Why You Might Need a Debt Settlement Lawyer
7 MIN READ
Published November 17, 2023 | Updated November 27, 2023
For many Americans, living with debt has become an overwhelming burden. With average credit card balances topping at $6,000 and delinquencies rising, borrowers looking for a way out may need to rely on professional help.
A debt settlement lawyer may help you settle your debts for less than what you owe. Evaluate whether a lawyer may be the best option for your situation, and learn more about what it may cost you to hire their services.
How Can a Lawyer Help
A debt settlement attorney can negotiate with your lenders to settle large debts of $10,000 or more. Lawyers can also help you deal with debt collectors and ensure you are protected against unfair, and illegal, debt collection practices.
Most importantly, debt settlement lawyers can minimize your legal risks and provide you with legal advice in case of a lawsuit, wage garnishment, and if a debt collection agency is using illegal or questionable collection practices.
Lawyers have a deep understanding of debt collection and consumer protection laws, so they are your legal advocates and, as fiduciaries, owe you a duty to ensure your rights as a consumer are protected.
Should You Hire a Lawyer for Debt Settlement?
If you’re considering debt settlement to resolve your unpaid unsecured debts, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of hiring a debt settlement lawyer, over settling debts yourself.
- You’ll have legal representation if a lender sues you.
- Lawyers can help you understand legal contracts, consumer protection regulations, and debt collection laws.
- They’ll help you deal with debt collection agencies and creditors, and will guide you through the settlement process.
- The attorney-client relationship ensures your personal information remains private.
- Lawyers may be able to protect you against wage garnishment.
- They’ll protect you against unfair debt collection practices.
- You may be able to settle your debt for less than you owe.
- Your credit score will take a hit when you settle your debts, and your credit score may be impacted negatively for up to seven (7) years after that.
- Lawyers primarily focus on legal options, so they may not be able to help you with other debt relief methods.
- Lawyer fees can be quite expensive, with average hourly rates of $211 to $424.
- You may be competing with many other clients for attention since lawyers are typically dealing with multiple client cases and court appearances at any given time.
Lawyer vs. Debt Settlement Company
If you’re considering debt settlement, you can either hire a company or a lawyer to resolve your debts. A debt settlement company specializes in debt negotiations, so they can help you settle your debts for less, helping you save as much as 54% before fees. A debt settlement company is the better option if you’re looking for the most savings.
A debt settlement attorney can defend you in court if you’re facing a lawsuit from a lender. They can also help you determine your best course of action if a debt collector is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
40% of FDCPA violations involve harassment through incessant phone calls, many of them using abusive language to intimidate borrowers. If you’re a victim of such harassment, hiring a debt settlement lawyer may be the right option for you.
How To Find a Lawyer Specialized in Debt Management
If you’re looking for debt settlement lawyers practicing in your area, start by searching “debt settlement attorney near me” online. You can also check the American Bar Association or your state’s legal aid directory to find local lawyers.
Another option is to contact lawyer referral services to find recommendations for lawyers specializing in debt settlement and debt collection defense. You may qualify for pro bono or low-cost legal aid if you’re a low-income consumer.
Before hiring a debt relief attorney, it’s important to do your homework and ensure that the lawyer understands and is experienced in debt collection and other consumer law. They must also be in good standing with the bar association.
How Much Does It Cost
In most cases, you won’t have to pay to retain the services of a lawyer since many work on a contingency basis. This means that you only have to pay them if you reach a settlement.
Some lawyers may charge by the hour, which can range from $211 to $424, depending on the complexity of your case. Your lawyer may also charge fees based on:
- A flat fee ranging from $500-$5,000 per debt, depending on how many lenders you have.
- A percentage of the amount you save when your debt is settled.
- A percentage of the enrolled debt for each account.
Get a Free Debt Settlement Consultation
Most debt settlement lawyers offer a free consultation, which is a good opportunity for you to learn more about their services. Before the consultation, be prepared with details of all your debts so it’ll be easier to evaluate your case.
We also recommend you be prepared with a list of questions to ask, such as:
- How many debt settlement cases have they handled?
- How much experience do they have representing consumers and successfully dealing with lawsuits?
- What is their fee structure?
- Will you have to pay an upfront fee?
- Will you have to pay if you don’t reach a settlement with your lenders?
The Best Debt Settlement Lawyers
When you’re dealing with a lot of debt, it’s always advisable to seek out trusted and reliable professional help, when finding a reasonable solution for it. We’ve searched-out and reviewed ten lawyers and/or law firms specializing in debt relief and debt settlement, to select our top three recommendations, which have been chosen based on services offered and fee structure.
1. Dramer Law
The offices of Dramer Law offer tailored recommendations based on your financial hardship and current income. Their lawyers can negotiate a wide range of debts, like credit card debt, private student loans, timeshare loans, cash advances, payday loans, and medical bills.
Dramer Law doesn’t charge upfront fees. Their fee is based on a percentage of what you save through the settlement, not a percentage of your total debt, allowing their clients to save more money.
2. McCarthy Law
McCarthy Law PLC has over 90 law offices in the U.S. and offers debt settlement services, where debt is often resolved in 6 to 36 months. Their offices handle all types of negotiations with the goal of achieving the best possible settlements for clients.
They offer a free consultation to learn more about your case and charge a reasonable flat fee based on the amount of debt you have.
2. Heston Law Firm
The attorneys at Heston Law Firm help clients negotiate settlements, handle all their paperwork, and represent them in collection lawsuits. With a 97% success rate and over 15,000 cases handled, their team has extensive experience in handling complex settlement cases.
On average, the attorneys at Heston Law Firm help clients save 20% to 40% of the original debt. The company offers payment plans and low fees, and clients can get started with $100 down.
Get in Touch With Us To See If You Need a Debt Settlement Lawyer
A skilled debt settlement lawyer can provide valuable legal advice and defend you in a collection lawsuit. However, the high lawyer fees may sometimes be a deterrent for many debtors.
Get in touch with TurboDebt for a free consultation to help determine the right type of debt relief for your situation. Our experienced debt professionals can evaluate your financial situation and help you determine if hiring a settlement or bankruptcy attorney may be your best choice.