Debt Relief FAQ’s
Will late fees and interest still accrue on my accounts?
Most creditors will continue to charge interest until the account is charged off (3-6 months) However, your personalized program will reflect those fees and/or interest, and is incorporated into the Settlement Program. Even if fees are added, we negotiate the debt down to a fraction of what you owe so your savings are much greater than the addition of interest or late fees.
What if my creditors won’t settle?
Creditors rarely have a problem settling because they know that if they do not accept a settlement, even for a fraction on the debt, they will likely not receive any payment on the account whatsoever. They would much rather accept less than the balance than risk losing the account all together by you filing bankruptcy. In the unlikely event that a creditor will not settle with our offer, they will still be willing to work out a payment arrangement or counter offer that will benefit you.
Does Debt Settlement have a negative impact on my credit
YES. Most of the accounts you place into negotiation are likely to “charge off”,which will reflect negatively on your credit. When a settlement is complete the creditor should notify the credit bureaus that the account has been settled and will reflect a zero balance at which time, you will begin to rebuild your credit rating.
Will I continue to get calls and collection letters from my creditors?
Most likely, yes. Most original creditors are cooperative. Calls may reduce after the original creditor realizes you are working with us. It is important that you review the section on how to handle creditor calls in the program kit you receive as a new client to minimize creditor harassments and keep in contact with your account manager to make them aware of any collection attempts by the creditors.
Will this program stop legal action against me?
No – creditors have the right to use legal means to collect a debt. Some creditors are more likely to file suit than others. In our experience, a small minority of consumers are involved in awsuits.However, it is a common tactic of third-party creditors or collection agencies to threaten you with a lawsuit (which is illegal if they do not intend to sue). Third-party creditors or collection agencies sue less frequently than original creditors.
While we cannot guarantee that legal action will not be taken, we are confident that our experience in dealing with creditors can educe the possibility of this happening. Despite any legal action that may or may not be taken, your account can be settled before, during or after the suit. Just because an account goes to legal action does not mean that we cannot settle it. The threat of legal action can be the scariest of all. IT CAN BE HANDLED.
Sometimes a single lawsuit is not a bad thing because it may give our negotiators leverage to settle your other accounts. We recommend that our clients seek competent legal counsel in certain situations.
Note: We cannot provide you with legal advice. However, we work with your creditors in an attempt to make a settlement even when legal action is pending.
Who is Qualified?
A debt settlement program is only for people facing financial HARDSHIP. This means people who are late on paying their debts, have little or no ability to pay their debts in the future and are facing a possible bankruptcy.
How do I apply?
Complete the form online. A debt consultant will review your information and call you to review your situation. After a debt consultant has reviewed your financial situation and hardship they will determine if you are qualified for our program.
What will I pay for your service?
You will pay a fee which is included in your monthly payment and is based on the total amount of debt enrolled. All costs and fees are always fully disclosed and you are required to sign for approval before you commit to our program.
When I enroll in the program, what will happen to my accounts, can I still use them?
Original Creditors are required to report canceled debts exceeding $600 to the IRS and you are supposed to report the same as income on your annual tax return. However, the IRS permits you to write off any “income” from canceled debts up to the amount by which you were “Insolvent” at the time. Therefore, unless you have a positive net worth, then you ordinarily will not be obligated to pay taxes on the forgiven amounts. Additionally, if you do not qualify as insolvent non-principal amounts such as fees accumulated on the account may be deducted from the amount reported.
Refer to: www.IRS.gov Publication 908, Form 982.
Can I still use my credit cards?
All credit cards in the program will not be active and you will not have credit privileges. Any cards you do not put into the program should not be used. This program is for you to get out of debt, so it would only benefit you to discontinue using them.
Call First Choice Credit Management today at (205) 784-1723 for your Free Evaluation!