Financial difficulties can create an incredible amount of stress, and many people don’t know what to do. As debt management attorneys, we understand this uncertainty and see people struggling every day. Debt settlement companies may seem like an attractive option, but be aware that your creditors aren’t obligated to speak with them or accept their proposed settlements. In fact, many creditors accelerate their efforts to collect once contacted by a debt settlement company. So what do you do? Can an attorney help with debt negotiation?
The short answer is yes. An experienced consumer rights attorney in Ohio can be a tremendous asset. If you’re overwhelmed by financial stress and don’t know where to turn, contact the Ohio consumer law attorneys with Luftman, Heck, & Associates. We can help you understand your options and get some relief.
Your Creditors May Be Willing to Negotiate
Many people don’t realize that their creditors may be open to negotiating the amount of their claim in certain circumstances. After all, your creditors are running businesses and need to keep an eye on the bottom line. Any additional time and effort that your creditors have to put into collecting a debt eats into their profitability. If they have to hire an attorney or collection agency to pursue collection, they will have to pay legal fees or a percentage of what is owed. The worst-case scenario for them is that you file for bankruptcy. If this happens, they will be unable to collect the debt, and any costs they have incurred in attempting to collect will be lost.
The bottom line is that it costs your creditors time and money to collect their debts. The further they have to go into the process, the less cost-effective it becomes and the greater the risk that they will lose everything. Depending on your specific financial circumstances, you may be able to use these concerns to negotiate a debt settlement for a lower amount.
Attorneys Have Leverage
Creditors and debt collectors take notice when you hire an attorney to help you with your debt negotiation for various reasons. Here are some examples of why an attorney can be particularly effective in negotiating with your creditors:
- Your attorney knows the law. Attorneys who handle debt negotiation cases know precisely what your creditors are entitled to collect under the law in your state. They will scrutinize things like late fees, interest charges, and any attorney’s fees or costs that have been added to your account.
- You may be considering bankruptcy. Most attorneys who help with debt negotiation also help consumers file for bankruptcy protection. As a result, the involvement of an attorney suggests to them that a bankruptcy filing may be imminent, and; therefore, have greater incentive to negotiate.
- They are worried that you may sue them. Your creditors are required to comply with a number of federal and state consumer protection laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act pertaining to how they collect their claims. Even a minor violation can expose them to massive liability. Most attorneys who help consumers with debt negotiation are very familiar with these laws, and also handle cases against creditors for these violations. Your attorney can use a potential violation as leverage in negotiating your debt.
Hiring an attorney communicates that you are serious about resolving your debt and that you are well equipped to take further action if necessary.
Attorneys Can Give You Advice and Offer Options
An experienced consumer rights attorney can do much more than negotiating your debts with your creditors. Obviously, they can give you legal advice, while debt settlement companies cannot. However, most attorneys who help with debt negotiation can also provide the following services:
- They can help you file for bankruptcy.
- They can defend you if you are sued by creditors.
- They can represent you in a lawsuit against your creditors for violations of consumer protection laws.
- They can file countersuits challenging the legal action your creditors have taken.
You may not be currently interested in pursuing any of those options, but it’s helpful to work with someone who understands those options and can help you if the need arises.
Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates, LLP – Ohio Consumer Law Attorneys
If you’re being hounded by your creditors or simply can’t keep up with your bills, the attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates, LLP can help you find a way out. From debt negotiation to bankruptcy or other legal action, our clients get personalized attention no matter what their situation. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you, call us at (888) 726-03181 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.