If you have creditors constantly calling you because of late payments, or you are just being pushed to the limit because of the harassing phone calls you can be able to effectively negotiate with your creditors to reach a fair settlement. You need to carefully assess your financial situation and go over all your income and expenses carefully. You need to determine what you can afford and don’t agree to pay an amount that is higher than you are capable of paying at that given time. You can negotiate the best settlement for a debt if you can afford to pay a lump sum amount so they can get their money all at once and the debt is resolved. If you agree to a new payment plan, you will end up paying more over time.
You will find that most creditors are willing to work with you because they do want to get paid. They realize that some money is much better than no money, and if you end up filing for bankruptcy protection they could end up with nothing at all. You can negotiate on your own or you can enlist the assistance of a South Carolina debt relief attorney. With the proper care and guidance, David Aylor Law Offices can help you get your finances back on track and resolve your challenges that you are currently facing by being too far in debt or by having higher payments than you can currently afford.
Different Options for Negotiating With Creditors
There are several different negotiation techniques available to creditors, and choosing the right one depends on the debt, the amount owed, what it is for, and how far behind you are on the payments. Here are some tips for how to negotiate with creditors in South Carolina:
First of all, you need to stick to your story. The representative on the other end of the phone doesn’t want to hear about why you cannot pay your bills so don’t waste 30 minutes of your time and 30 minutes of their time by telling them your life story. Instead, just explain you are facing financial hardship and you want to get back on track. This lets them know you want to work with them and help them get paid. You might want to come up with a few sentences that you can use when trying to negotiate with your creditors. As an example, you might create something explaining your personal situation that says, “I was injured in a car accident and was unable to work for three months. I didn’t have any income during that time and I have now returned to work and I am trying to catch up on my debts.” Be honest when telling your story, however. If you tell each creditor a different story, and especially a story that isn’t true, it is going to backfire.
You aren’t vying for an Oscar, so don’t be dramatic when relaying your message. As previously mentioned, just be honest and straightforward. Explain why you are behind in a few sentences. If is because of illness, a lay off from a job, rising interest rates, or other problems, just dish it out. Regardless of the behavior of the representative on the other end of the phone, you need to stay calm and collected. You will do more damage than good if you lose your temper and get into a shouting match, an argument, or start using profanity. If you start to lose your cool, just tell the debt collector that you are sorry, but you will have to talk with them in more detail later and then hang up the phone. If you need to speak with that same representative again, just tell them you plan to record the conversation. This usually gets them to focus on their best behavior and you might get better results.
If a debt collector tells you that property will be taken from you or you are going to be sued, you need to take note of these threats and ask questions. Follow up with, “When do you plan to notify me of the lawsuit?” or “When will you start garnishing my paycheck?” or “When do you plan to do the repossession?” Some threats made by the collector might be illegal, so the more documentation you have the better is on your end for any issues that might arise. The Fair Debt Credit Reporting Act (FDCPA) prohibits idle threats that the creditor doesn’t plan to follow through with. Always take notes during your phone calls. Ask for the name of the representative you talk to and document the date and time of the call as well as what your discussion covered. This can help you remove emotion from the situation and provide you with the records you need if the collector or creditor violated the laws when they attempted to collect a debt.
Documentation is the Key and Stick to Affordable Payments
The same goes with any mail you receive that is attempting to collect a debt. You should never throw away mail from your creditors or just shove it in a drawer. You should open every piece of mail they send and read it. Then you should save it in an easily accessible file folder. Before trying to negotiate with a creditor, you need to know what you can actually afford. You should go over your expenses carefully and figure out what you can actually afford. Never agree to pay a cent more than you can realistically pay or you are setting yourself up for even worse trouble. You can negotiate a better settlement amount usually if you make a lump sum payment, which resolves the debt in full. If you agree to make payments, you are going to pay out much more over time. If you need to agree to a payment plan, be certain that you get the total amount you will be paying so there are no surprises later.
Deal with the Creditor and Not the Collector When Possible
If you can do so, it is ideal to reach an agreement with the original creditor before the bills are sent over to collections. While your credit score can be impacted by late payments, collection accounts can cause your credit even further damage. By the way, there is an old myth that is circulating that says as long as you pay toward a debt it won’t or can’t be turned over to a collection agency. Some people argue that paying even $5 per month can keep you out of collections, which is just not true. And, after a debt has been sent to collections you might not have any other options rather than dealing with the debt collector.
Get Everything in Writing
If you have it in writing, then you have the proof. When you reach an agreement for payments with your creditor or you receive a letter approving a debt settlement, you need to make sure your agreement is in writing such as contract before you make a payment. Otherwise, it could end up your word against their word. There are horror stories about consumers being harassed for balances that they thought had been resolved years earlier. Don’t end up in that situation.
Handling the Negotiations
Negotiating with creditors can be challenging and intimidating. If you are facing difficulties coming up with an efficient payment plan that fits your budget and pleases the creditor, you might be able to get help from a South Carolina debt relief attorney. If you don’t think you can afford to repay your debts, you should consult with a South Carolina bankruptcy lawyer. At David Aylor Law Offices, we will assess your financial situation and tell you what option is best suited for your needs so you can get out of the predicament you are facing. We offer a free consultation and we will even tell you what tactics creditors use illegally in attempts to collect debts. We will tell you what debt collectors can legally do and are not allowed to do when collecting debts.
Start All Over and Rebuild Your Credit
When you catch up on an account that is delinquent or pays off an account in collections, you aren’t going to see your credit improve unless you can convince the creditor to agree to remove any late payments off your record. Otherwise, you can expect delinquent payments to stay on your record for as long as 7 years. Charge-offs will also stay on your credit report for as long as 7 years from the date it was written off as a loss for the creditor. Any accounts turned over to collections can stay on your credit report for 7 years. An additional 180 days from the delinquency that is immediately before the collection activity can be included as well.
Regardless, don’t give up because all hope is not lost. Even if you can’t get the negative marks taken off your credit report, you can start rebuilding your credit and improving it after you have resolved all your debts. If no additional negative information is added to your credit report, you can expect your credit score to improve as you get past those original delinquency dates and rebuild your credit with accounts that are paid on time. In the meantime, you should keep watch on your credit score. Your credit score is broken down into sections, such as payment history, the amount of debt to credit ratio, and other factors. So carefully look at all those features and determine how to fix your credit woes.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are facing financial difficulties and you need to know more about how to negotiate with creditors in South Carolina, schedule a free consultation with the bankruptcy attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices. We have helped hundreds of debtors around South Carolina come up with effective repayment plans or make the right decisions regarding their credit problems. When you rely on us, we can help you get your finances back on the right path. We will help you determine if South Carolina bankruptcy or negotiating with creditors is the way for you to resolve delinquencies and get your finances on the right track. We understand that you don’t want to be harassed for late payments, so we can help you resolve those issues and stop those collection calls. We can tell you how the FDCPA can go to work for you.
If you are ready to act on your financial situation, make the call to David Aylor Law Offices at (843) 310-4900 or complete the online contact form today. We have attorneys available 24/7 ready to help people like you regain control of their situation and get a fresh start. We have attorneys who are current on all the South Carolina bankruptcy laws and any changes to the FDCPA. Let us help you improve your financial situation now.