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The Short and Long-term Effects of Debt Settlement

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Debt settlement can be very tempting. If you have debts to your name, the promise of paying them off at a steep discount (maybe even for “pennies on the dollar”) probably sounds like a dream come true. However, reality may be much more like a nightmare. Debt settlement can be a long, drawn out process without much success in the short-term. Not only that, but it can have lasting negative financial impacts for years to come. Since there are not many short-term or long-term benefits, it is probably best to consider a different solution altogether. That said, here is a closer look at what to expect if you choose to pursue debt settlement.

 

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Should I Pay Off a Debt in Collections and Will it Help My Credit?

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Paying your debts in full is always the best way to go if you have the money. The debts won’t just go away, and collectors can be very persistent trying to collect those debts. Before you make any payments, you need to verify that your debts and debt collectors are legitimate. You should ask both collection agencies for a written debt validation. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you are granted protections against collectors, so it’s important that you keep track of your communications with the collectors in writing. Under the law, the collection agency has to verify your debt within 30 days. This letter should include information about the original debt. 

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What Renters Can Do in Response to Financial Uncertainty

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Nearly one-third of Americans were unable to pay their rent during the first week of April. The most likely culprit — the coronavirus. As the pandemic swept the nation, many businesses were forced to close their doors, leaving millions unemployed. With no income, many found they were unable to make their rent payments. This month, some renters may be facing the same predicament again. If you find yourself in a similar situation and are struggling with financial uncertainty, there are a few things you can do to help make ends meet until stay-at-home orders lift. 

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When Does It Make Sense to Declare Bankruptcy?

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The general consensus is to declare bankruptcy as a last resort, only after you’ve exhausted all other debt relief options. Yet, sometimes it is hard to know when you’ve run out of options. Your options boil down to your overall financial situation, including your income, debts, and assets. To get a better idea where you stand, start by assessing your situation with a determination of your net worth and how much you owe. To calculate your net worth, add up all of your liquid assets, any retirement funds, real estate, and any investments that you may have. Next, tally your overall debt by adding up how much you owe for each credit card and loan. 

 

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NFCC in the News: 📰

  1. Where To Get Good, Free Financial Advice Now?  Read More...
  2. What happens If You're Sued By a Debt Collector? Read More...
  3. Get Help With Your Bills Read More...
  4. The NFCC is offering free credit counseling to help you pay debt, prevent foreclosure and manage student loans amid coronavirus Read More...
  5. Check out the latest Fin Bit podcast from Experian about credit reports and what consumers need to know. Read More...

Around the Country 🗽

Expert tips on how to cope with the coronavirus-related money stressors keeping Americans up at night

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Millions of Americans are coping with stress and anxiety as they deal with the fear and reality of death and disease due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the economic fallout as a result of Covid-19. Nearly half (45%) of U.S. adults have reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted March 25–30. Another survey, by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, found that 69% of Americans ages 18 and up report having financial worries.

 

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Monday Mornings with Turbine Labs and Levick featuring Rebecca Steele and Matt Ribe from the NFCC

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