Defeat the debt collectors in lawsuits, end debt problems, and repair and restore your credit.
- Sample Pages
As you fall behind in payments on your bills, your creditors (we often call them “original creditors” to
emphasize that they are the ones you supposedly owed money to in the first place) will have a few options. They can, and usually will for a while at least, try to collect the money, either through a collection department within their company or an independent agency. Eventually, they may sell the debt to a debt buyer, write you off and forget about it, or sue you. With any option they may or may not also report you as not paying on the debt, damaging your credit report.
Sometimes it makes sense for you to try to negotiate for a lower payment and less risk of litigation, and less harm to your credit report. This book is designed to help you decide whether it does make sense for you to do that, and to help you do it if it does. If you do decide to negotiate, remember that the process is not random and arbitrary – you need a specific and well thought out plan, and you need to understand what you’re getting into. This book will help you get yourself ready to do a good job.
If you are facing bills that are piling up and bill collectors who are calling, or if you expect those things to happen soon, negotiating with those collectors may help to reduce the harm they do to you. It is possible to do this, but in order to achieve it you must learn how to translate what you want into something someone else wants, or else to link their needs and wants to yours so that you can, by compromise, get what you need by giving them what they need.
That is the essence of negotiation. You want to improve your own financial situation and prevent disaster of course, and you can do that, but it (normally) does not happen as a result of magic or luck - rather, you can only get what you need by making it clear to the other person that giving you what you want is the best way for them to get what they want.
This process will take some time and work, and you will need to face the facts of your situation so you know exactly what you can, or cannot, give. It may require making some tough decisions, and it will require systematically negotiating with the people who can help or hurt you. It can be unpleasant - there's no real way to sugar-coat that - but not only does doing it pay extremely well, but going through the process will also change your view of the world and help you realize how much more power you have than you may have thought. It is definitely worth doing.
One question we have often been asked is whether you should negotiate for yourself or hire someone else to do it. Only you can really answer that question, however. What we will say, however, is that, in general, debt negotiation companies do not have any secret tools, special access, or even particular knowledge or training to get you better results than you could get for yourself. They can't get you better results than you could get yourself, in other words, although in rare situations you might find a gifted negotiator who is simply better at it than you are, of course.
Debt settlement companies sometimes compare themselves to plumbers, electricians, or even lawyers and suggest that you would be better off with a "professional" doing your negotiations. They may say they negotiate "in bulk" or use sophisticated "algorithms" to get "everybody" a better deal. Maybe. But what exactly would be the advantage of negotiating "in bulk?" What does that even mean? Is it using concessions you make to get a better deal for someone else? Or vice-versa? Or is it simply making a fast, one-size-fits-all arrangement with a creditor without matching that arrangement to your specific needs? And what, exactly, would "algorithms" do or show?
Debt negotiation is like hand-to-hand combat: if you're in it, or if you need to be in it, the time for analyzing statistics is over unless you are a debt settlement company trying to decide how hard to work on a specific account.