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Debt management and negotiating with creditors

Sometimes, people in Arkansas fall behind on their debt payments. In some situations, it is possible for them to negotiate payment arrangements with the collectors that own or have been assigned these obligations.

There are several factors that may be at play regarding whether a debt collector will negotiate a lesser amount or not. In the event the debt is a medical debt in which insurance paid a portion but the debtor's portion remains unpaid, the collector may not be able to accept anything other than the full amount due to insurance contracts.

In some cases, collectors may take the payment history into account in deciding whether to settle. Collectors rarely hold onto a debt for long, however, and if one collector refuses to negotiate, a new company may later purchase the debt and may be willing to negotiate. The timing of an offer may also work in a debtor's favor, with collectors being more willing to negotiate payment after they have held the debt for a while. Any agreements that are made should always be requested in writing so the debtor has a record that the payment made was according to an agreement. This can prevent the collector from later coming back to try to collect on the remainder that was negotiated away.

In the event that it is simply not feasible to negotiate settlements, people may want to consider filing bankruptcy if their debt level is unmanageable. When unsecured debts such as medical and credit card debts are discharged in a bankruptcy case, the debtor no longer has the obligation to pay them. Collectors also may not take any steps to try to collect on a discharged debt. While bankruptcy is not right for everyone, for some people it can provide debt relief and a needed fresh financial start.

Source: Credit.com, "How Do I Get a Debt Collector to Negotiate With Me?", Michael Bovee, Feb. 9, 2015

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