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Question for those already in or finished w/debt settlement

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OK, I'm still not convinced if I should go debt settlement or bankruptcy with my 79K in credit card debts. I normally would be making 75K to 90K a year in the movie/tv industry, but I'm no longer making that money because of a recent work injury and a strike that put me out of work for 4 months earlier this year. There is also a major work slow down right now because of another possible strike. The last 10 months have made my credit card debts almost double to where they are now. So I have lots of uncertainty ahead.

When you sign up for a d/settlement 32 to 36 month program, you will go many months without paying off any credit cards and that worries me. My credit has dropped from 780 to 505, so that's not a worry anymore.

My question: During the program, if your debt settlement company sends out letters to the creditors, have you still had creditors pursue legal action against you?

Do any of the debt settlement companies really have success in getting any of the credit card companies to stop adding more and more interest? I'm asking this because my credit cards are all going up $350 and more a month + late fees. So I'm wondering if I will really be able to afford a debt settlement's monthly fees will likely increase during time of the 32 months.

Thanks in advance!




Quote:
During the program, if your debt settlement company sends out letters to the creditors, have you still had creditors pursue legal action against you?
Yes , but if you are doing a 36 month program or less the risk is around 1%.

Quote:
Do any of the debt settlement companies really have success in getting any of the credit card companies to stop adding more and more interest?
Sometimes the creditors will stop accruing interest but usually they still will. Thats ok though even if they still accrue interest when they settle for around 40%-50% its still worth it . The account that would eventually be the last one to settle in a 36 month program still would not go up that much. Its still worth it.


Quote:
So I'm wondering if I will really be able to afford a debt settlement's monthly fees will likely increase during time of the 32 months.
Any legit settlement company charges you the 15 % fee spread out over at least 24 months and it is based on the balances on the cards at the time of enrollment not after they accrue late fees , penalties and interest.

Sub: #1 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 19:32

mobile0311 mobile0311
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(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

Thanks for the quick reply mobile. (I like your new icon)

Another question: When I talked to a few debt management counselers, they all tell me they feel debt settlement is just as bad as bankrupcy and maybe worse since you are not paying monthly payments and the chance of legal actionm coming ahead. One also said when you make a debt settlement payment, you could still be open to another CA picking up the unpaid amounts. Any truth to any of what I mentioned?

Sub: #2 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 19:44

Unregistered


I have worked for all sides. I have worked on all sides of the fence. I used to work for CITI Bank , and credit counseling and settlement companies so I have a unique perspective on their views. The debt management counselors hate settlement and visa versa.


I disagree . Any thing is better than bankruptcy. If you can afford a settlement program to avoid bankruptcy you should do it. Just be sure to do research on the settlement company. There are a lot of crooks in the industry so its important you check them out with the BBB and also make sure they are members of TASC or USOBA.



Quote:
One also said when you make a debt settlement payment, you could still be open to another CA picking up the unpaid amounts. Any truth to any of what I mentioned?
Not true. A legit settlement company will have the creditor or CA send them in writing an agreement that the debt is settled in full or agreed so that they can`t try and collect ever again on that account. PERIOD

Credit Counseling is not better than Debt Settlement. Nor is Settlement better than Credit Counseling. It just depends on your financial situation. If you can afford the monthly payment for a Debt Management Plan that would be your first option. If you are overextended and can`t afford your minimums , can`t afford dmp payment and don`t want to file bankruptcy than Debt Settlement is your last and best option " unless you want to consider robbing a bank but I wouldn`t recommend it " :lol:

" If You're Not First, You're Last."

Sub: #3 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 19:55

mobile0311 mobile0311
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(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

Thanks Mobile. (You nentioned, Any thing is better than bankruptcy. If you can afford a settlement program to avoid bankruptcy you should do it. ) That's how I feel and that's why I'm really doing my homework.

I have found a debt settlement company that has come up with a flexible payment system which works great for me as I do have some uncertainty in my profession right now. The debt settlement company is Oakview Law Group, but I don't see they are members of the TASC or USOBA. I do see they are members of the IAPDA. They are also a fairly new company and I can't find much about them. Any feedback about them?

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 20:19

Unregistered


Oak View Law is a member of the BBB and I haven`t heard anything negative about them. Here is the BBB report on them .

http://sanjose.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=68&bb b=1216&firm=239402

If you went with Oak View Law I doubt you will have any issues but it never hurts to shop around and compare.
There are other settlement companies out their like New Beginnings debt settlement LLC , Century Negotiations , and Superior debt relief that are also members of the BBB and TASC or USOBA. Look at it like shopping for a car. Test drive several cars and pick them one you like the most. :D

Hey Bman90278 , Why not become a member here .Join our community and learn a ton of info and get rewarded with debt cc points for doing it.

Sub: #5 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 20:28

mobile0311 mobile0311
Moderators
(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

Thanks again Mobile. I signed up on this website a few weeks ago but I don't see I ever got a user name and pw link.

Sub: #6 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 20:36

Unregistered


Here is a link to the people you can email to get you set up.

http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/contactus/

Sub: #7 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 20:38

mobile0311 mobile0311
Moderators
(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

I used to work in the bankruptcy field. If you are eligible for a Chapter 7 I would recommend that over debt settlement. You would be discharged in 3 months and could start rebuilding credit after discharge. More likely than not you will be able to get a credit card soon after discharge. It will take some time to build your credit back up but it would be much faster than settlement.

I would avoid a Chapter 13 if you can. Most of them fail as eventually most debtors miss some payments for one reason or another. You will then be left with a bankruptcy on your credit report and still have the debt. In addition if you are in a Chapter 13 your financial life is controlled by the court. If you want to buy or sell a house or car you will have to get court approval. If you get a tax refund the trustee is going to want to take it to send to the creditors. If it is a Chapter 13 vs. settlement I would go the settlement route but you better be sure of who you are dealing with. There are a lot of scumbags who will steal your money if you are not careful when you go the settlement route.

Sub: #8 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 21:03

Unregistered


nothing to do with your problem, but I'm always curious about strikes ... can you tell us what the one was a few months ago (was it the writers strike), how long did it last, and assuming it was led by the union, do they help you in any way with your bills when they are the ones behind the strike?

And the possibly upcoming strike, what is it about, again is it led by the union, and again will they help you out with finances?

I have never really understood unions, I've never worked in an industry that had the need for a union, so I'm sorry for the ignorance!

Sub: #9 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 22:16

smo65d11 smo65d11

(Posts: 1468 | Credits: 133.12)

In response to smo65d11,
Yes the strike that affected me was the WGA Writers Guild. I'm a propmaker (build sets) in a IATSE Local and was only able to work a few weeks during the 100 day strike. There were some movies that stayed in production during the strike as they didn't need script changes or add/ons, but all TV shut down during the strike. I believe we had over 60%+ of our people unemployed during the strike. My union is the largest in Hollywood and they do not help with finances.

I feel the strike affected the people like me even more than the writers because I only have one job and depend on movies and tv shows. The majority of writers do no work often, they get residuals and have other jobs to support themselves.
Now we have the AFTRA / SAG congracts now expired. AFTRA recently voted for the new contract and SAG sounds like they are going to stall and wait. If so, TV will ramp up productions, but movies will slow down and not start any new ones. I believe we only have 3 movies in the LA area right now in production. So right now our union has over 450 of us not working right now and it will probably climb. I believe we have close to 2000 propmakers.

You can go to variety dot com and read up on the industry if interested.

Regards,
Bman

Sub: #10 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 22:52

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