How to Legally Settle Your Personal Credit Card Debt for Pennies on the Dollar: Without Filing Bankruptcy

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The current economic climate is dim for many Americans it forecasts potential recession, trouble for homeowners, and increasing personal and credit card debt. According to Federal Reserve estimates, that credit card debt is already in the trillions of dollars and rising each year. So, what can you do about it without immediately resorting to bankruptcy eliminating the entirety of your finances for years to come? It's a tough question to answer and one that many are faced with regularly, but there are ways to ...

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The current economic climate is dim for many Americans it forecasts potential recession, trouble for homeowners, and increasing personal and credit card debt. According to Federal Reserve estimates, that credit card debt is already in the trillions of dollars and rising each year. So, what can you do about it without immediately resorting to bankruptcy eliminating the entirety of your finances for years to come? It's a tough question to answer and one that many are faced with regularly, but there are ways to handle these debts legally without reaching for the extreme, final measure that we all dread so much.

This book was written to provide every individual who is standing at the precipice of too much debt with the tools they need to settle that debt legally without ruining themselves forever. You will learn everything you need to know about the basics of debt, including what the various kinds secured, unsecured, personal, business, and tax debt entail and how they affect you. You will learn what happens to you when you don't pay, both legally and socially, and what your first steps should be on the road to repairing your debt.

You will learn how to assess your overall risks and what your options are with your creditors. You will learn what vulnerabilities your debt collectors have legally and what you can do to legally challenge the validity of your debt. You will learn how to deal with bill collectors and how to create a line of communication that is two ways and not reliant solely on them making demands. Top financial experts, bill collectors, and one-time debt owers have been contacted and interviewed for this book and their interviews have been included here to provide a complete outline of what you can expect when you try to settle your debt. You will learn how to start negotiating settlements with your creditors and what specific things you can and cannot do when dealing with them.

You will learn the variety of debtor's rights that exist and why they are never told to you, including details about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and how this act is legally enforced. For anyone who has ever spent the better part of their life dodging calls from creditors or trying to figure out how to pay those bills next month, this book will be the tool you need to understand how to tackle and deal with your debt.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601383280
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/15/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Vice President of Operations, Freedom Debt Relief

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Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Introduction 13

Chapter 1 Assessing Your Credit Card Debt 17

Secured and Unsecured Debt 18

Which Debts Can Be Eliminated Through Debt Setdement? 18

Create a Picture of Your Debt 19

Check Your Credit Report 20

Are You a Candidate for Debt Settlement? 25

Chapter 2 What You Need to Know About Credit Cards 31

Facts about Credit Card Use 34

How Credit Card Companies Make Money 35

Interest 36

How Credit Card Interest is Calculated 37

Variable and Fixed Interest Rates 39

Additional Fees and Charges 42

Why Credit Card Companies Give You Credit 49

Minimum Required Payments 49

Chapter 3 Assessing Your Financial Situation 51

Understanding Your Debt 52

Identify Your Income and Your Expenses 55

Prioritize Your Debt 58

Funding a Debt Settlement 60

Chapter 4 Opening Negotiations with Your Creditors 65

Why Your Creditors Are Willing to Negotiate 66

Identify Your Creditors 67

Stop Making Payments 68

What Happens When You Miss Payments 69

Right of Offset 70

Phone Calls from Credit Card Companies 71

Keep a Record of All Your Communications 74

Possibility of Legal Action 75

Managing Stress 77

What to Expect From Creditors 78

Case Study: How I Reduced My Credit Card Debt 80

Chapter 5 Reaching a Settlement 83

How to Approach Your Creditor about a Settlement 84

How to Refuse a Proposal from a Creditor and Make a Counter-Offer 88

Accepting a Verbal Offer 89

Accepting a Written Proposal 90

Settlement and Your Credit Report 90

Making the Final Payment 91

Follow Up 92

Credit Card Debt Forgiveness and Your Taxes 93

Chapter 6 Negotiating With Collection Agencies 97

What You Need to Know About Junk-Debt Buyers (JDBs) 98

Case Study: Debt Collectors Use the Judicial System to Force Payment 104

How to Know When Your Debt Has Gone to a Collections Agency 105

Differences Between a Creditor and a Collections Agency 106

What to Do When a Collection Agency Calls 108

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) 114

Stop the Phone Calls with a Cease-and-Desist Letter 123

Request Debt Validation 124

Negotiating with a Debt Collection Agency 126

Get Everything in Writing 128

Making a Payment to a Debt Collection Agency 129

Chapter 7 Where to Go for Help 133

Federal and State Consumer Protection Agencies 134

Credit Counselors and Debt Consolidation Companies 135

Why You Might Want to Use the Services of a Debt Negotiator or Credit Counselor 138

How to Find a Credit-Counseling Agency 139

Debt Negotiation Services 143

Debt Management Plans (DMPs) 145

Avoiding Scams 146

Chapter 8 How to Manage Credit Card Debt That Cannot Be Discharged Through a Settlement 149

Lower Your Monthly Payments 150

Creating a Plan to Pay Off Debt 160

Create a Debt Snowball 173

Secured Loans and Student Loans 174

Chapter 9 Bankruptcy 177

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 180

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 181

Why You Should Avoid Bankruptcy 182

Case Study: How I Survived Bankruptcy 185

Chapter 10 Resurrecting Your Credit Score 187

How Credit Scores are Determined 188

Time is the Most Important Factor 189

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score 190

Resolving Problems with Your Credit Report 195

Credit Repair Companies 204

Case Study: Why You Should Avoid Bankruptcy 211

Chapter 11 Money Management and Living Debt-Free 213

Do Not Make the Same Mistake Twice 214

Making Your Expenses Fit Your Income 214

Living without Credit Cards 221

Case Study: How I Avoided Debt 225

Compulsive Debting and Spending 227

Case Study: Spend Only What You Make 230

Conclusion 231

Appendix A Frequently Asked Questions 233

Appendix B Sample Letters 237

Letter to Request a Free Credit Report Date 237

Credit Dispute Letter 240

Cease and Desist Letter 241

Debt Validation Letter 242

Unsolicited Offer Letter 243

Debt Settlement Agreement 245

Statute of Limitations Letter 246

Debt Hardship Letter 247

Appendix C Useful Websites 249

Credit Cards 249

Credit Card Payment Calculators 250

Credit Reports and Credit Repair 250

Credit Monitoring Services 251

Government Agencies and Publications 252

Debt Settlement Negotiation 252

Legal Resources 253

Credit Counseling and Debt Management Plans 255

Professional Associations and Non-profit Organizations 255

Appendix D State Consumer Protection Agencies 257

Glossary 269

Bibliography 275

Author Biography 283

Index 285

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    How to Settle Your Personal Credit Card Debt is very informative

    How to Settle Your Personal Credit Card Debt is very informative, and an excellent resource for anyone who is struggling with debt, and doesn’t know how to handle it. It teaches that there are other options besides bankruptcy, how to avoid scams, and how to handle talking to your debt collectors. The appendixes have a wealth of information on their own, and the case studies were encouraging for someone who is struggling. And, perhaps most importantly, it was easy to understand, even for someone who knows very little about the financial world.

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