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Debt Consolidation Questions and Answers

How do I know if I am a good candidate for Superior Debt Services?
How will this effect my credit?
Will there be tax consequences?
Will I be sued?
Can my wages be garnished?
Will I still be able to use my credit cards?
How long does the debt settlement program take to complete?
What is the difference between Superior Debt Services, Inc. and consumer credit counseling or debt consolidation companies?
What types of debts are allowed in Superior's program?
What if a creditor won't negotiate
Are there debts that cannot be entered into a negotiation program?
Isn't this something I can do myself?


Learn The Facts About Our Settlement Programs

  • How do I know if I am a good candidate Superior Debt Services?

      To qualify for our debt settlement program, you must have a financial hardship and at least $5,000 in unsecured debt, and have a strong desire to become debt-free. At this time, we accept only U.S. citizens. Because negotiation, consolidation, and/or counseling services may jeopardize those who need security clearances, we ask that you contact a certified debt counselor to go over the steps that you will need to take in order for SDS to assist you. For the same reason, we must carefully interview those who are employed by the federal government. Some important guidelines to keep in mind when determining if our services are advisable:

1. Do you have a genuine commitment to avoid bankruptcy? Almost every debtor attempting to negotiate with a bank threatens bankruptcy. A proper negotiation strategy takes a contrary position, promising that if the creditor agrees to a workable arrangement bankruptcy will not be filed. This promise is integral to the process, and demonstrates a good faith commitment towards alleviating the debt.

2. Do outstanding credit card balances comprise the majority of your debt? Unsecured credit card debt allows the greatest leverage when negotiating, generally providing the steepest discounts and greatest success in reducing overall debt. Department store charge cards, financing contracts, and miscellaneous bills are also negotiable, generally with less predictable results. Based on the background of the case, medical bills may also be negotiated, most often with good results. Government sponsored student loans cannot be negotiated.

3. What kind of monthly budget should I expect to have? If you are up to date with your monthly payments, you should expect to pay roughly the same amount that you have been paying on all of your balances, most of which has been going towards interest. Depending on the length of your program, a monthly budget of around $125-$200 should be allotted for every $10,000, i.e. If you owe $30,000 total then your monthly budget should be around $400-$600.


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  • How will this affect my credit?
While the purpose of a Debt Settlement Program is to get you out of debt, not improve your credit, it is important to understand some basics. Any time you do not make required minimum payments to your creditor you may be breaking the terms of your agreement with them and your actions can be reported to credit reporting agencies as late, delinquent, charged-off or past due. After settling an account a creditor may report that the account was “settled for less than full amount” or something similar. Depending on the condition of your credit report and score at the time of enrollment, a Settlement Program may have an adverse effect on your credit report and score. Please visit www.myfico.com to learn more about how credit reporting and scoring.

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  • Will there be tax consequences?
Banks are required to report canceled debts over $600 to the IRS and you are required to report the same as income on your yearly tax return. The IRS does permit you to write off any "income" from canceled debts up to the amount by which you were "insolvent" at the time. Unless you have a positive net worth (highly unlikely if you are deep in debt) then you usually won't have to pay taxes on the forgiven amounts.

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  • Will I be sued?
Lawsuits in matters of collection are far less prevalent than one would think. Many debtors fall behind on payments, or are unable to make payments for years, yet never hear from an attorney. Obviously a bank has the right to sue and collect the money owed to them, but most often if you keep the lines of communication open, even if through your negotiator, the likelihood of being sued is minimal. Banks would much rather come to an agreeable compromise than go through the process of litigation. The threat of an impending lawsuit is a primary reason that many people unwisely and hastily file for bankruptcy. It is widely acknowledged that the costs associated with going to court far exceed the benefits. If there is an alternate solution available, such as debt settlement, a creditor typically chooses the avenue that will allow them to minimize their losses.

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  • Can my wages be garnished?
A common tactic used by aggressive collectors is the threat of wage garnishment. Collectors try to make it sound like this will happen on your very next payday if you don't send a check immediately. This, quite simply, is false. The creditor first has to sue you, obtain a judgment, and then file for a garnishment action. Wage garnishment can normally be avoided if you're willing to work with your creditors.

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  • Will I still be able to use my credit cards?
No. All unsecured accounts in the program must be closed as a condition of participation in our Debt Reduction Program. Clients may keep ONE emergency credit card. Use of this card must be restricted to emergency purposes.

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  • How long does the settlement program take to complete?
The length of time to complete your program will depend on the amount of your current debt and the amount of time you take to fund your Special Purpose Account. Superior Debt Services, Inc. can usually reduce your unsecured debt within 12-36 months. Your Certified Debt Consultant will advise you of the amount of time it will take when you request your free settlement consultation.

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  • What is the difference between Superior Debt Services, Inc. and consumer credit counseling, or debt consolidation companies?
Credit counseling services usually work for your creditors, earning a percentage of what you pay to your creditors. In most cases, you will be expected to pay 100% of your debt, plus interest, by making smaller payments over a longer time period. Because credit counseling makes its money by earning a percentage of the amount you pay your creditors, their incentive is to get you to pay 100% of your debt, rather than to try and settle with your creditors. Debt consolidators will loan you money (and charge interest) to "consolidate" your debt, and you will pay off your debt at 100% of the debt amount, sometimes including late fees and additional interest. At Superior, we will negotiate a settlement of your debt, for significantly less than you currently owe. Once a settlement is reached, you never have to make another payment!

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  • What types of debts are allowed in Superior's program?
Only unsecured debts, or debts without collateral, are permitted in our program. Examples of unsecured debt include: credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, department store cards, gas cards, apartment lease judgments, etc. A secured debt is one in which a creditor holds something of value as collateral, such as your home or car. We will not add these to your program. However, if the collateral is repossessed or foreclosed, we may be able to help you resolve what you still owe on the balance of the loan.

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  • What if a creditor won't negotiate?
SDS has yet to find a creditor that won't negotiate. We work with thousands of creditors on a regular basis. We pride ourselves in being professional with creditors to find mutually agreeable settlements.

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  • Are there debts that cannot be entered into a negotiation program?
Yes, secured loans such as automobile loans and home mortgage loans.

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  • Isn't this something I can do myself?
Effectively negotiating your balances by yourself is possible, just very risky. Banks rarely take debtors seriously and are well prepared for the amateur do-it-yourself negotiator; they have scripts prearranged for exactly this scenario. Your call will be answered by a customer service representative who will systematically inform you "Unfortunately, we do not settle debts under any circumstance. However I can transfer you to a department that can enroll you in our hardship program, if you qualify." By the time that the conversation is over, the caller feels guilty about the money owed and their lame hardship plan sounds like a great deal after all. Finally, fed up with this "canned" response, a person will usually decide that settlement just doesn't work. Without a third party professional, trained in negotiation, this is certainly the case. Your creditors will quickly change their tune when they may no longer contact you and instead must communicate through us, an organization that understands the rules and regulations concerning collection. A third party professional on your team will make all the difference. The advantage we have over a consumer trying to settle his own debt is knowledge and experience. We know the creditor and his tendencies and we constantly update that knowledge as creditors change over time. We know when to contact them, who to contact, and what to offer a creditor for settlement. If certain creditors are contacted at the wrong time or if the wrong department is contacted, the creditor may actually accelerate the collection process. We also know if a settlement offer is good or bad based upon the creditor and where the account is in the collection process. It is often said that an attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client, and the same logic can be applied here. The results that a negotiator can obtain will invariably be better than the results that you can expect by doing it yourself. Creditors will no longer have the ability to psychologically pressure or harass you; this tactic stymied by the fact that they cannot have direct communication with you. The banks pull out the big guns when you fall behind and have an army of collectors ready to pressure you with carefully scripted techniques. They have salaried attorneys and collection officers who truly have nothing better to do than to make life miserable for you. Doesn't it just make sense to have someone in your corner?

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