Ease your financial burden with debt relief services in California. From debt settlement to bankruptcy, get expert help from Alleviate Financial Solutions. Contact us for a free consultation today!
The Golden State isn’t everything many people expect it to be. Its cost of living is one of the highest in the country, and there’s a distinct lack of affordable housing, including rental housing. Statistics show that it’s not uncommon for tenants to spend nearly half (45%) of their income on rent. Add it to the average credit card debt of $3852, and you’ll understand why many California residents turn to debt relief services to ease their financial burden.
Debt Relief In California
Debt settlement is one of the most commonly used debt relief strategies in California. It can get you out of your financial hole relatively quickly (2-4 years), but you must stick to the program. Opting out or adding more debt to your credit card will invalidate the program, and considering one of the steps is to stop payments, you’ll have to pay late fees with interest.
Many loan providers are willing to negotiate terms for unsecured debt, particularly credit card debt. This is what makes it so well suited to debt settlement programs, which rely on negotiation to drive down the settlement amount creditors are willing to accept.
Other unsecured debts suited to debt settlement programs include various lines of credit: signature loans, personal loans, department store cards, and financing contracts.
There are many debt settlement companies in California, but not all of them have your best interests at heart. Do some research, find some comparison sites, and check out the companies that appear most frequently.
It’s worth noting that there are debt settlement attorneys who can help you with the legal aspects of the process, as well as give you valuable guidance based on their experience working the system.
Several other debt resolution plans might suit your financial circumstances better than settlement.
Debt consolidation loans. You should first open a new debt resolution account that either has very low-interest rates or none at all. Then combine the debts into one lump sum and put them in the account. The benefits include one monthly payment and significant interest savings.
Debt management plan. With help from a credit counselor, you take action to bring your debt down to manageable levels. For example, negotiate with creditors to lower interest rates and monthly payments, extend the payment period, or write off late penalties. It takes an average of 3-5 years to discharge all debt.
You must commit 100% to this program if you want it to work. Unfortunately, many people throw in the towel, which is why California has a low completion rate.
DIY. You could, in theory, take control of debt settlement and debt management programs. However, unless you have functional financial knowledge that includes interest rate calculations, loan repayment policies, and your legal rights, and you are a negotiator of note, it’s best to consult debt resolution specialists, be they nonprofit credit counseling agencies, debt attorneys, or debt relief companies.
Bankruptcy. It’s not a pleasant thought, but if you have enormous debt and no means to settle it, bankruptcy can set you free. A bankruptcy attorney will take you through the process, from assessing your eligibility to representation in bankruptcy court. They’ll also advise you on which type of bankruptcy is best for you; Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
One of the benefits of bankruptcy filings is that debt collectors have to take a step back and leave you alone.
Being in debt is hard. Being in a lot of debt is very hard. At what point does it stop being hard and cross over into legitimate financial hardship? The question is important because if you meet the criteria for financial hardship, you qualify for additional financial assistance.
- If you are seriously ill or injured,
- If you are suddenly unemployed,
- If your hours at work were cut or you otherwise lost your monthly income,
- If a natural disaster has ripped your life apart,
- If you’re recently divorced,
- If you’ve recently been bereaved.
If one or more of these scenarios applies to you, you are experiencing financial hardship, and you can appeal to your loan providers for clemency by sending them an honest, heartfelt letter describing your financial situation. You can’t leave the letter open for lenders to decide how best to deal with you. Instead, include a specific request, for example:
- Lowering interest rates
- Lowering minimum payments
- Changing the terms of a loan
You don’t need to be Hemingway, but the letter needs to be structured, coherent, and realistic. You can work with your debt relief specialist or credit counselor to strike the right tone and get the details right.
Statute Of Limitations
In California, different types of debt have different statutes of limitations.
Credit card debt
|State tax||20 years|
Debt Collectors And Your Rights
In California, debt collectors have to abide by debt collection laws, as determined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). According to the Act, debt collectors can’t claim to represent any legal official, government or otherwise. Furthermore, they can’t contact you after business hours unless you allow them to do so.
Other prohibitions include:
- Using deception, manipulation, and/or abuse to get money out of you
- Using harassment against you or your friends, family, co-workers, or boss
- Threatening legal action without intent or a court warrant, including arrest and wage garnishments
- Working without a state license
Legitimate Debt Relief Providers Protect You And Your Rights
Debt relief can be a minefield if you don’t know how the system works, especially when your mind is swimming with visions of homelessness. Alleviate Financial Solutions guides you safely through while keeping the wolf – and the debt collectors – from your door.
As an accredited and reputable debt settlement company, we’re here to provide expert debt help services, whatever your financial situation. Simply contact us at (800) 308-2935 or complete the contact form on our website to arrange a free consultation with one of our debt specialists.