At CT Debt Consolidation we have one of the very few professional approaches to helping your decide on what is the best option for yourself.
First, we explore in-depth all the options and there are 5 options consumer select when dealing with debt.
Option #1: But Your Head in the Sand.
You pretend that the problem doesn’t exist or that it will just go away. You pretend that the lawsuits against you are meaningless and nothing can happen to you. You don’t open your bills and you ignore the problem. THIS OPTION DOESN’T WORK.
OPTION #2: ‘Rob Peter to Pay Paul’
This is by far the most popular approach. When you try to have balance transfers, or paying one credit card with another credit card, or obtaining second mortgages on your home, or obtaining a 401K Loan to pay-off credit card debt, these are all examples of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. And, indeed, this approach appears to work for a while. But since you can borrow money indefinitely, eventually the balloon expands so far and then it bursts. I tell clients that Fortune 500 Companies can’t ‘borrow their way out of debt’ and the greatest country in the world, the USA, can’t make this approach work. What’s amazing to me is that people know that this approach can’t work, but they use it all the time. It’s, also, part of Option #1. THIS OPTION DOESN’T WORK.
OPTION #3: ‘BULLDOZER’
This is where you work all the overtime you can obtain and/or you get a second job. You are working at least 12-18 hours per day, 7 days per week and your debt load is still increasing. As Will Rogers said, “Once you realize that you are in a hole, you should stop digging”. THIS OPTION DOESN’T WORK.
OPTION #4: INFORMAL STRATEGIES:
Any OPTION which does not involves the Court is an ‘informal strategy’ or an ‘informal workout’.
There are 2 MAJOR INFORMAL STRATEGIES:
#1: Debt Management a/k/a Credit Counseling. Credit Counseling is actually a misnomer because there really isn’t any counseling regarding your credit or your credit score. Debt Management is a 100% repayment on your credit card debt. This strategy compares to a Chapter 13 where you pay a 100% dividend to unsecured creditors. There are great similarities between Debt Management a/k/a Credit Counseling and a Chapter 13 Plan. The Debt Management/ Credit Counseling Companies were created by the credit card industry and there has always been the suspicion about them that they are really ‘soft collection’ agencies. The largest Debt Management Company / Credit Counseling Company is Consumer Credit Counseling which has been purchased by Money Management International. They have been accused of not offering independent and objective counseling regarding your options in handling your debts. However, I have found that some of the accusations are well founded at times and at times the criticism is not well-founded. I have found that Debt Management Companies have accused bankruptcy attorneys of just ‘throwing people’ into bankruptcy and not urging them to take responsibility for their actions. I have found that bankruptcy attorneys because of their training are actually biased against Debt Management Companies and I have found that Debt Management Companies because of their orientation and culture are biased against bankruptcy attorneys. I have found no one who helps the consumer objectively weigh the pro’s and con’s of debt management, debt settlement and Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
I have developed a unique chart which gives the pluses and minuses of each approach. Also, I have developed a unique analysis which allows you to compare all of the options. And I realize that when making a decision or selecting an option, you need the experience and guidance of an attorney who has actually participated in all of the options.
There are two major trade groups for Debt Management and you can find them at www.aiccca.org (The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies) and www.nfcc.org. (National Foundation for Credit Counseling).
We have had clients use a Debt Management Plan wherein we repaid the credit cards 100% and we are doing Debt Settlement Plans where we pay a portion of the total debt and negotiate with creditors for settlements. And obviously, I have for over 26 years guided clients in using Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. THESE OPTIONS CAN WORK BUT YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY WHO HAS ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN THESE OPTIONS TO GUIDE YOU. An attorney’s allegation is first to his/her client’s best interest according to our ethics. Therefore, your best analysis and guidance will come from an attorney who has actively used all the options with his clients. Unfortunately, there are very few, if any, attorneys who can tell you that they have done debt management, debt settlement, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 with any amount of significance. There are two major trade groups for debt settlement and they are www.tasc.org (The Association of Settlement Companies) and www.usoba.org (United States Organization of Bankruptcy Alternatives).