Debt Help, Frequently Asked Questions

Books sitting on the shelf in a tax lawyer's office.

Are you licensed?

Yes.  All our attorneys are licensed to practice in the state or states they represent.

Are there laws that protect consumers from debt collectors?

Yes.  The primary law is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  In addition to this Federal Law, many states have their own laws governing creditors and debt collectors.

How do I know which debt relief program is right for me?   

Call us for a free initial consultation and we will review your options and you can decide which is best for you.

What is “debt settlement”?

It means negotiating with a creditor to accept an amount less than the full balance as satisfaction of the debt. After receiving final payment on the agreed upon terms, the lender will consider the debt satisfied. The primary benefits of this strategy are to help you resolve your debts on terms structured to your specific budget, avoid bankruptcy, and pay less than you would by making the minimum monthly payments.

What types of debts can you help me with?

In a Debt Settlement program, we are able to resolve most unsecured debt, such as credit cards, deficiency judgments (from auto and home loans) medical bills, etc.

What about secured debts like my auto loan?

Auto loans are not suitable for a Debt Settlement plan.  We may be able to negotiate a settlement on a deficiency judgment or as a last resort discharge the debt through bankruptcy.

Can you help me with a deficiency judgment for a home or automobile? 

Yes.  Click on Debt Relief, Auto Loans or Mortgages for complete details.

Can you help me with tax debt?

Yes.  We have a dedicated Tax Relief Division, spearheaded by a former IRS Agent dedicated to helping you resolve issues with the IRS.  This service is separate and apart from our debt service.  Additionally, some tax debt may also be discharged through bankruptcy (restrictions apply). Click here for an overview of our tax service.

Can you help me with my mortgage?

While we do not handle loan modifications, we can assist you in other ways.  Click here for mortgage help details.

Can you help me with student loans?

Yes. We currently accept clients in CA, CT, FL, GA, NJ, NY and TX. Click here for details on how we may be able to help you.

When will the negotiation process start?

It depends on your specific situation, the amount of your monthly deposits and your creditors.  We provide a written estimate during our initial consultation prior to enrollment which outlines our settlement experience with your creditor(s) and the estimated number of months to resolve your accounts.

I have debt collectors calling me continuously; can you stop these phone calls?

Yes.  The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the activities of third-party debt collectors and collection lawyers. Federal debt collection law not only prohibits any collection efforts that violate the law, but allows consumers to seek recourse against the debt collector for violating the law. That’s where we can help. If you are represented by an attorney concerning a consumer debt a debt collector cannot communicate directly with you—they can only contact us. As a consumer, you are entitled to file a lawsuit against any debt collector who violates your rights under federal law. In fact, the FDCPA allows a consumer to recover their actual damages, statutory damages of up to $1,000 plus their attorney’s fees, and costs. We have the experience, resources, and ability to zealously protect you against any debt collector who violates your legal rights.

Can you stop interest, fees, and/or penalties or freeze my account balances?

No. Whether or not these additional charges can be added to your account is determined by the agreement you signed with each of your creditors. If the agreement allows for these additional charges, we cannot prevent creditors from assessing them. Of course, if your creditors continue adding these charges, your account balances will keep growing until we negotiate settlements. But remember, even if you were able to continue making the minimum monthly payments, these charges interest would be added accruing. Also, even with these additional charges, we are going to negotiate a lump-sum final settlement, and this amount is generally less than what you would have paid, in total, if you would have continued making minimum payments to your creditors.




Is your law firm accredited with the Better Business Bureau? Yes we are fully accredited and have earned the BBB’s highest ratingCan I make an appointment to come into your office? Yes. In addition to our regular business hours 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday-Friday including most holidays, we are also available evenings and weekends by appointment.Can I be sued for not paying a debt?Yes.  If you get sued, we will schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys who can review your options which may include defending the lawsuit and even filing a countersuit against the creditor.

Can I be arrested for not paying a debt?

No.  This is an illegal tactic used by unscrupulous debt collectors.

If I’m not a U.S. Citizen, can I be deported for not paying a debt?

No.  This is a tactic used by unscrupulous debt collectors to prey on clients whose primary language is not English.  This behavior is not only unethical, it is illegal.

Can I withdraw funds from my settlement deposit account?

Yes.  The accumulated funds in your settlement deposit account is your money.  You can withdraw it at any time without penalty.  If a settlement or deposit has occurred in the preceding  10 days, we must wait for those transactions to clear before a check can be issued. Keep in mind withdrawing funds from your settlement deposit account may extend the amount of time necessary to settle with your creditors. Also, any estimates given when you hired us are just that: estimates. By withdrawing funds from your settlement deposit account, you understand that the estimates given no longer apply and that you must begin saving funds again to negotiate with your creditors.

Will I have a tax liability by settling my debts for less than what is owed?

Your creditors may report any savings of $600 or more to the IRS as discharge of indebtedness income. If you hire us to settle your unsecured debt for less than the amount you owe, this was based on the assumption that you were insolvent, having financial difficulties with your unsecured debts, and using our services to avoid filing for bankruptcy. Tax laws may allow you, based on your insolvency, to exclude from your taxable income the amount of debt cancelled.  The experts in our Tax Division can assist you, or refer to IRS Publication 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide, and IRS Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness, available on the IRS Web site.

Do you offer a guarantee? 

No reputable law firm can guarantee the outcome of any matter.  Be very wary of any company or law firm who guarantees you specific results.

What information do you need for the consultation?

Generally speaking we need the names of your creditors and balances owed along with your monthly income and expenses.

Is my information kept confidential?

Absolutely.  Your information and discussions with us are protected by the attorney client privilege.

What will happen to my credit rating in Debt Settlement Program?

We would love to tell you that your credit will not be unaffected or improved, but we simply can’t. Our services are not intended to fix bad credit. Rather, our primary focus is to protect clients from undue harassment by debt collectors and to help you get out of debt without resorting to bankruptcy (if this is the option you choose).  In the short-run, your credit rating will most likely reflect that you are not current on your debt payment(s). The good news is, as your debts are settled and paid, the amount of your indebtedness will go down, and that should have a positive impact on your credit rating. Also, don’t forget the big picture: as you get out of debt, all the money you used to spend on your debts can now go into savings and paying cash for the things you and your family need.

Can I refer friends and relatives to you?

Absolutely! Your referral is our greatest compliment. Please call us at 1-800-987-4165. Please accept our thanks in advance.