Do It Yourself Debt Settlement Michigan?
If you live in Michigan and are considering do it yourself debt settlement, then you have come to the right place.
In today’s economy, many in Michigan are “up to their eyeballs” in debt and are looking for ways to get the debt cleared so they can breathe again and move on with their lives.
The contents of this site is to help Debt Settlement Michigan consumers negotiate their own settlements. This will help you save money, avoid bankruptcy, bypass debt relief or debt collection companies (along with their high fees) and take control of your financial future.
Are You Qualified To Settle Your Own Debts?
That’s a good question. You should take careful consideration in determining to move forward if you want to pursue do it yourself debt settlement. Keep in mind that this is going to be a “long term” process that is going to take your time and commitment.
If you feel you don’t have the negotiation skills or experience to settle your debts to your advantage, then it would be best to get debt settlement help from a professional.
Steps To A Successful Debt Settlement Michigan?
Of course, if you are up to the task of negotiating a debt settlement with your creditors, then there are some steps you need to take to make this successful and to your advantage. Follow the steps outlined below:
Step 1: Which Types Of Debts Can Be Settled
When you are going to settle a debt with a creditor, it can only be for “unsecured” debts, such as:
- Credit Cards
- Department Store Credit Cards
- Medical or Hospital Bills
- Personal Loans (unsecured signature loans with no collateral)
- Back Rent of Previous Residence
- Auto Loans (from repossessed vehicles)
- Debt to Local Merchants
- Past Due Utility Bills (from previous residence)
Step 2: Determine How Far Behind You Are On Your Debt Payments
Now that you have knowledge of what kind of debt you have, you need to figure out how may payments behind you are with your creditor.
If you are only a month or two behind, this is probably not the right time to begin negotiations with your creditor. You should wait until your payments are delinquent three months or longer.
Realize that this is not an overnight process and that there is no “quick fix” debt settlement program. It may take 5-6 months or more to reach an agreeable settlement.
If you have missed three months or more of payments and you owe more than $20,000 in debt you can begin a negotiation strategy with your creditor.
Step 3: Negotiating a Debt Settlement
It is important to have everything you need before contacting the creditor for a debt settlement. Those items should include:
- Your most recent credit report or bill
- Any settlement letters or letters attempting to collect on a debt from the creditor
- A pre-determined amount you are willing to pay for a lump sum payment or a monthly payment you are comfortable with
When contacting the creditor, remember to stay calm and in control of the conversation. Don’t come off as eager to settle. No matter how much you owe on your debt, stick to your guns of what you determined to pay.
Thousands of people before you have successfully negotiated their debts for as little as 25 cents on the dollar, although shoot for a higher percentage starting out, such as, 50% of what is owed.
Realize that if you have accounts that are 4 months or more past due, the creditor or collector is most likely NOT going to be cordial with you. Their goals are to get as much information from you and to get any payment they can.
If a creditor refuses to negotiate or tries to use scare tactics, don’t lose control. There are always options available.
A couple options are:
- Ask to speak to a manager or supervisor – These individuals always like to make settlement or payment arrangements.
- Politely terminate the call – This is important as anything you say is most likely recorded and monitored.
- Address a letter to the manager or supervisor – Outline your plan to settle or pay off the account. Be very specific in regards to dollar amount you are willing to pay and the date you will pay it off.
In closing, when negotiating with your creditor your main goal is to settle on a reduced amount that is comfortable for YOU. Be sure to eliminate late fees, finance charges and over the limit fees with the account, thus reducing your balance up to 40 percent. Of course, don’t stop there – 50% or more should be your goal.
Even if a debt collector is reluctant to settle, just remind them that they are not the only delinquent account and you may be seeking bankruptcy as an alternative to debt settlement. Be patient but firm and maintain control throughout this process and the odds will always be in your favor.
Keys To Successful Do It Yourself Debt Settlement Michigan
- You will have the upper hand by first contacting your creditor through the mail. They will end up contacting you, because you have what they want – their money.
- You lose the upper hand if you sound eager to settle. Don’t give any reason to settle besides extreme hardship, thus keeping the upper hand in your corner.
- On the first contact, never accept their offer. Once you can negotiate them down to 50% or more of your debt, tell them you would like to sleep on it and schedule a time to speak the next day.
- Keep a record of every conversation with your creditor. Include name, date, time, details of conversation. This may come in hand if a dispute comes up later.
- If a creditor agrees upon a settlement or payment plan – ALWAYS get it in writing.