Any matter related to your personal finances needs to be handled very carefully, since a mistake in this area can be very costly. Ninety percent of successful debt reduction through debt settlement lies in choosing the right firm to do your negotiating.

Many debt settlement companies charge clients large up-front fees that are typically based on a percentage of the total debt owed. If you come across a debt settlement firm that insists on a 15% payment up front, just say no. The harsh truth is that because those companies get their money up front, they have little to no incentive to work hard for you. In fact, many of the debt settlement scams you may have read about had to do with companies who took their clients’ money up front and then disappeared, leaving those clients in worse straits than they were before. New regulations designed to put an end to such rip-offs have made it illegal for non-law firm debt settlement companies to charge this kind of up-front fees, but it’s now commonplace for unscrupulous companies to get around those regulations by putting a single attorney on staff, most likely one that seldom if ever gets involved with client cases.

A reputable and reliable debt settlement company, such as Trident Debt Solutions, bases its fees on the amount of money you save with debt settlement. This assures you that the firm has a strong incentive to get the best possible settlement with your creditors.

Another key thing to look at when choosing a debt settlement company is their track record. Demand references. A reputable company should be able to give you the names and phone numbers of satisfied clients who can tell you firsthand what their experience was like.

This may seem obvious, but be sure you have confidence in the qualifications of the people who will be handling your negotiations. Your best bet is to hire a debt settlement law firm, because having an experienced bankruptcy and debt settlement attorney on your side will give you a big negotiating advantage. A law firm will be able to handle even the toughest debt collectors and to represent you in the event any of your creditors file a lawsuit against you. Lastly, because the practice of law follows strict ethical standards, your lawyer is accountable for how your case is handled.


Steve Craig is an experienced bankruptcy and debt-settlement attorney based in Denver, Colorado.