Why we offer Debt Settlement
Our law firm has helped thousands of people get a fresh start with debt settlement. We have seen the positive impact it can have on people’s lives. And studies back our observations.
According to the American Fair Credit Council, on average, debt settlement saves consumers $2.64 for every $1 in fees paid, and the average consumer sees savings of 30 percent on the original debt, including fees. This often results in consumers getting out of debt 10 or more years faster than they would have without debt settlement.
There is some great research about how debt settlement has helped people. You can read some of it here.
We are proud to offer this option because it provides economic relief, it does not require going to court where a public record is created, and it is a fair option that balances the needs of the struggling consumer with the creditor who leant the consumer money. However, there are other options that you can consider at any time. While we do not handle these services, we will be glad to explain them to you.
The two main types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 13 involves a court-appointed trustee who creates a 3 to a 5-year repayment plan that will pay your creditors some or all of what you owe. Both chapters require that you go to court, where the trustee will give your creditors an opportunity to question you. Chapter 7 is available to those who meet low-income requirements, called a means test. There is no repayment plan in Chapter 7. If you are eligible, the debts are eliminated. However, the court-appointed trustee can seize and sell your non-protected assets, such as your home, car or personal belongings, and use the proceeds to satisfy your creditors. Both forms of bankruptcy can eventually eliminate your unsecured debts. Bankruptcy, like debt settlement, will, in most cases, have an adverse impact on your credit score. Debt settlement is done privately (assuming your creditors do not sue you). Bankruptcy is done in court and leaves a permanent public record is created. You cannot file for relief under Chapter 7 if you have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the past 8 years.
There are two ways to satisfy the bankruptcy Means Test. First, you can qualify by demonstrating that your current monthly income (which is an average of all household income from the last 6 months) is less than the median income for the size of your family in your state. If your income is too high, there is still another option, which involves a comprehensive examination of your income and reasonable monthly expenses, which should be done by an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy.
We do not offer credit counseling, and in general, believe it is not a good option for people who are having real financial difficulties. You can read more about it at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0153-choosing-credit-counselor
If you have more questions about these options, please feel free to contact us.
For more information about bankruptcy, you may wish to consider contacting a law firm that specializes in bankruptcy.
State Law Alternatives
Wisconsin – An Amortization of Debt under Chapter 128 is a bankruptcy alternative that allows debtors to enter into a repayment program where the debtor repays what they owe, but often without interest, over three years. Unlike debt settlement, the amount owed to the creditors is not reduced.
However, after the filing of a section 128.21 action with the court, listed creditors automatically are prohibited from attempting or continuing to attach the debtor’s property, garnish his or her wages, or otherwise collect on their debts. Unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 128 Amortization of debt action does not discharge (or wipe out) debt without payment. All included debts must be paid in full via the payment (amortization) plan. The amortization plan is more like a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. However, there are many differences between bankruptcy and amortization. To understand the differences and which is best for you, you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney. The Milwaukee Bar Association’s lawyer referral service number is 414-274-6768.
More information about Chapter 128 can be found on this page of the Wisconsin State Law Library website.
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350 10th Avenue, Suite 1000
San Diego, California
United States of America
(By Appointment Only)
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