Debt settlement is an effective debt relief solution and the great news is, you can do it on your own. Some people think that this is best left in the hands of a professional. While there is nothing wrong with that, there is a service fee that you need to pay for on top of the actual settlement fund that you have to save up for. There are those who think that it is a fee that they could pass up on.

One thing’s for sure, working on your own debt negotiation can be very stressful. You need a lot of things: courage, patience and pure tenacity. Communicating with creditors or collectors can be something else. When they are in their aggressive collecting mode, you will be harassed, threatened and abused verbally to the point when you just want to give in and do as they say. Of course, that will leave you at a disadvantage.

There are many DIY articles that you can read out there and this time, we will focus on what you should NOT do. It is best to cover all the basics if you really want to succeed in this.

First of all, if you will do this without any help, you have to know what you are doing. It is not enough that you know your debts and personal finances. You need to know what you have to do, how the whole process will go. For instance, you should know when is the right time to offer the settlement fund that you had been growing on the side. Offering it too early may prompt the collector to insist on having you pay for everything. So before you really decide to forego the services of a professional debt negotiator, do your research. Read about techniques and even the laws that protect from abusive collection practices. Research on the FDCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to educate yourself about how collectors should treat you.

Another prohibition is not doing your due diligence. Even if the collection agency knows the full details of your debt, you need to verify if they are authorized to collect on behalf of your original creditor. Call your creditor and ask if you can negotiate with them. If they tell you to work with the collector who had been calling you, then you know that they are authorized to negotiate with.

You should also be careful about all your communications. Never forget to put in writing anything that has been agreed on. Any verbal agreement should have its corresponding document that has to be signed by someone of authority. Never send them any payment if it was only done through verbal agreement. It might lead them to get more from you if you are not careful.

As mentioned earlier, never rush into a settlement offer or sound too eager to do so. You need to be careful about how and when you will offer your settlement. While you do not want to appear like you have the upper hand, think twice before agreeing on any amount. Never settle if you cannot afford the amount that the collector is offering you.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that all debt negotiations end up the same way. You may find it hard to get your creditor to accept the amount that you are proposing. Or you can find yourself settling within a year after you started communicating with the collector. Just keep an open mind and steer clear of the list that we discussed in this article. You should be just fine.

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