Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.I have put the answers to my questions in bold:
I guaranteed a business loan and payments were late - the loan is now in the hands of a collection company. Could I simply offer to continue to make the regular payments to the collection company until the debt is paid? My guess is, since the business credit already took the hit, it might be best to try and offer a settlement of some kind. The answer to this question is yes. Sometimes, just settling the debt is the easiest thing to do. It doesn't always appear as if it's the easiest thing to do, but every single day lawyers across the country are explaining to their clients that if they just work on settling their debts in a way that makes sense for them and they are going to be in a better position in the long-term. To facilitate your situation, there’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for debt settlement (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If you send this letter and they do not respond, then try sending it again to remind them that settling is really what resolving disputes is all about.
For a settlement, I was thinking about 20% but, am not sure where to start. I've heard of collection companies settling for, in one case, $1500 for a $45,000 debt. Is there possibly a site that lists settlements (yes, I understand they are often undisclosed) to get a better idea of what debt collectors need. In my experience defending debtors, most creditors will usually settle for about 50-60% of the outstanding debt and will take payments up to 36 months potentially.
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