Thousands of Buffalo, NY residents get into insurmountable debt every day from medical care, student loans, credit card debts, and mortgage loans among others. Most debtors have resorted to debt relief programs and filing for bankruptcy in their quest to make debt repayment easier. One of the ways used by residents to alleviate massive debts is debt settlement. It involves negotiations between the creditor and the debtor with the aim of reducing the debt by 50% to 70%. The lender accepts lower monthly payments or one lump sum payment.
Socio-economic Situations in Buffalo
Buffalo ranks among the leading counties with poor health, education, and socio-economic activities among the 62 counties in New York. About 60% of Buffalo residents have a high school education while 12.3 % remain unemployed. There are vacant properties in the county, but they tend to be derelict. Politics inspire a lot of worry among the residents. The low living standards have made it hard for the 1.2 million Buffalo residents to live in the high economic conditions of the state with an average credit card debt of 6,792.
Poverty Vs Wealth Inequality in the Region
Buffalo is home to most Hispanic immigrants from New Mexico as well as the Black Americans. According to the statistics released by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger in 2015, more than 43% of the Buffalo children live in abject poverty, and about 16% of the residents in New York live below the federal poverty line that is $19,790. Approximately 17.4% of the county residents do not receive medical care due to lack of enough income leading to increased mortality rate and high infant death. The high poverty rates and low education levels have made it difficult for the Buffalo residents to live without incurring many balances on their credit cards and bank loans.
Debt settlement offers an alternative way of solving huge debt problems that seem to accumulate every month. There are three ways of negotiating a debt which includes using a lawyer, a debt settlement company, or engaging in personal negotiations. The three forms are all acceptable although you should be careful while dealing with the lawyers and the companies. You can follow one of the tips below if you choose to carry out negotiations on your own rather than using another entity.
Offer a lump sum payment other than a monthly payment plan
An immediate lump sum payment is highly likely to attract the attention of a creditor rather than payment in small installments. You can decide to save some amount of money before approaching a lender for settlement. The lender accepts debt payments of up to 30-50% of the original debt. A payment plan tends to be more expensive than the lump sum pay.
It is better to work with the original creditor than a debt collecting company
If a debtor defaults payment for several subsequent months (mostly 6months), the creditor assigns the debt collection responsibility to the debt collector. If you get to a lender before they assign the case to a collector, they are more likely to negotiate a settlement rather than spend more money in paying a debt collector. Having your debt go to a collector also has adverse effects on your credit balance.
As indicated earlier, unsecured creditors such as credit card companies are more likely to consider settlement when they realize that a debtor is about to file for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, the federal court discharges all the unsecured creditors leaving them with nothing to claim.
Laws Governing Debt Settlement in Buffalo, New York
Sometimes the lenders tend to harass the debtors with numerous calls and messages reminding them to make their minimum payments. The New York State Debt Collection Procedure Law protects the borrowers from the following actions by the creditors.
- Any form of threatening- the law prohibits creditors from threatening to charge an extra fee which is more than the debt owed. They also do not acknowledge any form of threatening to take legal action that they are not entitled to.
- Sharing information about a borrower’s debt with the debtor’s employer without their consent
- Contacting the borrower or a family member on unusual hours (between 9.00p.m and 8.00 am)
Debt settlement relieves the debtor from the daily worries about their debts by providing a cheaper way of repaying their debts. Additionally, it would be the best method to cover your debts other than filing for bankruptcy, which would have lasting effects on your credit score. The creditors may only accept settlement only if your debt is above $7500 or $10000 in other lenders. In this case, the lender can opt for other debt repayment programs such as debt management, debt consolidation, and credit counseling. Debt settlement may affect your credit score, but you will regain a favorable score after several years following completion of repayment.