Long Beach Business Debt Relief and Debt Settlement Lawyers[yoast-breadcrumb]
Long Beach Business Debt Relief and Debt Settlement Lawyers: Your Guide to Financial Freedom
If you own a business in Long Beach and are struggling with overwhelming debt, you’re not alone. Many business owners have found themselves falling behind on payments and facing serious financial hardship over the past few years. The good news is, there are experienced lawyers in the Long Beach area who can help you get out of debt and regain control of your finances.This article will give you an overview of debt relief and debt settlement options for Long Beach businesses, and provide tips on finding the right lawyer for your situation. We’ll also go over the pros and cons of different debt solutions so you can make an informed decision.
How Debt Settlement Lawyers Can Help
Debt settlement lawyers, also known as debt relief attorneys, help business owners like you negotiate with creditors to reduce or eliminate your debt. Their goal is to reach a settlement where you pay a lump sum that is less than the full amount owed. This can help you:
- Settle credit card, medical, and personal debts for less than you owe
- Consolidate multiple debts into one monthly payment
- Stop collection calls and lawsuits from creditors
- Avoid bankruptcy and improve your credit score
When you work with an experienced debt settlement lawyer in Long Beach, they leverage their legal skills to negotiate with creditors on your behalf. They will thoroughly review your accounts, assets, income, and expenses to create a customized debt relief plan.The attorney will start contacting your creditors and trying to settle the debts. This settlement amount is often 50-60% less than the total owed when including fees and interest. The process typically takes between 12-48 months depending on your specific situation.
Know Your Debt Relief Options
There are a few different options Long Beach business owners have when it comes to debt relief:
Debt ConsolidationThis involves rolling multiple debts into one new loan with a lower monthly payment. You can sometimes get a lower interest rate as well. This helps simplify payments but you still have to repay the full balance.
Debt Management Plans (DMP)A DMP involves working with a credit counseling agency to negotiate lower interest rates and monthly payments. You deposit funds with the agency each month and they distribute payments to your creditors.
Debt SettlementAs mentioned above, this involves negotiating directly with creditors to settle debts for less than you owe. Debt settlement lawyers take care of these negotiations for you.
BankruptcyDeclaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy eliminates many debts entirely. This negatively impacts your credit but can wipe the slate clean. Chapter 13 bankruptcy restructures debts into more manageable payment plans.Every situation is different. A qualified lawyer can look at your specific circumstances and recommend the best debt solution to help you move forward financially.
Finding the Right Long Beach Debt Relief Attorney
With so many options out there, how do you find a debt relief lawyer you can trust? Here are a few tips:
- Ask for recommendations – Talk to other business owners, accountants, or financial advisors to see if they recommend any lawyers. Personal referrals are best.
- Research credentials – Make sure any lawyer you consider is licensed in California and a member of professional organizations like the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) or the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).
- Read reviews – Check sites like Google, Yelp, and Avvo to read feedback from past clients about their experiences. This gives you insight into their customer service and results.
- Offer free consultations – Most reputable debt relief lawyers will offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. Beware of anyone asking for upfront fees before reviewing your accounts.
- Check their experience – Ask about the lawyer’s background with business debt relief cases. Look for someone well-versed in negotiating business debts like lines of credit, equipment leases, and merchant cash advances.
- Find a law firm – Solo practitioners are fine, but established law firms often have more leverage negotiating with major banks and creditors.
Don’t rush into choosing a debt relief lawyer. Vet a few options to find someone you feel comfortable with. This is a very personal financial matter that requires trust and confidence.
Pros and Cons of Debt Settlement
Debt settlement can be an effective solution, but also comes with some downsides to consider:
- Settle debts for less than you owe – Typically save 40-60% off your balances
- Avoid bankruptcy – Settling debt is less damaging to your credit than bankruptcy
- Stop collection calls and lawsuits – Creditors stop pursuing you after a settlement
- Consolidate multiple debts – Simplify payments into one monthly amount
- Get out of debt faster – Most programs take 2-4 years to complete
- Fees – Debt settlement lawyers charge 15-25% of your enrolled debt. But their services help you save money in the long run.
- Tax implications – Settled debt may be reported as taxable income. Consult with a tax professional.
- Credit score drop – Your score will take a hit but will recover quicker than bankruptcy.
- Payments still required – You need to save up lump sums to offer creditors as settlement.
- Not all debt qualified – Recent payday loans or secured debts usually can’t be settled.
The right lawyer will review the pros and cons with you during a free case evaluation. They can then explain how debt settlement fits your specific financial situation.
What to Expect From the Debt Settlement Process
If you decide to move forward with debt settlement, here is an overview of what to expect:
- You provide information – Your lawyer will have you fill out detailed forms about your debts, assets, income, and expenses. Be thorough and honest!
- Accounts are reviewed – The attorney analyzes your debts and develops a customized negotiation strategy.
- Funds are set aside – You’ll make monthly payments into a dedicated account to save up settlement lump sums.
- Creditors are contacted – Letters are sent to creditors notifying them you are represented by counsel seeking to settle.
- Negotiations happen – Your lawyer negotiates with creditors. Most settlements happen after several rounds of offers and counter-offers.
- Settlements are reached – When a creditor agrees to a settlement, you pay the lump sum from your dedicated account.
- Debts fall off credit report – Once paid, the settled debt is marked “Paid in Full for Less than Owed” and eventually falls off your credit report.
This is an oversimplified version of the process. A lawyer will walk you through each step in detail if you start a debt settlement program.
Using Debt Settlement Laws and Legal Precedents
There are also important debt settlement laws and legal precedents your attorney can use to help negotiate your settlements:
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – This federal law limits what 3rd-party debt collectors can do while trying to collect. Violations can lead to you paying less.
- State debt collection laws – Each state (like California’s Rosenthal Act) also limits collector behavior.
- Statute of limitations – Debt collectors can’t sue if the statute of limitations has expired. This varies by state and debt type.
- Suing creditors – Some lawyers file lawsuits against creditors for violations. This can provide leverage to settle for much lower amounts.
- Credit reporting laws – Creditors must investigate if you dispute something on your credit reports. Errors can weaken their position.
- Bankruptcy precedents – Creditors often settle rather than get little to nothing if you file bankruptcy.
An experienced lawyer knows how to wield these protections and precedents to get you the best possible settlement deals.
Don’t Let Debt Keep Your Business Down in Long Beach
If debt is dragging your Long Beach business down, now is the time to take action. Professional debt relief and debt settlement lawyers can help you finally break the debt cycle and regain control of your finances.The process will take time and commitment, but the savings and freedom you gain will be worth it. You’ll be able to stop stressing over creditors harassing you, simplify unwieldy payments, and invest back into growing your business again.Don’t wait – the sooner you contact a lawyer for a free consultation, the quicker you can start resolving your debt. They will walk you through all your options, legal rights, and create a customized action plan.With the help of a caring and compassionate debt relief attorney, you can overcome your debt burdens and look forward to a brighter, debt-free future again. Your business can not only survive, but thrive again!