Ok. I’m new to the blog and have joined in an effort to seek advice. So, here goes. I am in the process of trying to pay-off debt that dates back to early as 2001, all due to a boyfriend, but that’s another story and I take full responsibility for everything!!!
Long story short, I would, at all cost, love to avoid bankruptcy. I have called several lawyers in my area (South-Central PA), but they have all veered away from the debt negotiation process and are doing solely bankruptcy at this time. I have contacted two debt negotiation companies, but still feel that I would be better off with an attorney handling this. I have a family member willing to help me out to start over and he is able to help me pay off the debt entirely. I do not want to be put on a payment plan but am in need of someone to negotiate for me and make sure the debts are settled on my report. Thing is, my credit reports from the three agencies vary and it looks as if some of the debts are coming off this year and next due to the length of time passing.
Any help/advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. I just don’t know where to start!!!!
It is not as hard as you think to do it for yourself. I grabbed a Google Spreadsheeet (for portability) and entered everything from each credit report – one by one. If things look like they match up across the three, I matched them up.
Then I sorted smallest debt to largest. I sent registered, certified letters to each, asking for some explanation of the bill and proof that I owed it and that it was not beyond the statute of limitations. Just one at a time – keep copies of your letters and the green cards attached, all in their own file folders. As each comes back, then I pay it, along with a letter that says this is paid in full if you accept payment. Keep copies of the canceled checks, all correspondence. Check your credit report regularly and if they don’t come off, write to the credit agency, certified mail, including your proof. This is pretty much what the agencies you pay do, anyway. You can do it too!!!
And if you are planning to live debt free, that “magic credit score” does not mean a lot anyway – as long as you are paid off, then don’t fret it. You do not need to spend money paying a debt negotiator or an attorney to fix these things. Getting advise from someone is probably a good thing, but that can be done for much less money that what an attorney or dmp will cost you. I spent many years in the collection industry, I have gone round and round with those guys, all they do is eat up a clients money. You can really do it yourself. It involves contacting all of your creditors and simply offering them X amount of money to resolve the debt at settled in full. At this point they will probably be willing to cooperate.