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Should I Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer Before Deciding What to Do? – Elle

“Dear Steve,

$50k in credit card debt
Car loan
Own my home

A debt settlement company called me this evening explaining their program. They are telling me that using them only drops your credit score 50 points and once all the debts are paid 3 years from now your credit is back to good. They said they can settle my debts for $15000 less than owed now however that scares me because what if it comes in lower? I have been thinking about filing Chapter 7 but understand that will ruin my credit for 7-10 years.

Should I talk to a bankruptcy lawyer before deciding which route to go?



Dear Elle,

In general the information you were given about credit score drops is bullshit. There are some significant risks with settlement but when used correctly and specifically with cash on hand to settle, in SOME LIMITED SITUATIONS settling the debt may be a route for you to explore.

I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

As part of a smart investigation into your options, talking with a bankruptcy attorney is always a good idea.

Once you’ve identified a company you want to work with, then follow my step-by-step guide on how to check out a debt relief company.

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


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

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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