You’ve heard the commercials:
If you owe $10,000.00 or more to the IRS, CALL NOW. Don’t contact the IRS alone.
If you owe more than $5,000.00 in credit card debt, CALL NOW for help in consolidating your credit cards.
Be Aware of These Consolidation Companies
While these solutions may work for some, you should be aware of some important points about debt consolidation:
You Will Pay a Consolidation Fee
These consolidation companies are not free! There is a fee and more often than not, the first several payments (or more) that you send in may be used for the setup fee or other fees charged by the agency.
No Guarantee a Consolidation Will Work
The fine print of the contract sets out that they can only ATTEMPT to work out something with the IRS or your creditors. There is no guarantee that while negotiations are taking place that the creditor won’t go forward with collections, including, lawsuits, levies, garnishments and the like.
You Might Not Get Your Money Back
You may NEVER get money back that you have remitted for settlement negotiations. This is especially true for companies that are working on IRS negotiated settlements.
Our Professional Experience
I have had people share that they have remitted more than $8,000.00 for a company to negotiate with the IRS (money that had been borrowed and scraped together) only to have that company advise that one “document” was not submitted by the date the company had given (not the IRS) so they would no longer be working on their case and there would be NO refund! Even more devastating was the fact that the company had not even contacted the IRS on any level on behalf of the client.
I find the most discouraging thing is listening to clients belabor about having paid agencies hundreds or even thousands of dollars to agencies that are to be working out settlements only to be served with a lawsuit or garnishment. Thereafter, most often, the only choice is to file for bankruptcy protection.
It is surprising to most that even though the thought of filing bankruptcy can be distressful when they find out that in most cases, the penalties and interest stops accruing on tax debt when the case is filed, (and some tax debt may be dischargeable in bankruptcy). Additionally, in a chapter 13 debt consolidation plan, in most instances, interest stops accruing on unsecured debt and can be reduced on most secured debt, the date the case is filed.
Contact A Trustworthy Bankruptcy Attorney Today
I never discourage a person from finding out all of the options available, but please contact us for a FREE consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys on your list while researching the options you may have available to you. We are always glad to discuss all of the options to help give you a better understanding of what may be best for you. We truly have your best interest in mind.
Suzanne Shinn is a shareholder of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama and Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law. She joined the Bond & Botes team in 1992 as its first associate attorney and has been helping clients navigate the bankruptcy process ever since. Read her full bio here.