I Want to Settle My Own Debt But I’m Feeling Panic. – Vivian

“Dear Steve,

My husband became disabled in middle of major home remodel. Had to use credit cards to finish house and house payments are now too high, along with cc debt too high. Checked in filing bankruptcy and lawyer advised to stop payment on cc’s and house and save the money to negotiate settlements.

I stopped paying on credit cards about 4 months ago and have put a few thousand dollars away to negotiate settlement. I have been offered to settle on two smaller cards for about 50 – 60% of what is owed. I really wanted to try for closer to 25%, but could get these two paid off. It’s the larger ones I’m more concerned with. I really don’t know how to negotiate, don’t know what to say. I’m starting to feel even more panic and having a hard time sleeping again. I think I can do this but just feeling very stressed right now. Please help.


Dear Vivian,

If you are looking for help in how to negotiate your debts then you should look at the help offered by ZipDebt or Consumer Recovery Network.

Both of those groups can help you to learn how to settle your debts yourself.

The 25% target is very optimistic and don’t be disappointed if you can’t get it in that range.

The key to settling is having cash on hand to settle or to take advantage of some of the installment settlement offers made by some major creditors where they will accept up to six payments.

With the support of one of those companies I mentioned I think it will greatly shrink your panic because you’ll have a professional on your side to help you through the process rather than trying to deal with this in an information vacum.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

See also  I'm Not Behind on My Credit Card But Would Like to Settle It for Less

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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2 thoughts on “I Want to Settle My Own Debt But I’m Feeling Panic. – Vivian”

  1. Just a follow up.  I calmed myself down and read a whole lot more about settling my own debt on this site.  I just got off the phone with Bank of America where I have 2 accounts with total of about $30k in debt, over 120 days late.  I had told them months ago that I was probably going to file bankruptcy.  After talking to an Account Specialist about my situation I asked what they would take for a settlement.  She offered me 25%!  I just saved over $23k.  I feel a lot more confident about this whole process.  Those were my largest debts.  I also settled a smalled debt for 50%, saving $1,000.  I read that you should call the cc company and briefly explain the situation then ask to speak to an account specialist.  Also wait for about 120 to 150 days.  Never offer, ask what they will take.  Tell them you’d like to avoid bankruptcy and are looking for something we can agree to.  Bank of America will let you take up to 12 months to pay.  I am now felling a great sense of relief.  Thanks Steve!  Love your site.

  2. Steve and Vivian,
    I would love to have the comments of how complex and daunting the process can be when doing it yourself.  I believe that some clients have the wherewith all to do it on their own but often they are better off with a legitimate company handling it for them.  A legitimate company should be able to save you money in the process. 
    Let’s face it we can all do just about anything ourselves from going to court to rebuilding a transmission but at some point you are better off with a professional handling it for you.
    NOT IN ALL cases.  The other thing to consider is the misconception of the false expectations.  Depending on your creditor mix the likelihood of settling all your accounts for 25 to 30% might really be farfetched and the potential for failure is too great.  If you do chose a DIY either of the 2 mentioned are very reputable.
    Alex Viecco


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