received the credit cards, it probably went something like this…
- You received a solicitation in the mail,
- It offered you a low interest rate,
- It also offered you a “pre-approved credit limit” of thousands and thousands of dollars.
Next, you probably:
- Were asked to write down some personal information and perhaps how much money you make
- Then you dropped the offer in the mailbox.
- And a few weeks later, “POOF,” you got a card in the mail with a nice big credit limit.
Does this sound about right?
Well, that is precisely where the issues began. First, the creditors did not properly qualify you for the credit card.
Have you ever bought a home, a car, or anything else requiring credit without filling out an extensive credit application?
Then why now?
Credit cards should require an application. Additionally, there’s something unique about credit card accounts. They are the only type of account where the creditor makes more money if you go late or cannot pay back the credit extended to you. If you go late on your mortgage or car loan, your interest rates don’t triple, do they? This is where the validation comes into play. It ensures you do not pay on a legally uncollectable account.
Now, most of the work in the debt validation program begins when your account is with the collection agency. Therefore, for debt resolution programs to work, your bills must be with the third-party collection agency, which means they will typically be 90-120 days past due.
Accounts do not currently need to be with the collection agency for you to enroll in the Debt Resolution program. The majority of clients enrolled in this program before their accounts are sold to a collection agency.
What to Expect After Enrolling in a Debt Resolution Program
- When you receive a collection letter for one of your accounts – send it to the debt resolution company.
- The debt resolution company will prepare a dispute package that gets sent to each collection agency which legally demands they provide proof of their right to collect on the account.
- If the collection agency cannot verify their legal authorization to collect on a debt, the account gets classified as invalid and unable to be collected on. According to Golden Financial Services, “Collection agencies are unable to verify their authorization to collect on a debt more than 50% of the time.”
See Example Uncle Letter from a Debt Validation Program:
Now there are several reasons why the collection company does not have legal right to collect on these accounts; the two most common are:
- First, the creditor did not properly qualify you for these accounts.
- Second, complete records must get produced after being requested from the Debt Resolution program. When credit card accounts are sold to a collection agency, specific documentation cannot be included due to privacy laws. Consequently, collection agencies can’t produce complete documentation. And without complete records, the collection agencies do not have the legal right to collect on the debt.
Collection companies are entirely aware that they have no legal right to collect on a debt. So, they use scare tactics instead of taking the proper steps to follow the law because it’s too time-consuming and expensive for them to do so. It is a numbers game for them, just like the credit card companies.
What if a debt is proven valid (i.e., validated and verified legally collectible)?
Suppose an account is verified to be legally collectible and valid. In that case, the debt gets negotiated down, settled, and paid off at a discount. In the end, the Debt Resolution program saves the client money and helps them become debt-free.
Debt Relief Potential Consequences
As explained above, to use a Debt Resolution program, accounts eventually need to end up in third-party collection status.
Consequently, creditors could issue a summons to go to court in an attempt to sue over a debt. Of course, most of these fraudulent lawsuits could get dismissed, but they could end up in judgment status if ignored.
One Brooklyn judge estimated that about 90% of these lawsuits are flawed, inaccurate, and missing legally required documentation, so if disputed could get dismissed by a judge. So then, why do creditors issue a summons if they know the summons could get dismissed if contested? Their goal is for consumers to ignore the court date, and by failing to respond to the summons or attend court, the creditor wins the case by default judgment.
Credit scores are almost always negatively affected over the first year of a debt relief program because creditors are not paid every month. So it’s a matter of accepting this potential downside to resolve your debt faster and save money in the long term. Again, credit is always rebuildable, but the interest you pay year after year is gone forever.
Like anything in life, if you buy a lousy product or sign up with an unreputable company that doesn’t perform, you could end up paying fees and getting no results, only ending up in worse financial shape in the end. So do your research. Check debt relief company reviews and only sign up with a highly reputable organization.
For more information about debt resolution strategies and options, visit the GoldenFS.org Blog.