Help! I want to try and settle my debt!

Debt Settlement can sometimes be a viable and more suitable alternative to filing for bankruptcy.

If you find yourself owing a large amount of unsecured debt and really just can't see a way to pay it all back, our debt settlement plan may be exactly what you need. Sometimes filing for bankruptcy just isn't the best solution. Maybe you make too much money... Perhaps you own several pieces of real estate... Whatever the reason, there are other, and often more affordable, options available to you.

Our debt settlement plan can literally save you THOUSANDS of dollars. Unlike the credit counseling or debt settlement firms you see on late night TV, Johnson & Bryan is an actual law firm and we are legitimate attorneys (7+ years of school, the bar exam, state licensing, the whole nine yards). Now you may not think it's really that important... BUT YOUR CREDITORS SURE DO! You will find that the settlement offers we obtain for our clients are significantly better than what other types of debt relief agencies receive. Knowing you are represented by a licensed attorney who can, and will, fight them in court has a way of making creditors more willing to negotiate. In almost every case, our debt settlement plan results in paying back much less than if you had instead filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you just simply can't afford to pay back your debt... we can help. If you're tired of the non-stop harassing phone calls from your creditors... we can help. If you're discouraged after making payment after payment every month just to watch your debt continue to rise... WE CAN HELP! Let us step in on your behalf and set up a debt settlement plan.

For example, if you have $50,000 of unsecured debt, here is what you could pay:
  • $120,000
    Making Minimum Payments
  • $65,000
    Credit Counseling Service
  • $50,000
    Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • $30,000
    Debt Settlement Plan

As you can see in the chart above, only a proper debt settlement plan actually saves you any money. By the time the credit counseling or bankruptcy trustee adds their fees to your debt, you actually end up paying back more than you currently owe today. Don't waste another penny on services that don't have your best interest in mind. Setting up a debt settlement plan with Johnson & Bryan is simple. A typical plan looks like this:

- You tell us how much debt you owe and how much you can afford to pay to your creditors per month
- We come up with a debt settlement plan to repay your creditors a fraction of what you owe
- We force the debt collectors to stop contacting you and only deal with us
- Most importantly and included in your plan, we represent you in any lawsuits that may be filed by your creditors

That's it! That's all there is to it. You make one simple payment every month that you can actually afford, and we handle everything else. We know you may still have questions, so here's a list of the common ones we receive from our clients:

What is unsecured debt?

Unsecured debt is a debt that is not tied to any item of property. A creditor does not have the right to grab property to satisfy the debt if you default. The creditors only remedy is to sue you and get a judgment. Examples of unsecured debt are: most credit cards, department store cards and unsecured loans.

If I miss a monthly payment, will I get dropped from the debt settlement program?

No. Simply call us and we will make the appropriate arrangements. We understand that circumstances may arise and will help you get back on track with your payment schedule.

What are the tax consequences of the debt settlement program?

Your creditors may provide a form 1099–C for canceled or settled debt exceeding $600, which you are required to report to the IRS. The IRS permits individuals to legally exclude forgiven debt from their income through the "insolvency exclusion". This permits you to write off any forgiven debts up to the amount by which you were "insolvent" at the time. If your total debt and liabilities exceed the fair market value of all your assets, you would ordinarily qualify for the exclusion. We recommend that you consult your tax advisor for advice specific to your situation. They will also be able to assist you on filling out IRS Form 982 to get the exclusion.

Can I still use my credit cards if I enroll in the debt settlement program?

Yes. However, any existing account that you enroll in the program will no longer be active. Any cards you do not put into the program should only be used for emergency purposes. This program is for you to get out of debt and to get you back on your feet financially. Also, be aware it is possible that your active credit cards not in the program could lower your credit limit or close your credit card account through routine credit checks.

Can you repair my credit during the debt settlement program?

No. Johnson & Bryan's purpose is to reduce your debt and we do not engage in credit repair services. Negative items will remain on your credit report according to the conditions imposed by the credit bureaus and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Settled accounts with a zero balance are positive when compared to unresolved delinquent debts or bankruptcy. After all your debts have been settled and paid, your credit score should begin to improve since the negative items have been resolved. There are several factors used to determine your credit score including your total debt amount, balance to limit ratio, payment history, length of credit history, and types of accounts. Although your payment history will be affected with a debt settlement program, your debt amount and balance to limit ratios will be greatly improved. As each of your accounts are settled throughout the debt settlement program you are then free to rebuild your payment history on your new or existing accounts and rebuild a solid credit profile.

Is there a penalty for paying my debt off sooner than my specific program requires?

Absolutely not. There is no pre-payment penalty and we encourage you to put more money into the plan in order to become debt free sooner.

Is the Debt Settlement Plan better than filing Bankruptcy?

Absolutely! Bankruptcy stays on your credit for 7 – 10 years and can affect you for the rest of your life. With our program, the debts you enroll may be completely satisfied in 1 – 3 years getting you back on track to financial freedom. Our debt settlement program is an alternative to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Generally, we do not advise filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy unless it is for the purpose of salvaging your house or car.

Can I just contact my creditors and settle things myself?

You can sure try. However, each financial institution and collection agency has its own policies and procedures and you need to know what they are to be successful. Also, you must use different negotiating strategies with different financial institutions and collection agencies. What works with one will usually not work with another. In fact, your approach with one company could trigger a lawsuit with another company. In addition, you need to know what constitutes a good settlement offer. To sum it all up, we are better equipped to deal with your settlement due to our extensive experience in handling debt settlements.

Can you guarantee that my creditors will settle for a lower balance? Do you guarantee a percentage?

Like all things in life, there are no guarantees with the program. However, our attorneys have experience in the industry and have established relationships with creditors. We are able to settle with just about anyone, and if one creditor is not cooperative, we move on to the most eager creditor and work our way down the list.

How are the funds controlled and disbursed?

Your funds are held in a special account called a client trust. Once the balance reaches a point where we can make a reasonable settlement, funds are disbursed from the account directly to the creditor. You have ultimate control of the settlement funds in your account. If at any point you want to un-enroll from the program, you are entitled to all of the funds left in your account (minus our fee).
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Contact us now to get a free, no-hassle review of your case by one of our experienced attorneys. We are ready to help set up a debt settlement plan today to get you back on the road to financial freedom!
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