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Debt Settlement Agreement
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I have recently been struggling to pay off my credit card debt, and I'm trying to find the best way to settle this debt. I am considering a debt settlement agreement, but I'm not sure when it is appropriate to use one. I understand that a debt settlement agreement is a legally binding agreement between a creditor and a debtor, and I want to know if this is a viable option for my situation.
Answered Mar 3, 2021
I only just saw your question - sorry you have been waiting since July 30, 2023! Whether a settlement agreement is your best choice is very fact-specific. In many situations, it's a good option if you can negotiate a far lower pay-off amount, but in some situations bankruptcy and a "clean slate" is the best option. Many legal servies/legal aid offices may offer free debt assistance -if it's not too late, I suggest that you contact such an office.
I am currently in a difficult financial situation and am looking at my options to get out of debt. I am considering both a debt settlement agreement and filing for bankruptcy, but am not sure which option is best for my situation. I am hoping to get advice from a lawyer regarding the pros and cons of each option, so that I can make an informed decision.
Answered Mar 3, 2021
Bankruptcy is a very large part of my practice. I have had many clients that have attempted to use a debt resolution service without success. Unfortunately, they often pay a substantial amount of money to the service, their debts do not get resolved, they end up in bankruptcy anyway, and they do not get their money back.
Aside from the difficulties in successfully completing a debt settlement agreement, there is also a tax issue. Forgiven debt is considered taxable income. You will receive a 1099 from any creditor that accepted a reduced amount to satisfy a debt. The result may be an income tax liability that you were not expecting. Debts that are discharged in bankruptcy are not counted as income.