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Credit card debt bothering you? Why not negotiate?

Many Pennsylvania residents may not realize that they have options for negotiating their credit card debt, even if they feel overwhelmed by the amount they owe. It is possible to use Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy to address this problem, but simply talking to your creditors could have a positive effect on your financial status. Today, we discuss the best methods for getting the changes you want from your lenders -- and stopping harassing calls.

Credit card companies have far more flexibility than they are often willing to admit. Further, they have a significant incentive to collect debt from those who owe them money. In most cases, credit card debt is unsecured, so a creditor cannot come after your house or your car in order to pursue payment.

Borrowers are thus in a position to request payment modifications and even interest rate decreases if they would help the creditor actually receive their money. Experts say it is critical for borrowers to explain why they are having difficulty paying their credit card debt; for example, explain to the customer service representative that you have lost your job or recently experienced a significant medical problem. If you are detailed and specific, you are far more likely to have a positive result than if you just told the company you could not pay.

Make a case for yourself by demonstrating that you want to do your best to get the company the money they are owed. This can be accomplished through a lump-sum settlement or a variety of other options. For those who have exhausted negotiations with the credit card companies, bankruptcy may be a viable option. Consumers facing a significant amount of credit card debt may consider consulting a bankruptcy attorney to learn more about their legal and financial options.

Source: Fox Business, "How to Negotiate Your Credit Card Debt" Donna Fuscaldo, May. 02, 2014

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