Debt Legal Defense and Debt Settlement

We help get you in control of your debt with an affordable payment plan by asserting your legal rights

Whether you have been sued on a debt or you just can’t keep up, get in control of your debt with an affordable payment plan without need for bankruptcy.

5 reasons to negotiate out of debt instead of going bankrupt

Bankruptcy is an unmatched tool for getting debt under control.

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We help people who don’t want to go bankrupt

If you don’t want to go bankrupt then we can help you reduce your debt so you can pay it off sooner

Earners in a Family Building a Nest Egg

You and your spouse earn a decent living. But supporting a family is expensive and for whatever the reason, the debt got away from you. Bankruptcy may not be the right solution if you’d have to give up too many assets or if you’d have to commit to an expensive payment plan. There is another option.

The professional who hit a bump in the road

You have developed a career and assets, but the debt got away from you. Bankruptcy isn’t a good option – because of your income you’d be locked into an expensive Chapter 13 payment plan and it might even hurt your career. There is another option to allow you to get the debt under control.

Business Owners

Debt problem-solving can be difficult for a business owner who wants to maintain their business. By filing bankruptcy, you could tie the business up in added legal obligations or risk losing the business all together. Debt negotiation can be an avenue to get business and personal debt on track, even if you have been sued.

Investors

Investors look to lending (directly or indirectly) to create their assets. But what do you do when some investments are performing, and some are not. Bankruptcy or forced-collection may result in you having to give up all of the performing investments to clear the debt. Debt negotiation may be able to offer another path.

Having an Experienced Attorney Debt Negotiator Makes a Difference

Negotiate or reduce your debt down

You want to reduce your debt so you can make payments that will actually pay off the debt

Negotiate Affordable
Terms

  • Creditors take the Debt Fighters seriously because they know we go to court. 
  • We know the court rules, we know the legal protection, and we know the leverage points that can often move a debt settlement in your favor.
  • While the creditors will always try to get you to pay as much as they can, our job is to look out for your interest and your budget

Have Someone else manage the stress and the Courts

  • One of the hardest parts of dealing with debt is the stress.  While  you are trying to focus on your job and your family, debt collectors will push you toward anxiety and frustration.
  • The stress is even higher when the collection process moves to court.  There are a number of rules that can take a long time to learn, and if you mess up any of the deadlines, you can lose a case automatically.  Then your wages and bank account could be at risk of getting garnished.  
  • You may have to take time off from work and place your job at risk to deal with the court hearings
  • When we come in, we take over the communications with the debt collectors so you can focus on what matters most.
  • We deal with the court requirements and deadlines, and put the creditor on the litigation defensive.

Avoid
bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is an option of last resort.  But also, what most bankruptcy law firms won’t tell you is that bankruptcy isn’t always the right fit for everyone.  Particularly if:

  • Your debt balance is too low in proportion to income to justify bankruptcy
  • Bankruptcy is a bad solution because under the bankruptcy rules, the you would have to contribute more in money or assets than would make sense
  • The credit impact of bankruptcy is prohibitive, particularly if it impacts employment (like someone in the financial services industry) or housing (particularly in the first couple of years, bankruptcy limit qualification for some residential leases
  • You do not desire to file for bankruptcy because you don’t like the bankruptcy stigma, and/or you don’t want to feel like you are “giving up.”

Credit report on track

You want to get your credit report improved so you can borrow money again

Rebuild your
life

With you debt under control you will have the ability to start planning for your financial future again. Start living your life with stress, anxiety or the control of debt you can’t pay off.

Relief from debt collectors

We can help stop the harassment by a debt collection agency. They are not entitled to take an emotional toll on you, endanger their employment, create stress on family relationships or cause health issues because of their collection process.

Dear Friend:

Your debt has gotten away from you. They may have even filed a lawsuit. You feel frustrated because you can pay something toward it, but not what they are asking.

And there is something about the collection calls – when they tell you they are trying to “help you” you, you feel like they are trying to get one over on you.

Going bankrupt may be an option, but it may not be the best decision for you.

My name is Mike Ziegler. So many of the clients we have worked with have felt the same way. My firm is unusual in that we help consumers solve their debt problems both with and without bankruptcy. That’s why I want you to know there are 6 reasons why bankruptcy may be a bad option to solve your debts.

Sometimes, an affordable, professionally negotiated payment plan can be the right option to get your debts under control without affecting a job, your future living plans, or important assets.

We are experienced in helping our clients make the right decision and then follow through to implement that decision for them.

If you want to speak to someone who understands, cares and can help you solve your problem, then book a call with one of our attorneys today.

We can help.

Mike Ziegler

The Debt Fighter Freedom Plan

Debt Reduction Analysis

We protect your consumer rights and by forcing your creditors to communicate exclusively with us. We eliminate all the calls that are causing stress in your life.

Stop the Calls!

We protect your consumer rights and by forcing your creditors to communicate exclusively with us. We eliminate all the calls that are causing stress in your life.

Fight the Debts

Get back in control of your debt when our Debt Fighter team negotiates your debt to an affordable payment plan. Hold creditors accountable if they violate your rights.

Debt Free!

The calls are over. You can rebuild your credit and your life.
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What our clients say about us

Book a call with an attorney today

If you want to create a plan to solve your financial problems then book a call today and take the first step

FAQ's

Can I keep my car when I file

The short answer is “it depends, but usually yes.” Here is the longer answer: In a chapter 7 case, the trade-off for eliminating your debts is that you are limited on the stuff you can start over with. In other words, fresh start debt side, fresh start asset side. For those using Florida allowances (called “exemptions”), you are allowed to hold onto your home, $1,000 in equity in a vehicle, $1,000 in personal property, retirement accounts, and a few other categories of assets. Also if you don’t own your home, you get a $4,000 wildcard allowance. So if your vehicle equity (after substracking any loan on it) is less than the allowances, you can keep it. If its more than the allowances, you can still keep it, but you may have to pay extra.

In a chapter 13 case, you can keep all of your assets, but you commit to a payment plan.

Can I keep a credit card when I file

You have to list all of your debts when you file. You can’t selectively leave a debt off of the forms, even if you want to pay the debt. Any credit card listed is going to be closed.

If you have a card that is totally paid off, it may not have to be listed, but in most instances it will be closed anyway by the credit card company. I do not recommend making a big payment to $0 out a card right before bankruptcy in hopes that you can keep the card. A big payment on a debt shortly before a case can create complications within the bankruptcy.

When do I get my credit back?

Let me start with the bad news – bankruptcy stays on a credit report for up to 10 years.  But keep in mind that a credit report is about a lot more than bankruptcy, and when the bankruptcy process clears your debt, it gives you an opportunity to rebuild instead of being stuck with accounts that have a late balance.  

 

While each credit profile is unique, here is what we generally find:

  • Most clients have the opportunity to get better credit scores than when they started bankruptcy within 2 years, particularly if you are proactive in credit building.
  • You can get a car almost immediately after bankruptcy (but maybe with rough loan terms), you can get a credit card approximately after a year, and a mortgage after 2 years (however, these timelines vary based on income and other factors).
  • We help support the path to credit recovery by reviewing your credit report after the discharge to make sure it is accurate, and by including a subscription to a credit education class after the process is over to help identify opportunities to improve your score.

How do I know what chapter I qualify for?

While there are a number of factors that help guide us on what chapter is appropriate, the two most common are the “means test” and looking at what types of debts you are looking to address.

The means test looks at your household income as compared to the statewide median income for your household size. Its government’s way of saying that if you make enough money, you should pay at least a portion of what you owe. Particularly for married individuals, the means test is usually calculated off of both spouses’ income, even if only one spouse has the debt complications. Sometimes this rule can make for difficulties in bankruptcy options, and we might look at debt consolidation as an alternative.

The second factor we look at is what debt-problems we are solving. Chapter 7 does very little to assist with problems with secured debt, like a car loan or a mortgage that is behind.

Can I be denied a bankruptcy discharge?

Generally, for someone who meets the basic bankruptcy requirements and is filing in good faith, they will be granted the discharge unless they have done something to disqualify themselves – for example, if they committed fraud

FAQ's

We generally aim to reduce our clients balances by 40% or more, but as you might imagine, results vary significantly depending on a number of circumstances.
In most instances, debt restructuring presumes that the consumer is behind on their debts. Most creditors will not consider a restructure unless a loan is behind. Falling behind on debt on debt does have a negative impact on credit. Furthermore, a debt that is settled for less than full value is not as good for credit as a debt that is paid in full. However, a settled debt is generally better for credit than a debt that is behind which continues to have an outstanding balance (even if it shows charged off).
We include lawsuit defense in the cost of representation
For clients with at least $10,000 of qualifying debt, we require no attorneys fees up front. We only get paid if we are saving you money. Our fee is 20-30% of savings.
Great question! So first, most of the big debt consolidation companies charge you 20-30% of your total debt (so in casino terms, the house always wins), whereas we charge 20-30% of what we save you – so we charge less and we only get paid when YOU win. Also, the big debt consolidation companies are not licensed to practice law, so they can’t negotiate contract terms and advise you as to their legal effect, and they can’t represent you in court. We can. Lastly, because we are attorneys, we can enforce your rights if the collection companies exceed your consumer boundaries.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is one option to resolve your debts.  With debt consolidation attorneys, you can resolve multiple debts with a single payment.  Our attorneys do the legwork to negotiate advantageous settlements: we deal with the negotiations, we communicate with creditors, and in situations where there is a debt that has gone to a lawsuit, we deal with the legal proceedings.
Attorney Negotiates Debt
Have our attorney debt negotiation team handle negotiations for you

When would Debt Consolidation be a good fit to resolve my debt problems?

We look at several factors to evaluate when Debt Consolidation might be a good fit to solve your debt issues:

  1. You have consistent income.
  2. You are behind or eminently behind on $10,000 to $100,000 in debts.
  3. You can’t qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Because you make too much money, you have more assets than what you are allowed to keep, or other issues affecting the qualification, Chapter 7 is not an available option for you.
  4. You are in a profession where you may be disqualified if you file for bankruptcy (for example, financial services).  And/or
  5. You wouldn’t see any debt reduction under the calculation for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

What is the benefit of Debt Consolidation and Loan Negotiation

In a nutshell, the benefits to Debt Consolidation are too take out the headaches of debt collection and to reduce your balances.  You see, your end of participation in Debt Consolidation is little more than making the monthly payments.  In the meantime, HERE IS WHAT WE DO:

  1. The collection calls STOP.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDPCA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Action (FCCPA) require debt collectors to stop communicating with you after an attorney notifies your creditors you are represented.  So they are forced to stop calling you about the balances.
  2. We deal with the collection companies and negotiate settlements on your behalf.  The collection companies take us seriously because we know the law, and in some cases we sue them if they break it!
  3. We deal with any lawsuit issues.  The big national debt consolidation companies with enormous budgets don’t talk much about one IMPORTANT issue.  They CAN’T represent you in a collection lawsuit.  We can.  A new lawsuit; a judgment; a garnishment of your income or bank accounts are all be serious issues, and you will have able representation should they come up.
  4. We work out a fair settlement agreement that ensures you aren’t being taken advantage of.  We look out for your rights in working out the settlement terms.

What are the risks of debt settlement?

As with any debt resolution option there than full payment on the balance, debt consolidation can result in credit impairment.  Furthermore, there is not an automatic stay in debt consolidation like there is in bankruptcy, so it is possible that litigation could continue or arise during the process.  Finally, in some instances, settle debt can result in tax liability, but generally, the reduced balances on the debt, even with added tax liability, is still more beneficial than full payment.

If you have questions about how debt consolidation compares to other debt problem solving alternatives please click to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our qualified attorneys.

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