Living with multiple sources of consumer debt can quickly become overwhelming. You must make sure that every account gets the necessary attention while being careful not to mistakenly prioritize one over the other. With your credit score at stake, the last thing you want to do is default on credit card payments, but depending on your financial situation, it may be inevitable.
What people tend not to realize is that as debtors, they have rights. The short answer to When should I hire an attorney for a defaulted account? is immediately. The fact that your debt issues have made it this far shows that you could have benefited from the services of a credit card debt settlement attorney much earlier. Here’s why you shouldn’t waste any more time before acquiring legal help.
What Happens When Your Account Defaults
Creditors will wait 180 days after your missed payment before they close your card, charge off your debt, and send your account to collections. Once your debt is in collections, the floodgates open for contact attempts from a potentially unfamiliar collection agency seeking payment. They will also report your delinquency to the three major credit bureaus, which stays on your report for seven years and will cause a dramatic drop in your credit score.
Although you can request for them to stop calling you, your debt will still exist, and your ensuing actions — or lack thereof — will affect you significantly. Here are the three options you have to choose from when responding to notification of a defaulted account.
The worst thing you could do is be aware of a defaulted account and take no action. Even if the debt collectors are not the original creditors, they can sue you and garnish your wages with a court judgment if you continue to ignore calls.
Pay Off the Debt
It only helps to make a payment after your debt is in collections if you can pay it in full. Making partial payments before having your debt negotiated by a qualified attorney can cause your debt to re-age.
Settle the Debt
Your best option is to settle your debt with the collector. Although unlikely, if you can reach an agreement with a debt collector independently, make sure to get it in writing before making a payment. Physical proof of the agreement may be necessary if the collector decides to go back on his word.
Hiring a debt settlement attorney can be most beneficial if your goal is to successfully bring resolution to your defaulted account. Attorney Heather Benveniste of Benveniste Law Offices has seven years of experience as a debt collection attorney and has unique knowledge of how they operate. She can use that insight to help negotiate a debt settlement plan on the most favorable terms for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.