Do I need an attorney to handle debt consolidation?
2 attorney answers
The debt may be barred by SC's statute of limitations, which is three years. You need to first explore that with defense with a lawyer in your area. I would suggest you contact Dana (pron. Donna) Wilkinson in Spartanburg.
This is only intended for general information and is not legal advice. See an attorney licensed in your state for legal advice.
If by consolidating you mean finding a lender, borrowing enough money to pay all the debt and paying the loan on time, that does not take the help of an attorney. That is how debt is consolidated. This probably cannot be accomplished without a co-borrower with good credit and/or collateral worth significantly more than the $20,000.00 that you want to borrow.
If you mean that you want to work up and debt management plan in which creditors agree to accept a lower payment and a lower interest rate through a credit counseling company, that is not debt consolidation. If you mean you want to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy and reorganize your debt with bankruptcy protection, that is not consolidation. The problem with both of these is the fact that you cannot start rebuilding your credit until you complete the plans. For example with the credit counseling company, you are paying the loans back with a monthly payment less than agreed and each of the debts will show up as over 180 days in arrears at some point and will remain that way until the debt is paid in full.
Strange as it may sound, the fastest way to rebuild your credit score is to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a fresh start. you can be in and out of your chapter 7 in less than 5 months and can start rebuilding your credit then.
Approximately 2 months after you complete your chapter 7, pull a 3 bureau credit report and make sure that all discharge debt shows that the debt was included in the bankruptcy with a $0.00 balance. Then start rebuilding by making loans and paying them back timely.
One type of loan that can be made easily at a small cost to you is one that uses the money you borrow as collateral. This is done by placing the borrowed funds in a savings account at the same bank with the bank placing a hold or lien on the savings account. The interest rate will be very low because the bank has no risk. Even though it may seem like you are paying a monthly payment, most of the money you are paying is going to principal. At the end of the 6 months, you should have the bank use the savings account to pay off the loan, resulting in a paid as agreed, paid off loan on your credit report. Since most of the payment was paid to principal, you will have almost as much money in your savings account when the loan is paid off as you paid in loan payments over the 6 months.
As you bankruptcy gets older and you put more paid off loans, paid as agreed on your credit report, your credit score will climb. Some of my clients have obtain FHA home mortgages 2 years after their discharge. Others have financed autos in less than two years for interest rates below 5.0%.
You should take the time to meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney that handles chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. Most bankruptcy attorneys will meet with you at no charge for the initial appointment. You can use the Avvo "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of this page to search for an attorney.
Answers and comments provided are for general discussion only. My comments are not to be considered legal advice and they do not create an attorney-client relationship.