Do I Need a Lawyer for Debt Settlement?
If you are looking for help with debts that you can’t currently pay in full, consider hiring a debt settlement lawyer. These attorneys have specific training in the laws related to debtors and creditors, bankruptcy, and related topics. They can give you legal advice and help you take whatever steps you determine are best for you.
What Can a Debt Settlement Attorney Do For Me?
A qualified debt settlement attorney can do things that debt settlement companies cannot.
- If your creditors file suit against you, a debt settlement attorney can represent you in court and handle all of the related paperwork.
- A debt settlement attorney can give you all of your legal options and help you decide if you should try to negotiate a settlement with your creditors or if you should consider bankruptcy.
- A debt settlement attorney can help you file suit against creditors who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act while attempting to collect from you.
- Debt settlement lawyers understand the tax implications of debt forgiveness and can advise you of those consequences as you consider your option.
How Much Will a Debt Settlement Attorney Cost?
How much debt settlement attorneys charge depends on the work you need them to do. Here are some factors that the lawyer will consider to determine the costs.
- What tasks are you asking the attorney to complete? In some cases, the attorney handles every aspect of the case from start to finish. In others, the attorney completes one specific task, such as writing a settlement letter.
- How much debt you have
- What kind of creditors are involved
- How difficult it will be to reach a negotiated settlement
Once the attorney understands what you need, he or she may propose one of these payment options.
- One flat rate that covers the process from beginning to end.
- You pay the attorney an hourly rate for work performed; usually, a retainer is required for this kind of arrangement.
- The attorney works for an amount equal to a percentage of your debt.
- Some firms also offer a fee based on how much money the attorney can save you, incentivizing the professional to get you the best deal possible.
These fees may change if the creditor sues you, gets a judgment against you, or if other complicating factors arise.
Because debt collection practices vary somewhat by jurisdiction, speak to a debt collection lawyer to find one that you are comfortable working with on your case.