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In a debt settlement program, your debt settlement representative will negotiate a deal with your creditor to slash your outstanding balance by an agreed-on percentage.

The best part? With a debt settlement program, consumers can settle a debt for pennies on the dollar. They won't even have to pay late fees, fines or penalties.

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What is a debt settlement program?

A debt settlement program (also known as debt settlement plan) is a legal bill repayment method that helps both consumers and creditors in specific situations. Through debt settlement, consumers enter an agreement with creditors to pay less than they owe. This program saves creditors time and money, because they don’t have to get into the complex legal process of bankruptcy. At the same time, consumers save a lot of money because they don’t have to pay back the full debt.

The OVLG debt settlement process – six simple stages

Stage 1
One of our financial coaches reaches you over the phone. He analyzes your financial situation and decides if debt settlement is best for you.
Stage 2
If you’re interested in the program, he'll clearly explain the fee structure and other details. Once you’re satisfied, you will sign an agreement with us.
Stage 3
You get an e-copy of your debt settlement agreement and are assigned a secured client area where you can keep close track of your case.
Stage 4
The Client Relationship Associate (CRA) opens a dedicated account at Bank of America where your money - and only your money - is saved every month.
Stage 5
The negotiation process starts to reduce the outstanding balance. Once the creditor is ready to accept partial payment in exchange for a one immediate lump-sum payment, we will settle your debt, and the creditor will inform the credit bureaus that you’ve settled the account.
Stage 6
Enjoy your new financial freedom without the stress of debt or constant collection calls!
NOTE: Once payment is done, the creditor will inform the credit bureau that you've settled the account.
Debt Settlement Pros
  • You save a lot of money
  • Creditors are less aggressive
  • You avoid bankruptcy
  • You avoid collection calls
  • Late fees and penalties get dropped
  • You’ll be free of credit card debt within 3 years
Debt Settlement Cons
  • Your credit score will drop at first
  • When you save more than $600, you’ll have to pay tax on the savings
  • You have to abide by the settlement agreement

How does debt settlement work?

This debt relief option works on a very simple principle, which is this: you get to pay less than you owe. Usually, it’s a good choice when you have missed payments on your accounts for a few months. A creditor is less likely to reduce your outstanding balance if there’s a reason to believe you can pay the entire amount due.

When you miss your payments, creditors worry. Settlement companies know that, and negotiate with them to lower your payoff amounts. Here’s how it works:

  1. You pay a lump sum amount.
  2. The creditor updates your credit report to “paid as agreed,” “paid as settled,” or “settled.”
  3. You’re finally debt free.

Why OVLG is the best debt settlement company

Why is Oak View Law Group unique? What makes it the best debt settlement company in the country? Find out here!

  • 1) Follows all the laws on debt settlement
  • 2) Solves your debt reduction needs
  • 3) Has a panel of attorneys to help you
  • 4) Can help you settle debt in 48 states
  • 5) Has a 100% refund policy
  • 6) Have a reasonable fee structure
  • 7) Offers easy to understand, written settlement agreements
  • 8) Gives you FREE sample settlement letters
  • 9) Gives you FREE advice on settlement
  • 10) Helps you calculate your savings
  • 11) Is a registered law firm
  • 12) Has a strong privacy policy
  • 13) Works transparently
  • 14) Accepts no resolution offers without your approval

Can you do online debt settlement?

People are busy. They don’t have time to physically visit a debt resolution company and initiate the negotiation process. Everything can be done online anyway, so why would they want to?

These days, you can settle your debt online and get yourself back on the right financial track. You can make payments online and monitor all your account activity 24/7. You don’t need to wait for the company to give you a statement.

There are other benefits to settling debt online as well:

  1. There’s a ton of free debt settlement advice available.
  2. You’ll have tools to calculate how much you can save right at your fingertips.
  3. You can easily compare competing debt negotiation services.
  4. You can pay your fees with just a few clicks.
  5. You can use the time you would have spent driving to do something else.
  6. You can find expert financial management strategies in a wide variety of online debt forums.

How to negotiate a settlement with credit card companies

Settling debt with creditors is a tricky process. If you’re not good at negotiation, credit card companies may not agree to forgive much of your debt - if any. If you fear that’s the case with you, you can leave the tedious task of negotiation to Oak View Law Group and relax at home.

How to negotiate with creditors to settle your debt

  • Examine your debt level against your overall income
  • Use smart financial tools to choose the right payment plan for you
  • Call 800-530-OVLG to learn how the experts negotiate debt settlement
  • Save money in a dedicated account to settle debts one by one
  • Let your Financial Coach haggle and reduce the outstanding balance
  • Read the final settlement agreement
  • Make a single reduced payment to settle the debt
  • Celebrate! Your debts have been settled

Why it is good to consult a debt settlement attorney

A good debt settlement attorney has years of experience settling debt. They have the training, the knowledge and the experience to understand the ins and outs of debt settlement, and the practiced ability to apply that knowledge and experience to your specific situation.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are ten reasons to consult a lawyer to help you settle your debt:

  • 1 You won't have anything to worry about: your attorney will handle your case.
  • 2 You won’t have to field collection calls. The collectors will be required to work with your attorney.
  • 3 Attorneys know what creditors can and can't do, which means they can plan accordingly.
  • 4 Attorneys know the latest FTC rules by heart. You might not even know they exist.
  • 5 Attorneys are trained negotiators. They are very likely to save more for you than you can save for yourself.
  • 6 Attorneys can help you if a creditor files a claim against you.
  • 7 Attorneys can safeguard you from collection harassment.
  • 8 Attorneys are required by the bar of their state to work in your best interest.
  • 9 Because of that, they must give you the best advice they can.
  • 10 Attorneys can show you other options that may be better suited to your situation.

Tips to choose the best debt settlement company

Yes, we have a lot of tips for choosing the best debt settlement firms. Here are a few of them:

  • 1 Ask the company how they go about settling debt. A good one will know how it works in detail.
  • 2 Ask if they charge an upfront fee. A good one won't.
  • 3 Check if the company is licensed in your state.
  • 4 Find out the company’s experience in the industry. The longer it has been in the industry, the better.
  • 5 Check the fee structure and find out if it is acceptable.
  • 6 Go through the company’s online reviews.
  • 7 Ask about the right-of-rescission period.
  • 8 Check to see if the debt settlement company follows the FTCs regulations covering debt settlement.

FAQs

Settling with debt collectors is not an easy task. They are ruthless negotiators who earn a commission on the total amount collected for collection agencies, so they always try to collect as much money as possible. You have to be smart, determined, and knowledgeable to deal with them effectively. Specifically, that means you have to understand the details of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), a consumer protection amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

If you can meet those requirements, there are a couple of strategies you can use to settle with a collection agency. For starters:

  • Check if the statute of limitations has expired. Collection agencies can’t sue you for the debts after a certain period of time, depending on the state you’re in and the kind of debt you owe. If it’s expired, you may not need to pay them a dime.
  • Ask the debt collection agency to send you a debt validation letter via certified mail. The letter will lay out the terms of the loan, how much you owe, and, most importantly, include the basis of their claim to the debt. It may be that they don’t legally own the debt they’re asking you to pay, in which case you don’t have an obligation to pay them at all.

That said, it’s very easy to get into the weeds with debt collection agencies and find yourself dealing with complicated situations you don’t fully understand. In that case, you may wish to find experienced, expert help. Here’s how you do that:

  • 1 Call 800-530-OVLG and explain your situation to an experienced financial coach.
  • 2 Act per the advice of the financial coach.
  • 3 Save money and let the financial coach begin the negotiation process.
  • 4 Track your progress and complete the settlement process.
  • 5 Yay! You’re finally debt free.

The best debt settlement program can help you save a huge amount of money. It can help you save big on the outstanding balance, penalties, and late fees of your outstanding debt. If your accounts are more than 180 days past due, then collection agencies may agree to cut down the outstanding balance by a big percentage, since they are not getting money anyway.

Your credit score is likely to drop by a few points after your debt is settled. The drop is marginal because your credit score is already very low due to delinquent accounts. When you’re past due on your accounts, your credit score drops significantly. When you miss payments on your accounts, lenders take that as a sign that you are not a responsible borrower - whether that’s true or not - and take action accordingly.

Credit bureaus reward consumers for positive credit activity and penalize them for negative activities. So when negative information like a series of missed payments is added to your credit report, your FICO score drops.

When you’re looking for debt negotiation services, you should get acquainted with the relevant laws to avoid getting scammed. The Telemarketing Sales Rule was introduced in 2010 to safeguard the interest of consumers and prevent debt settlement firms from using fraudulent activities. Here are a few important laws that everyone should be aware of.

  1. Upfront fees: Debt settlement companies are not allowed to charge you an upfront fee. They can charge you a fee only after the debt has been settled. To do that, they must submit the complete settlement program to you, and also give you proof that the initial payment was made to the creditor.
  2. Disclosure: The settlement company is required to explain the entire program up front. They need to inform you when you can expect the debt resolution process to be complete. Besides that, they are required to disclose the following facts to you:
    • The total cost of maintaining the dedicated account and the program.
    • The effect the debt resolution activity is likely to have on your credit score.
  3. Misrepresentation: The FTC prohibits the misrepresentation of facts regarding debt settlement services. Debt settlement companies and their representatives may not make false promises, and the services they offer must be clearly explained. They are required to correctly reveal their success rate.
  4. Dedicated account: According to debt settlement laws, a debt settlement company needs to meet the following conditions when setting up the dedicated account:
    1. They must open an FDIC insured bank account dedicated to the use of your funds.
    2. They must provide you with complete ownership of the account.
    3. You must be able to withdraw money from the account anytime, without paying a penalty.
    4. They can’t have a referral fee agreement with the bank maintaining the dedicated account.

Are you prepared to mount a DIY debt settlement campaign? It's not for everybody, which is why many consumers approach attorneys for that difficult work. After all, they’re the experts.

Here are the 10 qualities you need to have to negotiate debt settlement on your own:

10 qualities you need to have to settle your own debts

  • 1 You're more practical than emotional
  • 2 You know the relevant collection laws by heart
  • 3 You are a born sweet talker
  • 4 You know how to manage collectors without going insane
  • 5 You are capable of actually executing the debt settlement plan you negotiate
  • 6 You understand the collection cycle
  • 7 You know how fast you can arrange money
  • 8 You're diplomatic and know how to negotiate well
  • 9 You can convey your position accurately and with tact
  • 10 You know how to get everything in writing

We call them debt settlement programs, but there are plenty of other names floating around for DSP. When you come across these names, they usually mean the same thing:

  • 1 Debt negotiation programs
  • 2 Debt reduction programs
  • 3 Debt resolution programs

So the next time you hear these names don't get overwhelmed. They’re nothing but debt settlement programs by another name.

  • 1 Credit card debt
  • 2 Personal Loans
  • 3 Payday loans
  • 4 Utility bills
  • 5 Medical bills
  • 6 Collection accounts

OVLG is registered with the State Bar of California and the California Chamber of Commerce.

Video transcript on: When should you settle debts?

Hi,

It takes only a few seconds to decide if debt settlement would work for you. All you need to do is check out the types of debts you have.(pause)

If you have delinquent credit cards, personal loans, payday loans, private student loans, collection accounts, medical bills or utility bills, then debt settlement will definitely work for you. It helps you save 40%-60% on your payoff amount without filing bankruptcy. (pause) Also, you can avoid debt collection calls and late fees. (pause)

But if you have mortgage loan or federal student loans, then it won’t work. (pause)

Debt settlement will drop your credit score initially and you have to pay tax if your total savings is more than $600. But, it will gradually increase as you start following the tips given to you in the free budget counseling session every month.

Still Confused? Call our financial coach at 800-530-6854 to analyse your debt and make the final call.


Last Updated on: Wed, 5 May 2021