Debt settlement vs. bankruptcy

Rob and Laura had a reason to be optimistic. They met in college, were soon married, and secured jobs in their respective fields. They bought a house and seemed to have everything going for them except… They wanted everything now.

They didn’t even talk about a budget, let alone stick to one. They bought on impulse with credit cards and soon their bills began to rise. Then life became complicated. Laura’s full-time position was reduced to part-time, and suddenly they couldn’t even make the minimum payments on their credit cards. They remained current with their mortgage and car, but it didn’t take long for the credit card companies to begin their collection processes.

They saw a commercial on television for debt settlement and enrolled in a program. They weren’t sure how it worked, but they were assured the calls would stop, and they could afford the monthly payment.

For a few months, everything seemed to be working well. The settlement program had apparently worked out some agreements with credit card companies to accept a reduction of their balance. Then Laura began receiving calls at home and her workplace about her biggest credit card bill. The credit card company had not received any money from the settlement company and told her they were filing a lawsuit. The debt settlement company said they would call the credit card company, but they could not protect her from the lawsuit and soon she began receiving more calls from other creditors. Threats of other lawsuits began to surface and, under fear of being sued they tried to keep up with the settlement payment by falling behind on their mortgage and car payments. As they fell deeper into debt, it became apparent the settlement program was not exactly what they had hoped for.

Then Rob and Laura saw a television commercial for Steidl and Steinberg, and thought it was worth their time to call for a free consultation. After meeting with one of Steidl and Steinberg’s skilled attorneys, they were relieved to find they could keep their house and vehicle. They would pay a significantly reduced percentage back to their unsecured creditors, without interest or late fees, by filing a Chapter 13 reorganization, which they did. Their payments are now really affordable, the harassing calls and letters have stopped, and they no longer live with the threat of being sued. They not only learned how to make a budget, but to live within it. Maybe Rob and Laura didn’t have everything, but they had a fresh start on something good, thanks to Steidl and Steinberg.