Statistics show that the average person living in the state of Florida today has over $8,000 in credit card debt. This debt can quickly become unsustainable with how high-interest rates are. Therefore many people are wondering if they can negotiate with their creditors. Unfortunately, the answer is only “maybe” since companies differ in how willing they are to negotiate depending on how far behind in payments you’ve fallen.
Know What Your Goals Are
Before you pick up your phone to call the credit card agency you should know what you hope to achieve. Some of the options here include:
- Being able to skip payments for a few months
- Lowering your interest rate
- Reducing your minimum monthly balance
- Waiving penalties and other things like late fees (The likelihood of having a credit company do this is greater than if you were to ask them to forgive your whole debt.)
- Making a lump-sum payment in exchange for having some of your balance forgiven
You may also want to inquire regarding your credit card company’s hardship plan. Many companies have these plans available for their clients to enroll in. For instance, if you’ve suffered from a temporary setback (e.g. a job loss) they may let you suspend payments for a few months.
Understand How Debt Collectors Think
Credit card companies are businesses so they want to maximize their profits. The ideal way to do this is to have you pay off everything that you owe. They realize that this isn’t always possible though.
Things to Consider
When talking to the credit card company there are some things to consider including:
- If you aren’t in default they may not feel like they need to negotiate with you.
- If you’re unemployed it’s much less likely that you’ll be able to pay back your debt.
- If your financial prospects may improve the company may be willing to give you a break for a few months but they probably won’t forgive your debt.
- If you’re considering filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the company may be more likely to negotiate with you because they realize that since this is an unsecured debt they won’t be able to get anything out of it.
Answer Your Phone
When your credit card company calls, answer your phone and tell them you want to discuss what options you have since you’re struggling to pay your bill and don’t want to file for bankruptcy. Oftentimes you’ll be sent to their “loss mitigation” department. Make sure you take careful notes of the conversation, including the name of the person you spoke to.
Be Bold and Persistent
Negotiating is difficult but you should be honest throughout the process. Tell the credit card company what you want and what you’re prepared to do. Make sure you tell them that you’re considering filing for bankruptcy. Oftentimes this will make the credit card company take you more seriously. You may also need to call them back again if they aren’t willing to accept your first offer.
The Bottom Line
Instead of trying to negotiate with your creditors, you should contact the Weller Legal Group in Tampa, Lakeland, Port Richey, and Clearwater, FL to file for bankruptcy instead. Doing so will save you both time and money. The day you file your case all creditor collection actions will cease. So give yourself peace of mind and contact us today.
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