A Beginner’s Guide to California Debt Relief Options
Are you like the millions in California in need of consumer debt relief? After dramatic economic events here in California and the nation, and additional tough housing and job markets with credit card companies freely handing out credit, many Californians have found themselves deeper in debt. In debt that hey now, cannot stay afloat and find themselves selecting which expenses today are priority. As California debt settlement lawyers, we understand the mental impact facing a financial emergency and we are here to help to get you back on your feet with a free debt consultation that can show how we negotiate large reductions in debt without the need for bankruptcy.
1: Develop a Budget
The first step in getting California debt relief is to look at your financial situation and develop a realistic budget. There are many free templates that you can download online or program that will do this for you such as www.mint.com. Begin with an analysis of how much money you make or bring in and then how much you spend by listing all your sources of income and all your expenses, even the minor ones like that Starbucks coffee. In particular, be sure to make a list off all of your major unsecured debts. For example the following debts, can be negotiated on your behalf , by an experienced California debt settlement attorney at our firm. Debts such as:
- credit cards
- auto loans
- SBA loans
- payday loans
- private student loans
- medical debt
- business credit card debt
- mortgage debt
2: Find a Solution
If after you determine a budget, you feel that you still cannot make your minimum payments and progress on lowering your debt, then debt settlement may be an option. One of our local attorneys will sit down with you for free and perform a California debt relief analysis. There are many debt relief options available to you, before you turn to bankruptcy. During this process, we help determine how much you can realistically afford to pay and put together a comprehensive plan for obtaining settlements and dramatic reductions on your consumer debts. If you decide to retain our California debt law firm, we will then begin the negotiation process to settle your debts for a fraction of the amount of your current balances, getting you results much quicker, cheaper and with less impact to your credit than a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
3: Stop the Harrassing Calls
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that forbids debt collectors from engaging in abusive behavior for example prohibiting collectors from calling you between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Other frequent abuses our clients have experienced are:
- Collection agents cannot lie to you
- tell you that you owe more than you actually do
- talk about your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse, or your lawyer
- repeatedly or continuously call with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass you
If you engage with our law firm we can help stop the harassing calls. Once retained, we will contact all of your creditors and instruct them to direct all communications to us so you stop receiving the harassing calls. Our debt relief lawyers know these laws and will make sure your rights are protected.
4: Watch out for Scams
Many California debt relief and debt consolidation companies offer enticing advertisements and tempting promises such as a guaranteed lower interest rate or lower credit card payment. But, some of these companies are simply offering you promises that are too good to be true by running scams preying on consumers struggling with debt by making impossible promises, collecting non-refundable fees from the trusting consumers, and then later telling the consumers that they were unsuccessful in negotiating with creditors.
Even some debt companies with the right intentions may leave you feeling disappointed. The biggest difference is the method they are trying to provide relief. A majority of California debt relief companies do not offer licensed attorneys. Because of this, creditors are less likely to negotiate with them or if they do, the reductions are typically far less than an attorney negotiated debt settlement. Instead of struggling with a questionable debt company, trust our debt attorneys to be advocates for you as they are familiar with the debt laws and California laws and can be sure that your rights are being protected. Call now and we will work with you to reduce your debt and offer a free consultation with one of our experienced debt lawyers.
California debt relief
It can be tempting to take the first solution you run across when trying to deal with mountains of credit card debt and other debt. It is wise, however, to educate yourself about all the options available and select the one that best fits your circumstances.
At our debt law offices, our California credit card relief attorneys will take the time to listen to you, explain your options and help you make a choice.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy enables the discharge of all debts, but only those who make below the median income in a community can qualify.
- In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all debts are paid back over time through a reorganization of debts. It takes more time and costs more than debt settlement.
- Bankruptcy is an option that works for many people, but is not necessarily right for everyone. If you choose bankruptcy, we will refer you to a law firm that can help.
- Debt consolidation combines all debts, including accumulated interest and penalties, and has a payment schedule.
- Debt settlement negotiates a payback amount that is paid in a schedule that fits your ability to pay. In most cases, Chapter7 paybacks are 80 cents on the dollar, while debt settlement is 55-60 cents on the dollar with attorney fees and costs included.