Is Debt Settlement in Indiana Right for You?

Debt settlement is for those who can’t pay all their bills. If your family needs financial help, Jerry E. Smith may be able to negotiate with your creditors. They may be willing to accept less than the total amount you owe so you can stay above water financially. In exchange for paying what you can, they agree not to pursue their claims against you.

Jerry E. Smith helps those with financial problems get back on their feet and make the most of their lives. He will come up with a custom-made solution for your situation because you have unique circumstances. We would be glad to answer your questions about debt settlement in Indiana. Call us at (317) 917-8680 today for a free one-hour consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available.


How Does Indiana Debt Relief Work?

Jerry E. Smith can negotiate with your creditors and reduce what you owe. This works best with unsecured debts like credit cards or medical bills. It won’t work when the debt is secured by collateral like a home or car. In those cases, your vehicle can be repossessed and sold, and you can lose your house to foreclosure.

Without collateral, unsecured debt-holders don’t have much leverage other than harming your credit score (which is probably already bad) or taking you to court. Even if a lawsuit is filed, you may not have enough assets to pay the debt.

How does Indiana debt relief work? Settlement offers work best when you have leverage. You have that because you may decide to declare bankruptcy. If so, unsecured creditors may get little or nothing, depending on your circumstances and which chapter of the bankruptcy code to use. You’ll also stop making payments on your debts. Instead, every month you put what you can afford into a bank account. After we believe your account has enough to make a lump-sum offer, we’ll negotiate with your creditors so they’ll agree to take an amount less than what you originally owed.

What is a Reasonable Debt Settlement Amount?

If you wonder what is a reasonable debt settlement amount, the first thing to know is that each situation is unique. Some high-income people have gotten over their heads in debt; many low-income people are just trying to get by; and there are many in between. How many assets you have, how much you earn, who your creditors are, and how much you owe are all issues to consider.

A reasonable debt settlement amount could be what the creditor would receive if you received Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Your debts would be prioritized (secured ones have priority), and after they’re paid, your unsecured creditors would get a proportional amount of available funds based on how much you owe.

Your creditors, like everyone else, want to be treated fairly. The more reasonable the offer, the more likely they are to agree to it. We would add up all your unsecured debt and decide what share of your debt each creditor has. We could take the funds available and split them to match their portion of your total debt. If a quarter of your debt is to a local hospital, you could offer a quarter of your available funds.

What are the Costs of Debt Settlement in Indiana?

Debt settlement in Indiana is not a “free lunch.” Your credit score will be impacted, as will your ability to get loans (at least at favorable terms) in the future. The forgiven debt may also be considered income for tax purposes.

But this may be an option to consider if you can’t make your payments. You should think about debt settlement if many payments have been late, you missed some, or you have some accounts in collection. You may feel you’ll never catch up, and your income isn’t enough to meet your obligations.

What Other Options Do I Have?

They depend on your circumstances, what you owe, your assets, income, and priorities.

1. Debt Consolidation Loan

You could get a loan and use all the proceeds to pay all or most of your debts. This may be a better option than a balance transfer card, because it requires a lower credit score. Your life will also be a little simpler because you’re making one payment, not several.

But if you lack the resources to make the payments, you’re just simplifying your problems, not solving them. If you fall behind with payments, your credit takes another hit. You’ll probably pay high fees and a prepayment penalty if you can get ahead financially.

2. Debt Management Plan

These are offered by nonprofit credit counselors who negotiate with your creditors to lower your payments. Monthly payments will go down because you’ll make more of them over a longer period of time. You’ll still owe the same amount of money, so there aren’t any savings, but it will impact your credit less than a debt settlement or bankruptcy.

3. Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal process that may reduce or eliminate the debts you owe. It’s a way for you to have a fresh financial start by leaving many debts behind. There are different chapters, which have their own benefits and requirements. Unsecured debts that are addressed with debt settlement can also be managed or eliminated through bankruptcy. If you’re discharged from a debt, the party holding it cannot seek repayment again, but some debts (like some taxes, alimony, and child support) can’t be discharged. Indiana bankruptcy lawyer Jerry E. Smith will be able to tell you if he thinks this is your best option.

Chapter 7
You may eliminate most of your unsecured debt, but there’s a good chance you’d lose your house or vehicle to pay your creditors. Individuals and married couples may qualify. You must get credit counseling before filing, and a debt management plan will be filed with the court.

Chapter 7 has a “means test” to limit filers to those who truly need financial help. Jerry E. Smith can help you get through this test to improve your chances of bankruptcy relief. Your assets will be exempt (you can keep it) or nonexempt (it will be sold to pay your debts). Any debt collection efforts should stop when you file for Chapter 7.

Chapter 13
Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, known as a wage earner’s plan, we would create a plan to repay all or part of your debts through regular payments made over three to five years. Creditors won’t begin or continue collection efforts against you. If the plan works out, your dischargeable debts will no longer be an issue. Unlike Chapter 7, under Chapter 13 you may not need to sell your home.

Your debt payments will be lower, but they will be over a long period of time. You may end up paying more of your unsecured debt under Chapter 13 than Chapter 7.

Why Retain Jerry E. Smith If Debt Settlement is Right for You

You could use a company for debt settlement or you could retain Jerry E. Smith. If a company tells you what’s good for you and what they’ll do, you must take their word for it. Because Jerry E. Smith is an attorney, he’s ethically obligated to tell you the truth, get your full and informed consent, and only works in your best interests. You may get involved with a company more concerned about their own interests and profits than solving your problems.

Jerry E. Smith focuses on helping people who are deep in debt. He understands what you’re going through and what needs to be done to get you the help you need. Jerry E. Smith will learn the facts he needs to know, evaluate your circumstances, come up with an effective strategy, and give you practical advice. He has successfully negotiated with debt-holders and attorneys since 2009, and he can do the same for you.

While a debt settlement company may steer you to their services, Jerry E. Smith will honestly tell you what he thinks you should do. Debt settlement may not be your best option. Based on his experience, Jerry may suggest bankruptcy or some other option. Because he’s an attorney, if a creditor sues you, he’ll be able to defend your interests. If a creditor breaks the law, he can advise you of the best response to take. The federal law, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, makes clear that there are certain steps debt collectors may not legally take. Jerry E. Smith knows what actions are covered by that Act and will ensure your rights are protected.

You may find other attorneys doing this work are just fronts for debt settlement companies to make them look more legitimate. If you hire one, non-lawyers will do the work, and they may be the only people you can talk with.

Attorney Jerry E. Smith

Attorney & CPA Jerry E. Smith practices bankruptcy law and tax resolution. Smith’s practice focuses on representing consumer debtors and assisting them in getting a fresh start by reorganizing or eliminating their debt and attempting to put them in the best financial position possible. Mr. Smith has been practicing law since March 1, 2009. Before that, he was and still is a real estate investor. He also previously worked as a Cost Accountant, Financial Analyst, and Internal Auditor for two large multi-billion-dollar international consumer product companies. [ Attorney Bio ]

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