Lefkovitz & Lefkovitz

Nashville Office 615-256-8300       Cookeville Office 931-400-2218

Nashville Office 615-256-8300
Cookeville Office 931-400-2218

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Escaping the credit card debt trap

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2016 | Chapter 13 |

Tennessee residents with unmanageable bills often get into trouble financially after a job loss or other unexpected setback. Few people in these situations have enough money put aside to cope for long without a paycheck, and credit cards allow them to make ends meet until they are able to get back on their feet. However, when money problems persist, revolving debt can become a trap that is very hard to escape from. The bankruptcy laws were written to help those in this kind of predicament, but some debtors see bankruptcy as an option of last resort and choose instead to negotiate directly with credit card companies.

Successful negotiation essentially boils down to understanding what the other parties involved want and offering them some sort of incentive to accept a compromise. Credit card companies generally want all of the money they are owed plus interest, and they are generally only willing to listen to settlement offers when they feel that their only other options are writing the debt off as uncollectable or initiating litigation with no assurances that they will be able to collect anything even if they prevail in court.

Offering credit card companies a lump sum payment may sometimes produce results, but creditors could conclude that debtors that can afford to offer lump sums can also afford to make their payments. Creditors may instead offer to lower the minimum payments due for a time to allow debtors to put their affairs in order, but these offers sometimes come with strings attached that can actually leave debtors worse off.

Financial institutions like credit card companies have worked hard to perpetuate many of the myths surrounding personal bankruptcy, and some Tennessee residents may be reluctant to pursue their available debt relief options because of this misinformation. Attorneys with experience in this area may explain to those with unmanageable credit card debts how filing for bankruptcy could lead to much of their revolving debt being discharged and put an end to harassment from bill collectors.

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