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The 4 Steps To Credit Card Debt Negotiation

May 2, 2008
When you are in conducting a credit card debt negotiation, its important to know that you are negotiating for a position of strength. The Credit card companies don't want you to default. They make their money by receiving consistent payments from you. Payments that can go on for years and years.

You are the one in control. You have something that they want to get from you, your payment. If your polite, professional and firm, you will get what you want.

This is a serious situation. They do have the ability to instigate legal action. This is unlikely on smaller balances, but is always a possibility. I have seen balances as high as 15,000 dollars end up being charged off without legal action. I have also seen balances as low as $500 go to court after just a few calls. But even court action is a fairly slow process, and you have time to react and negotiate the debt before the court date.

First, you need to make sure that you communicate by mail. Don't give the collector a "no way out" situation by telling them to never contact you again. You have them backed them into a corner where they have little recourse but legal action. Credit card debt negotiation involves a level of compromise.

Instead, tell them they can contact you only by mail. And that they can never contact you at work. You will need to draft a letter to this effect and send it to them by registered mail, return receipt. In fact, all future communication with the collector will be by registered mail. And you always want to make sure you have a file of the delivery receipts and a copy of the letter available so that they can't dispute that it was mailed, and that they received it.

The problem with phone calls is that when you are involved in credit card debt negotiation, you need to have verification. If it wasn't written, it wasn't done because you have no way to prove it if you end up in court.

Begin your credit card debt negotiation at 20-25% of the original debt amount. The collection agency may have added on fees and charges that you should not include in the settlement amount. These fees just amount to the collection agency trying to make more money, and have nothing to do with the debt to be settled.

Since on the "secondary market" debt is traded at literally a few cents on the dollar, the collection agency is making plenty of money, even if they end up settling at 30 or 40% of the original debt.

Don't sound to eager to settle. Be calm and collected. Don't get angry, don't show hesitation. One thing I really want to add is NEVER let them know that you have some specific reason for settling the debt. Many people make an effort to settle before applying for a home loan for instance. This information is none of the collectors business. If they find out that the reason you want to settle is so that you can buy a house, you will never get a settlement.

So, in review.

1. Never talk to a collector on the phone. Always use registered mail with a return delivery receipt.

2. Start your negotiation at 20 - 25% of the original loan amount.

3. Don't include the collection agencies add on fees as a part of your credit card debt negotiation.

4. Be calm, educate yourself to the process so that you can speak from a position of knowledge.

Just be patient. And make a good deal. Soon, this will all be behind you. Your credit card debt negotiation means you can get on with your life.
About the Author
Ted Batron is a financial expert who specializes in debt counseling and custom debt elimination plans. He has developed a short eCourse that's a great primer for those who are want to learn how to negotiate, eliminate and settle credit card debt at a 30-70% discount and become debt free. For More Information, Visit http://no-debt.net/debt-info/credit-card-debt-negotiation/
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