West Los Angeles Debt Settlement Attorneys
Bankruptcy Alternatives in Southern California
No matter the nature of your debt crisis, relief options are available. There are several ways to reduce or eliminate crushing debts and stop creditor harassment.
At the Ghanooni Law Firm, we regularly help debtors from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances. In some cases, an individual may only have a few thousand dollars of credit card debt, but a setback in income has resulted in their being unable to keep up with their obligations. In other situations, we hear from doctors and businessowners who have accrued hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that they cannot manage as a result of a divorce or ongoing medical issues.
No matter the details of your unique situation, your debt reduction and elimination options will generally boil down to:
Filing for bankruptcy protects you from collection actions – including foreclosure and wage garnishments – and allows you to discharge unsecured debts. However, bankruptcy is not necessarily right for everyone.
Debt settlement may be the right choice for you if:
- You do not qualify for bankruptcy
- You prefer not to use bankruptcy
- View settlement as a preferable option
Our West Los Angeles debt settlement lawyers can help you explore all of your options for reducing or eliminating your debt. We are familiar with many types of bankruptcy alternatives and will work closely with you to identify the strategy that is appropriate for your situation. Our team can negotiate directly with your creditors and work to secure an advantageous settlement. We are compassionate to the financial difficulties you are experiencing and are committed to delivering the relief you need.
“Eliza is not only super knowledgeable on all legal issues, but she is also very good at negotiating with creditors to settling any outstanding debts.”
How Debt Settlement Works
Creditors will generally not agree to a debt settlement if they believe you have the means to repay what you owe. In other words, a debt will likely need to be seriously delinquent before a creditor will even consider negotiating a settlement.
If you know you will be unable to pay off a debt and wish to pursue a settlement, you may need to stop making payments. While this may sound counterintuitive, settlements are generally facilitated through lump-sum payouts. By stopping regular payments, you can put financial resources toward a lump-sum payment that may allow you to settle the debt for less than what you owe. In other cases, a settlement will involve a heavily adjusted payment plan with smaller monthly installments. Either way, a creditor must be convinced there is no means of extracting the full amount owed.
Debt settlement is not an option for all types of debt. Unsecured debts, including credit card debt and medical debt, can often be settled. You will not be able to settle debt involving a mortgage, vehicle loan, or any other type of property that can be foreclosed or repossessed. Tax debt can sometimes be settled directly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Student loan debt cannot be settled, but you may be able to negotiate a modified payment plan.
Debt settlement is not the same thing as debt consolidation. In debt consolidation, you take out a new loan for the entire amount owed, including penalties, and pay the new loan amount over many years with considerable interest. Some will choose to consolidate mortgages and end up paying more than three times what they originally owed.
Debt settlement is almost always more advantageous than debt consolidation. In a debt settlement, you will pay off the reduced amount over 24 to 36 months with no additional interest.
How Much Less Will I Pay If I Accept a Debt Settlement?
Every situation is different, but potential savings in interest alone can be dramatic. Most individuals experiencing debt crises are paying 24% or more in interest. This means that if you owe $5,000, you would have to pay at least $100 each month in interest alone. If that same debt were negotiated was negotiated to $3,600 over three years (36 months), the $100 per month would pay off the debt in its entirety instead of addressing accumulating interest.
Our West Los Angeles debt settlement attorneys are aggressive negotiators. We will fight to save you as much as possible by working to secure the best possible settlement.
Do You Have Any Guarantees?
Other than a small account setup charge, our firm’s fees are paid based on our success in reducing or eliminating your debt. It is very rare that we will not be able to negotiate a favorable settlement with each of your creditors. In many cases, our services pay for themselves.
How Will Debt Settlement Affect My Credit?
The reality is your credit rating is probably already in bad shape. Debts must become seriously delinquent in order for creditors to consider settlements, so falling behind on payments has likely done significant damage to your credit.
While accepting one or more debt settlements will result in another hit to your credit, it can also represent the first step to credit recovery. Debt settlements will appear on your credit report for seven years, but if you take no action and allow your debts to mount, your credit will likely continue to deteriorate. In many cases, our clients have been able to substantially improve their credit within two to four years of accepting settlements. This outcome will involve faithfully making settlement payments and not getting into further financial difficulties.
How Bankruptcy Stops Creditor Harassment and Collection Actions
When you enforce your rights and ask a debt collector to no longer contact you, they may file a collection lawsuit against you. If you owe the debt, they are likely to receive a judgment against you, which allows them to garnish your wages. To avoid this outcome, you will need to meaningfully address the underlying debt.
Filing for bankruptcy may be able to provide you with the relief you need. The bankruptcy’s automatic stay will prevent creditors from contacting you. This court order will also stop any imminent or ongoing collection actions, including garnishments and collection lawsuits. Completing your bankruptcy case generally allows you to discharge unsecured debts, including credit card debt and medical debt.
When you choose to retain our services, our West Los Angeles creditor harassment lawyers will put a swift stop to all incoming debt collection communications. Our team at the Ghanooni Law Firm can then evaluate your financial circumstances and advise whether bankruptcy is right for you. We want to help you live a life free from burdensome debt, and our firm is ready to implement creative and effective solutions to make this possible.
Boutique Law FirmOur boutique law firm has been open for over a decade, providing clients with strategic solutions for their unique bankruptcy situation.
Hands On ServiceWe are available to answer questions for our clients and we believe in constant communication throughout the duration of the case.
Judgement Free SpaceWe want to provide our clients with a comfortable judgement-free space. Bankruptcy can affect everyone and we want to help you find the peace of mind that everyone deserves.
LanguageOur team can help you in English, Spanish and Farsi. Do not allow a language barrier to stop you from pursuing financial peace.