Anyone wondering if they can find help to get out of debt will be glad to know that there are attorneys that specialize in consumer debt, debt settlement and negotiation, and bankruptcy. These attorneys are among the most valuable professionals for a debtor to know, as quality attorneys stake their reputation on helping their clients deal with their debt problems. A reputable debt relief attorney will consider all possible solutions for a client and help them choose the option that is likely to offer the best outcome. That solution may be something as involved as bankruptcy, or something as basic as counseling or communicating with creditors on behalf of their client.
People in debt have a few options when looking outward for solutions. Many for-profit companies make heady promises to their customers, often claiming they can greatly reduce any debts and pressure creditors into accepting pennies on the dollar. It’s important to remember that these are for-profit companies, and they will choose any approach that maximizes their take from the negotiation. That means the indebted consumer may end up paying more than they would if they had just negotiated their debt on their own. Fortunately, people are waking up to the ineffectiveness that for-profit debt negotiators often display. Those in debt need a true legal expert for their debt issues, which are often legal issues, as well.
How can an attorney help people get out of debt?
As soon as a debt attorney is hired, it lends immediate strength to the debtor’s defense. Attorneys force creditors to comport themselves appropriately whenever communicating with the indebted individual, and reconsider risky strategies like suing without compelling evidence of the debt. Specifically, this is what a debt relief attorney can do for someone in debt:
- Manage communication between client and creditors – It’s no secret that creditors often use aggressive, unrelenting phone calls to get what they want. These phone calls often represent violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. Even if they don’t violate the FDCPA, they can still be a source of constant stress.One of the first things an attorney will do when hired by someone in debt is contact all of the client’s creditors and inform them that the client has legal representation. At this point, creditors are required to speak to the client’s attorney, and not to the indebted person directly. This gives the client some breathing room in considering their next move. If an attorney files a dispute against one or more of the debts, those creditors can no longer attempt collection until they verify the debt. If facing something like wage or bank account garnishment, this may be the only way to temporarily suspend those actions.
- Help people determine the right debt relief approach for their situation – Debtors have several options in resolving their debt issues. Negotiating the debts, consolidating them, challenging them legally or declaring bankruptcy are all among those options. Clearly, all of those tactics aren’t viable for every person in debt. An attorney will provide a knowledgeable, impartial and realistic take on their client’s situation. This insight will ensure the debtor doesn’t waste time and money on ineffective debt reduction practices, and instead pursues the fastest path to financial relief. It is in the attorney’s interest to guarantee this, assuming the attorney is reputable. If they are, their insight will prove to be valuable throughout the debt resolution process.
- Fight any attempts to sue the debtor – If there is litigation on the table, an attorney should be considered mandatory to fight it. Debt collection lawsuits are frequently plagued with all manner of legal issues, including violating statute of limitations, providing little proof of the debt or using a lawsuit merely as a tool to pressure the debtor. It is common for these lawsuits to collapse as soon as an attorney applies any pressure to them.This is particularly true if a lawsuit is launched by a third-party debt buyer. These debt scavengers often buy up thousands of accounts at once. As such, they rarely get all of the information they need on every account, but that doesn’t stop the third-party debt buyer from attempting a lawsuit. They only need a small portion of those lawsuits to profit, so they are willing to risk filing suits that have no chance in court and hope there is no attorney providing the defense. The last thing a debt scavenger wants to see when suing someone is an attorney staring back at them.
- Steer a client through difficult debt negotiation or bankruptcy procedures – A debt attorney may choose to negotiate debts down or help their client consolidate existing debts for easier payments. Because reputable attorneys know the law regarding debt collections, creditors are more willing to work with attorneys during negotiation. Otherwise, they may be in for a tough legal battle, and no creditor wants to waste time on a single account. In this way, an attorney provides defensive posturing from the moment they are hired.If an attorney determines that a client’s best way out of debt is through bankruptcy, the attorney will help guide their client through the process. Bankruptcy can be a complex, long-term process for many, but it has the potential to eliminate many debts, including some of the most difficult to handle, like credit card debt. Bankruptcy, whether Chapter 7, 11 or 13, comes with many steps over months or years, and failing to meet the court’s requirements on any of those stages will put the client’s bankruptcy case in jeopardy. An attorney will ensure their client doesn’t make any of the simple mistakes, like missing a paperwork deadline, that often trip up people without legal counsel. Further, an attorney will help their client put together a debt repayment plan (for Chapter 11 or 13) and help their client protect assets that they don’t want involved in the bankruptcy process.
Debt is a reality for millions of Americans, and working with a reputable debt relief attorney can help make sense of the available options.