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We have all seen the multiple television advertisements for various debt settlement companies as a
way to pay your creditors, protect your credit, and a means to avoid bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy, still to this day, carries a stigma that most people shy away from. The debt settlement
companies play on this thought process in an effort to persuade people that their method is the
best route for debt relief.

How does one determine if debt settlement or bankruptcy is the best choice?

First and foremost, get good advice. Talk with professionals who can answer your questions, provide guidance, and give you peace of mind.

These are the questions a professional will help you with in order to give you the best advice:

1.   The amount of debt you have;
2.   A schedule of your monthly expenses;
3.   Whether or not the debt is secured or unsecured and a breakdown of each kind of debt;
4.   Whether or not each creditor is entertaining settlement offers;
5.    If a creditor’s offer is not in full satisfaction of the debt, will the creditor be issuing a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt?
6.    At the end of each month, is there excess income, and if so, how much?
7.    Will the monthly payment to the debt settlement company alleviate your monthly burden or will you still be struggling?
8.    If you did not have all this unsecured debt, would you have excess income?

Knowledge is power.  Arm yourself!

Whether you are currently enrolled in a debt settlement program or you are contemplating how best to alleviate the stress of debt, please feel free to contact us. We are the professionals with the answers to set your mind at ease.

Written by: Linda Rodriguez, Paralegal, J&G, LLP.
This is not intended to be legal advice.  You should contact an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.

Gerald Jacobowitz is of counsel with the firm and practices Environmental/Land Use, Real Estate, Municipal and Business Law.  He can be reached by phone at 845-764-9656 and by email.

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