In my experience, claims by attorneys and debt relief programs that they can achieve a settlement of your debts better than you can do yourself are largely fantasy.
Creditors will negotiate based upon their internal policies -- beyond that they won't negotiate at all. They will simply charge off the debt and sell it to a debt collector. Then you can negotiate with the debt collector knowing that it purchased the debt for no more than 10% of its face value. Ultimately, the only leverage that a debtor has is proof of personal insolvency and the threat of Chapter 7
If you are in that position, then you can tell the creditor or debt collector that unless they agree to reduce your debt to an amount that would be less than the cost of your Chapter 7 fees, that you will have no alternative but to file for Chapter 7 and wipe out all of the debts.
In the end, for practically every debtor, the solution ends up with a Chapter 7, and everything that happens before that is just spinning wheels in the mud -- due to a sense of personal indignation to the idea of bankruptcy.
Just so you know, some of the people who overcame that problem in the past and filed for bankruptcy, include:
Milton Hershey (Hershey's Chocolate)
H.J. Heinz (57 Varieties -- Ketchup)
P.T. Barnum (circus entrepreneur)
Thomas Jefferson (more than once)
Get the picture? For a consumer bankruptcy attorney referral, see this link.
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