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Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 30904
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Ive been working on settling unsecured debt. My last targeted

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I've been working on settling unsecured debt. My last targeted credit line would not settle and one collector told me they don't charge off until 180 days. My other successful settlements were between 30 and 40% at 90 days. What would be a typical for 180 days for a purchase of this debt? I'm thinking 20% now. I told them I would send a new settlement offer. I'm currently at 169 days past due. I've had better luck at the end of the month, but going into a new month may be an issue. I think I should low ball them now, then see what they counter. I have always had them counter, but all others were negotiated over the phone. This bank is harder to work with.

Kirk Adams : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.
Kirk Adams : Because the debt is unsecured, the threat of bankruptcy is ususally the best card to play because the creditor knows that if you file, it will get nothing.
Kirk Adams : The rule of thumb on any negotiaton is to start low and move upward. You can always come up with your offers, so beginning with a 20% offer is file, but you should expect to settle around the same 30%-40%.

Thanks. XXXXX tell them I'm looking at bankrupcy even though I'm on record of settling other accounts?

Kirk Adams : It should help with getting a settlement in place.

Thanks. What is the downside on my credit score if any, if I settle with a collection agency vs the creditor?

Kirk Adams : The only difference is the length of time your account is reported as delinquent on your credit report. Usually, it takes several months before an account is turned over to a collection agency, so the longer you wait, more negative history will appear on your report.
Kirk Adams : If you settle earlier (before the loan is turned over to collections), there would be less negative history.

I have credit balances that I am paying on now. One closed acct at $3,500 that they gave me 4% on and a Sears card and a currently open Master Card. So when I finally resolve this settlement, I'll be paying on my daughter's Sallie Mae (original source of credit upset) I'm paying on time I'll start to rebuild.

Kirk Adams : It takes time to rebuild, but it can be done.

How can I dispute Sallie Mae negative credit history entries. It's not my debt but cosigned. Still I have to pay and that's what ruined my credit in the first place. The reason why I went down the settlement road vs Chapt 13

Kirk Adams : If you co-signed, you're equally liable for the debt and the negative entries are likely not disputable.

I'd like to try to refinance my house this year and offset the income gains from the settlements. I was going to try to underwater govt loan. They don't need as high a credit score.


Got to get above 500 for that.

Kirk Adams : Getting a refinance should also help your cashflow, which would allow you to pay more money to other creditors faster.

I thought I'd be finished with the settlements in June, but this last one is stubborn.


I saw a bankruptcy firm in January and they wanted me to file Chapt 13. I'm working... Still I thought I would not be able to dicharge any debt because I have an income.


Can't get rid of Sallie Mae. What resources are available for my daughter to deal with her debt burden. Anything looming in congress to assist?

Kirk Adams : Chapter 13 is a good tool because it allows you keep your property and pay your creditors through a payment plan that you can dictate the terms of.
Kirk Adams : Chapter 13 would allow you to set up a payment plan for the Sallie Mae loan based on income.
Kirk Adams : I assume this is a student loan, and there's generally NO help getting rid of such a debt because it is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Kirk Adams : That's why they're so hard to get along - - they know they're protected better than any other creditor that exists.

She has a deferment set up with interest only payments. These cosigned loans were taken out in 2004 and 2005 w current rate of 5%. Trouble is that the principal doubled with her doing that. Now I'm on the hook for 40,000 instead of the orignial $22,000.


Any hope of the law changing on discharging student debt?

Kirk Adams : I doubt it. I have heard nothing that would change the laws on student loans.

My daughter took out lots of debt, much more than the $40,000 I cosigned. I think she should file bankrupcy and get a better payment plan. If she did that could I get off this loan? Could she get a better deal w bankruptcy?

Kirk Adams : Her filing would have nothing to do with you, and would not change your liability for the debt.
Kirk Adams : However, if she could establish a payment plan through her 13, then it could get the creditor off of your back.

Would you recommend refinancing the debt. The new rate is lower but variable.

Kirk Adams : If the lower rate would make a significant difference in the monthly payment, it may be a good idea, but the threat always is that the variable rate will increase your payment to the point it can't be affordable. BUT, if that were to happen, she could then file bankruptcy.

Is that available for Sallie Mae private loans? I tried to get her on the direct loan income based repayment when it became available. She did not follow through with documents and never completed the deal. That's where I get so frustrated. Her business, but not handling it and I get hit with paying.

Kirk Adams : It's possible to refinance through Sallie Mae or through some other lender.
Kirk Adams : Thanks for allowing me to assist and please let me know if you have any additional questions.
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