Lets face it, the debt settlement industry has a really bad reputation, but I dont think that everything can be blamed specifically on the settlement companies. I will admit that there are some companies that do in fact take advantage of clients. However, there are a number of credible companies that do show good results. In fact, I have noticed that a majority of clients complaints actually stem from their own unrealistic expectations for debt settlement. Here are a few examples of common misconceptions that might help you have a more sensible grasp on the capabilities and limits of the debt settlement industry.
The biggest problem I see in the industry for clients is that as a result of their desperation, they are often times extremely gullible and dont use simple common sense when choosing a debt settlement company. Clients want to believe that they will only have to pay pennies on the dollar of their debt and that credit companies will never opt to sue them.WRONG. At this moment, a quality debt settlement company can normally negotiate a debt between 40-60%. Can you pay moreYes. Can you pay lessYes. No company is ever going to brag about the client who could not save money, was sued, and as a result had to come up with 80% of the debt. Instead, they are going to boast about the client who only had to pay 20% of his or her debt. Both examples are true, but they are nevertheless extremes. The most logical estimate that you can count on for a settlement is between 40-60% of your debt. Anyone who tells you that they can guarantee anything is lying. Hang up and dont talk to that company again!
The debt settlement industry is also known as debt negotiation. Negotiations take place between two parties, and thus you can NEVER guarantee that the other side will agree to the exact terms that you are offering.
Secondly, you CAN be sued if you are in a debt settlement program. Anyone who says that you cant is lying. Hang up and dont talk to that company again. While it does take quite some time for legal procedure to begin and it is true that companies would prefer not to have to resort to legal matters, they nevertheless will sue you. Remember, you owe them money, and they want it. Fortunately you do have time before any legal matters are going to take place. How much time? That it impossible to tell. It may be a year, it may be 4, 5, or never. Luckily, most clients whose accounts go to legal offices are able to avoid any legal action as long as they follow the rules of a good settlement program. The point is that a debt settlement program does not make you immune to normal collection processes.
I think that it is important to remember that those who need debt settlement services are often very desperate, and they need to take a step back to think logically about their decision. Like good Americans, they are looking for an easy, quick-fix solution to their financial dilemma. While debt settlement is a beneficial service that can indeed save consumers thousands of dollars in unsecured debts as well as relieving financial strain, it is in no way perfect, easy, stress-less process. Consumers perceive the debt settlement industry as the miracle solution to their problems, and, well, lets face it, its not. The inherent problem with these false hopes is that when clients come to grips with the reality, they often become frustrated and blame the industry. Just like in any service, settlement companies have their limitations.
In conclusion, if debt settlement is the right choice for you, make sure that you examine your options and that you have realistic expectations. This will make the process much easier and less stressful, and ultimately lead to better results for you.