Living with debt is like wading in mud; the deeper you are the slower you go.
It gets harder to move, fatigue increases, and the shore you’re wading toward seems to move further away.
All you can do is keep your head and shoulders above the mud. What do you do? Two options appear like birds on your shoulders.
The robin on the left says “Debt Negotiation” and the raven on your right that says “Bankruptcy.”
If you listen to the robin, you decide to work out a solution with your creditors with the hope of reducing the amount owed, the interest rate, and the monthly payment to a level you can handle. In short, you try to drain the swamp that makes the mud you’re wading in. The robin tells you to get a debt negotiation service to help.
Fortunately there are such services available, and many are controlled by the credit providers you are dealing with, so they have the inside information. Unfortunately, and for the very same reasons, they are not neutral. Still, deals can be made. And when they are, the robin flies off to the next set of shoulders while you move forward in the mud knee deep instead of waist deep.
Then the robin returns in the Spring with a note to tell you that the forgiven debt is TAXABLE. You see, the credit card companies don’t really want you out of debt. They want you in debt at the highest interest rate they can arrange. It’s business: lenders make money on the rental charge for that money and that charge is called interest.
The usual consequence of debt consolidation, or negotiation, or reduction is … debt.
If you listen to the raven on your right shoulder you get a bankruptcy lawyer and file for protection in the bankruptcy court. There is no negotiation because the creditors are stopped from pursuing the debt. There’s no need to drain the swamp because you’re no longer in it, you’re on the road to a fresh start. The raven won’t be back in Spring because debt discharged in bankruptcy is not taxable income.
When you’re lost in a swamp you need a guide on your side. A lawyer committed to your best interest is better than a negotiator that must leave you in debt no matter what the results of the negotiation. If your goal is control and freedom from debt, bankruptcy is the better choice. If you’re content to wade, negotiate.
About The Author
John L. Greifendorff, Esq. is founder of Greifendorff Law Offices, PC located in Garden Grove, CA. John established his law practice in the field of bankruptcy to be of service to his clients in financial crisis. His firm’s principles are to always be polite, always be prompt, always be patient and always be prepared. His bankruptcy practice includes Chapter 7, 11, and 13 of the Bankrutpcy Code and focuses on consumer issues.
He began life as an abandoned child saved by The Sisters of Charity [may God grant their every prayer] in the City of Seattle, Wa. Raised in Seattle as the adopted son of a railroad man and a nurse, and could have asked no more. As a child attorney Greifendorff remembers the original Mr. Nordstrom that had a small shoe store where he shopped regularly. He joined REI when it had fewer than 200 members, and was perhaps the first customer at Starbuck’s in the Market. He banked at a small savings and loan called Washington Mutual, and of course, when not traveling by train, flew on Boeing jets.
Attorney Greifendorff graduated from Syracuse University School of Law with his Juris Doctor (1976). He is admitted to practice in California since 1977; United States District Courts in Central and Southern Districts of California; and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Memberships in National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association, Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association, Orange County Bar Association, Hungtington Beach Chamber of Commerce and volunteer counsel for Public Law Center’s reaffirmation clinics.