Debt relief options & programs

Debt relief

Debt relief

Debt relief

debt reliefDebt refers to the monetary obligation that a person owes to the other. It generally connotes the payment of a loan that the debtor owes. Generally when a person lends the other, money or any kind of service that is to be paid back in the monetary terms in a certain period of time; he also levies a certain amount of interest on the same. At times because of unforeseen losses or difficult times, the debtor may find himself or herself unable to pay back the amount. This is where debt relief comes in.

Before a debt is lent, it is in imperative that both the debtor and the creditor should agree on the schedule and modalities of the payment. This payment is usually denoted in terms of currency, but at times it can also be denominated in terms of goods and services. Payments can be made either in terms of equated monthly installments or as lump sum amount paid at the end of the term. Generally speaking, it is the first option which is the more preferred way of payment because it does not hurt the pocket to pay a little of the amount every month.

Debt relief is connoted by the partial or total forgiveness of the debt taken. It also includes either slowing down or completely stopping of the interest levied on such debts.

Generally the term debt relief relates to the domestic debts taken, but in today’s scenario it can also include the agricultural or the corporate debts taken. The need for debt relief essentially arises when the debtor is unable to pay back his loan on account of his poor financial condition. In such case the debtor faces the added burden of ever-increasing interest that is levied on the capital.

Debt relief and it’s various options are accounted in history as well, because lending and paying back have been a part and parcel of every society. In fact, no civilization can thrive if people stop lending and paying back. In recent times the personal credit and its payback has become an increasing problem. People are becoming more and more materialistic these days, and because of the easy credit and the financing options that are available to them, they do not wink an eyelid before going in for various kinds of loan. Problem arises when they are unable to pay back these debts for want of money. Things can also get worsened because of certain unforeseen calamities. But since it is the right of the creditor to get back the money lent, in the due course of time, he starts levying revised interest rates and late fees charges, thus aggravating the condition of the debtor further. It pays to work out a debt relief option for such debtor, instead of spending sleepless nights and getting jittery.

Apart from the personal loans, debts can be taken for other purposes as well. A farmer can take a loan for farming, an industrialist can take loan for running his company, a person can take a loan to buy cars, houses , for education; in fact anything can be purchased either on credit or by taking loans. Problems in debt repayment have compounded with the advent of credit cards. A consumer may unwillingly fall into the trap of incessant buying without realizing how much his or her total outstanding rises up to.

Debt repayment problems can get compounded in times of recession when people, after losing their jobs find it increasingly difficult to pay back loans. Debt relief programs are the order of the day. One can not turn blind eye and a deaf ear to the problem faced by thousands of people around. Though it may make dent in the creditors’ profits, but resorting to a debt relief option may at least ensure a certain part of recovery for the creditor, if not the complete amount.

Unpaid debts can become a source of great anxiety and stress for the individuals as well as for the family. There have been cases when the entire families have committed suicide because of such cases. Such an option turns out to be a win-win situation for both the debtor and the creditor. The debtor on one hand, can get rid of the fear of his ever accumulating outstanding on his debt, and the creditor on the other hand, can do away with the waste of his precious time and energy in pursuing a person, who he also knows would never be able to pay back his debt.

To avoid such a situation a debt relief program is worked out. Generally these programs are worked with the help of credit counselors. More often than not, such a program helps reduce the financial obligation of the debtor by a certain percentage. Some times it can be even reduced to half of the original outstanding. There are very few cases when the entire amount has been forgiven by the creditor, but working out such a formulae is actually a very difficult proposition.

When the debt can not be reduced or forgiven, things can be worked out with the help of another method called debt consolidation.

There are various ways in which the debt relief options can be worked out. Some of them are as following-

* Debt settlement- This is a kind of an option wherein the debtor is able to settle his dues quickly as compared to the rest of the methods. The method involves appointing a debt settlement lawyer who negotiates with the firms wherein the debtor owes money. It pays to appoint a debt settlement lawyer because it is not necessary that the debtor is armed with all the information and the tactics necessary to negotiate for the debt settlement, and since a specialized lawyer knows the tricks of the trade, he can give his clients a much better bargain that they actually can get, in case they decide to do the same themselves. That apart, a debt settlement lawyer also ensures that the consumer rights of his client are not violated by the money lending companies. Generally the clients are not aware of their rights as consumers in this regards.

After negotiating with the firm on the debtor’s behalf, the lawyer then works out a plan for his client, wherein he can pay the rest of the outstanding amount comfortably. When the reworked amount is paid to the last penny, the debtor’s credit report is wiped clean.

Worldwide this is most preferred form of debt relief because it does not require any collateral to be assigned for the outstanding, and hence is much hassle free than the rest of the debt relief options.

* Debt negotiations: This debt relief option entails reworking the interest rates and payment options. There are times when the debtors are not pay up their debts accounting to various reasons. In case they sit back and do not take any action, it will mean an increasing interest amount on the remaining outstanding. This is specially tried in the case of credit card payments. Therefore, if the debtor negotiates his debt, it can help both him and the company. For the purpose he can either do it himself or appoint an attorney.

Debt negotiations would include negotiations on the interest rates, late fees and the payment plans. In case the problem of paying up is a phenomenon for a short time, the debtor can negotiate with the companies himself. But in case the amount is big and things have to be worked out in a bigger way, it is advisable to seek help of an attorney. Apart from bringing relief to the debtor, a debt negotiation can also put an end to the series of letters and the reminders that a debtor gets for his repayment. In the times of crisis, these letters can be very depressing.

* Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy law provides relief to the debtors who are unable to pay back to their creditors by way of liquidating their assets. This can be either initiated by the debtor himself or by the credit giving company. In case of bankruptcy, all creditors are treated equally, that is, debts are not settled one by one. As and when the assets are liquidated, all the companies get an equal share in the pie. Though liquidating the assets may not help the debtor to get of all his outstanding, but it can give him relief to a large extent.

There are two types of bankruptcy proceedings that are initiated: either the assets are liquidated completely by the appointed trustee who then uses the collection received to pay back the companies, or in some cases trustees are appointed who in turn supervise the assets and help the debtor pay off his debts from the income received from such assets.

* Loan modification: Loan modification option is a mortgage option type, which ensures permanent adjustment to one or more terms of the creditors. This is especially popular when adjusting home loans. The process entails either the reduction of the interest rate, or reduction in the principal amount or at times both. This can also extend to the late fee that is levied on the debtor. At times the monthly payment is calculated keeping in mind the total monthly disposable income of the debtor.

* Short sale: This method is adhered to, when the proceeds of the sale of a debtors real estate fall short of the balance owed to the creditors. This generally happens when the debtor can no longer pays back the mortgage loan, and the creditors decide to sell off his assets to avoid steep bank loans. The debtor is usually left to pay back the remaining of the loan.

These inputs are to be kept in mind when a debtor decides to go in for appointing lawyer or a company to pursue his debt relief option with the creditors.

~ Reputation of the company: how fast and what kind of bargains can the company work out for you. It might not happen that a wrong decision in short listing a company for your needs, you may end up either paying up more than what you have had with another debt settlement company.

~ The fees charged by the company: it is also important to ensure that the company does not charge a fee so exorbitant that it actually becomes an added liability on to you.

~ Speed of getting things done: any delay in either negotiating or striking an agreement with the creditors may mean an ever accumulating interest for you. The company that you choose to represent you in such cases should be the one who is able to work around quickly in such matters.

~ Suiting your need: is not necessary that the debt negotiations program of all the companies suit your needs. Pick up the one which can cater to you best. In case the one who you have zeroed upon is unable to do so, ask them about one of their affiliates who can do the work for you.

~ Guarantee of debt elimination: whichever company you choose, ensure that it guarantees debt elimination in a specified period of time, or else it does not serve the purpose of doing away with your worries.

Search the web and you will come across numbers of such companies who give assurances of working out the best debt relief program for you. Do your homework and then choose.