PostHeaderIcon Are these consumer debt consolidation companies a better alternative to bankruptcy?

The recession has caused many consumers to cut back on monthly spending.Carrying a monthly balance seems more like a luxury than a necessity

8 Responses to “Are these consumer debt consolidation companies a better alternative to bankruptcy?”

  • Flyby says:

    The short answer is yes. I would be cautious about some of them. Check to see if you have a local office of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service. Anything you can do to pay off your debt is much better than filing bankruptcy.

  • andy says:

    A good consumer debt consolidation company is hard to find. In most cases you will have to pay an upfront fee and still pay your bills at the same time. You are still responsible for your bills and some of these companies pay late to try and get the credit card companies to reduce your balance. Most experts will say that if you are that bad off it may make better sense to file for bankruptcy now instead of trying a debt consolidation company since there is a great chance that you will have to file anyway.

  • NT says:

    Try credit counceling if you are tight on monthly expenses/bills. Most of the time they work with you and your creditors to pay back the full amounts you owe on your unsecured debt within 5 years. They work out lower interest rates for you.
    As for bankruptcy it all depends what your situation is. Going bankrupt has its advantages and disadvantages. It depends how old you are, if you have a family, etc. If you decide to go into bankruptcy you cannot get a loan for 7 years usually. There are two types of bankruptcy, chapter 7 and chapter 13. Depending on the state you live in you are allowed to keep a certain amount of equity from your assets (house,car, boat, etc). Under chapter 7 you must be making below $54,000 per year (spouse included) in order to qualify. Most if not all your debt will be wiped clean. You will have to work with a trustee who will appraise all your assets and sell them accordingly.
    Now say you would like to keep your house or car. You can work with the bank to keep paying your mortgage/monthly payment. You sign a paper saying you will maintain regular payments. If your equity in those assets does not exceed the limit (for WI it’s $40000). You can hang on to it. If you do exceed it they will sell the house.

    Now say you and your spouse make over $54000/year. Then you would not qualify for chapter 7 instead you could file for chapter 13. Basically chapter 13 is bankruptcy where you have to pay back most of the unsecured loans (at least parts of it) for a period of 3-5 years. The judge determines how much you will pay monthly. Any difference unpaid after that time goes in your favor.

    The best thing to do if you are considering bankruptcy is talking to a lawyer. First consultation is always free. Look at your options with them. They know your state laws better than anyone else. If you decide to use one, they cost about $1500 including the court fees.

    Hope this helps

  • Tastebud says:

    It is probably better to ask a qualified financial advisor. Debt consolidation companies paradoxically give you a loan to pay off your other debts. You then, in theory, just have to pay off the new loan plus interest.

    Bankruptcy is not to taken lightly either because your credit reference will effectively say “Do not touch” . Also any money left from your pay after subsistence costs goes towards debt repayments.

  • rwa000 says:

    credit consolidating id viewed by lenders to be as bad as bankruptcy, check with the loan officer at your local bank and they will tell you the pitfalls of both

  • Mary C says:

    Its better to avoid both if you can figure out a budget. But if you have to pick one or the other, consumer debt consolidation is a better alternative. Declaring bankruptcy can keep you from getting any credit for many years.

    Best idea is to figure out a better budget and when all else fails go to the debt consolidators.

  • disneymom92 says:

    I am unsure whether you are asking about a debt consolidation loan or a consumer credit counseling agency, so I will address both.

    A debt consolidation loan often attaches to your house. If you were unable to pay this loan, you would lose your house. Even if you plan to file bankruptcy as a back up plan, you could not discharge a first mortgage or a second mortgage if there was any equity in your house going to the second mortgage.

    Consumer Credit Counseling is not without risk. However, with your due diligence, they can be helpful. Make sure that the counseling service is a not for profit agency and does not charge you for the service. They should, instead, ask your creditors to contribute their “fair share” for distribution of funds to them.

    A bankruptcy should be considered a last resort. It should never be taken lightly. It will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. But most people who file bankruptcy begin to rebuild credit within a few months to a couple years.

    I hope this answers your question.

  • phjett says:

     “While filing Bankruptcy can assist you in alleviating your dues and debts, it can also affect you more adversely than you can think of.

    Bankruptcy can have disturbing effects on personal and professional life for longer duration. It affects your credit rating and borrowing capacity in near future. Hence, declaring bankruptcy should be considered as last resort.

    Reasons for finding Bankruptcy Alternatives
    There are other alternatives available which can pull you out from such awkward positions. There are numerous reasons for people to avoid bankruptcy.

    1. People filing bankruptcy have to bear the loss of their assets. In most of the cases court used to sell those assets like house, plot or even car to clear off debts.

    2. When ever you file for bankruptcy, then control goes to the magistrate handling your case and your fate can be decided by him judging the information received by Official Receiver.

    3. Bankruptcy has a very devastating effect on your credit history for at least next 7 years. With such a poor credit score it becomes very difficult to get a loan or mortgage to start a fresh life.

    4. Declaring bankruptcy can ruin your career prospectus. There are certain careers which do not accept you if bankrupt. Even there are few restrictions on being director or owning business.

    5. Being bankrupt hampers your social life to much extent. It is quite embarrassing situation once your bankruptcy gets advertised in newspaper.

    Bankruptcy Alternatives
    In October 2005, the bankruptcy Abused Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was came in to force. So before you make any decision to find bankruptcy…”

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