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I Fired My Debt Management Company And Now I’m Going to Settle My Own Debt. Should I Hire a Lawyer? – Jannelle


“Dear Steve,

I have dropped my debt management company and am trying to negotiate with Chase and HSBC. I’ve composed a letter to them offering 40% of the balance owed. Am I better off hiring a lawyer to send this letter, or should I send it on my own?


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Dear Jannelle,

That’s a really good question. The answer isn’t quite as clear cut as you’d hope.

Typically the best settlement offers are going to come after being 90 days delinquent. Doing that will trash your credit and lead to a lot of collection pressure. Most people can’t make it through those stressful and tough times and risk getting sued just to get a good settlement offer.

Hiring a local attorney to do this for you has some advantages. Most of all it is a third party and that person is not emotionally attached to the debt and can’t be manipulated as easily as you can. That’s not a reflection about you, but a fact that you are easier to scare and lie to in order to manipulate, than a professional third party.

As far as sending the debt settlement letter, see this post about a sample debt settlement letter, “I’ve Had Problems Working With a Debt Settlement Company and I’m Looking for a Sample Debt Settlement Letter. – Kerry.”

If you could find a professional debt settlement company that would represent you for less than $500 and agree to refund your fees if they were not successful in obtaining the desired result, that may be an option as well.

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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.


  • Hi Steve,

    I don’t believe in debt settlement companies where they take your money and disburse it. I tried to settle a debt with Discover’s attorney and there was no way he was going to work with me. I was headed into an arbitration hearing this month until I found this genetleman that works as a go between of the consumer and the debt collector. He was able
    to get the settlement I wanted, get the documents that needed to be signed, the attorney wouldn’t do any of that for me, and the arbitration is cancelled. I know alot of people think they can settle their own debt with the collectors, but once they get sued in court, it is much more difficult for them to settle the debt with the Bank’s attorney. Generally they never reach the attorney, just some representative sitting in their office trying to intimidate you into sending the whole amount…they get paid a percentage on what they collect…and you never get to talk with the attorney. So, if you want to print this and give them my email address, I will be glad to direct them to this guy and they can decide for themselves. His rates a very reasonable and a onetime fee covers how many cards they have and whatever situation arises.

    Keep up the good work.

  • I would like to know if you can recommend a good trustworthy company that can help me with debt settlement. Thank you

    • Janice,

      I’m not getting in the middle suggesting any particular debt settlement company. My current opinions about debt settlement are very strong and there is no way I would recommend any company.


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