Living in Boston gives you a good reputation as being financially responsible. The residents of Boston get this reputation for being financially responsible because their average credit card and student loan debt is relatively low compared to consumers in other cities. The average income for a household in Boston is much higher than many other cities in the country, and more people own houses in Boston than virtually anywhere else. Add to that the fact Boston residents also have higher credit scores than anyone in the country except the residents of New Jersey, and it’s amazing anyone in Boston is even considering debt settlement as a financial option.
The median household income in Boston is $62,072 as of 2012, which is also when the state declared the average amount of credit card debt carried by consumers in the city was only $6,429. The poverty rate in Boston is 21.5%, and many of those in poverty in the city are the elderly. With such high incomes and low debt, most people are perfectly able to pay their bills on time and not worry about the need to file bankruptcy. For those not included in these impressive numbers, debt and poverty are very real. Debt settlement often seems like the only option.
Resources for Debt Settlement
The best resource for debt settlement programs in Boston is the Better Business Bureau. There are dozens of debt settlement companies and attorneys, and many of them are happy to help Boston residents with their debt. This does not, however, mean they are working within the confines of the law. Many so-called debt settlement companies take your money upfront and tell you they’ll help you, but they don’t. This is why the BBB is your best option for helping with debt settlement and finding the right company.
Debt Settlement Laws in Boston
Boston residents must understand the laws regarding debt settlement.
- Debts must be unsecured
- You should already be behind making payments
- You must understand no debt collectors are obligated to agree to debt settlement offers
Laws state all debt collectors and settlement companies must abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but no debt collector is required to agree to your settlement offer. If they want to follow up on getting all they’re owed, they’re free to do so. They can go so far as to garnish your wages up to 25% of your weekly income. The state only protects your income to 75%, which means finding a way to settle or pay off your debts now is a better option than experiencing a garnishment.
Benefits of Debt Settlement
There’s a lot of fine print regarding debt settlement, but it’s still a viable and beneficial option for many. Before discussing the benefits, it’s important to know who is the best candidate for debt settlement. Those who are the best candidates are already making late payments or missing payments to creditors, they’re struggling to make ends meet, and they have more than $7,500 in unsecured debts. Most debt collectors won’t even begin to work with you on settling a debt if you don’t have late payments or missed payments.
Their theory is consumers paying their bills on time are going to pay them forever until their debts are paid off. They don’t want to give you a break because they’re not worried you’re going to stop paying your bills. Now that you’re sure you’re a candidate, it’s time to understand the benefits.
- You pay off your debts faster and for less
- Debts are settled for less than you owe
- Negative reports are no longer made to credit bureaus
- You make one monthly payment with one interest rate
The biggest benefit of debt settlement is your credit score. You’ll no longer have creditors reporting late or missed payments. The ones you’ve already paid late or missed won’t disappear from your credit report, but your new reports of less debt and on-time payments help improve your score.
You’ll also find debt collectors stop calling. This is a huge relief for Boston residents, because it means you’ll have less stress and more peace. When you get to settle for less than the amount you owe your creditors, life is a little simpler and a lot more enjoyable. It means you get to pay off your debt faster and more efficiently, and you get to look forward to a little financial freedom in the future. Now is the time to consider debt settlement as a viable offer.
Boston’s a wealthy city with more positive financial information than many other cities, but it’s still a city with poverty and people living without enough money to make their credit card payments. The economics here are better than many with so many hospitals, financial institutions, and universities, but there are those who don’t have a way of making ends meet. Now is the time to get your financial life together by making decisions that will benefit your financial future.