Most attorneys don't like credit counselling programs because there is no guarantee that they will work & very few utilize attorneys to handle the legal problems that crop up. The result - credit counselors engaging in what is marginally the unauthorized practice of law and not giving the clients what they are paying for.
What I think you are asking for may not be possible. Creditors won't settle for small monthly payments once they file suit - they are looking for a lump sum of cash, or they will get a judgment. Having an attorney represent you can help you to obtain the best settlement offer, but again, if you don't have cash, not much even the best attorney can do. And of course, none of us goes to work without expecting to get paid!
You may wish to look into asset protection strategies in order to minimize the impact on your financial condition. If you have a substantial amount of debt, bankruptcy could also be an option.
Hope this perspective helps!
The short answer is that you don't. You cannot force them to settle less than what you owe. If the original creditor is suing and you have no disputes, then expect a judgment. You can always try to negotiate a settlement before or even after a judgment. Once they get a judgment, they need to try to collect. If you are overseas 90% of the time, that may be difficult.
Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.
Most people who start down the path of "debt settlement" file bankruptcy. I have found that you (with perhaps a little coaching) will achieve as good a result in negotiation as someone you might hire. The primary reason is that creditors assume that if you have enough money to hire someone to negotiate then you are not that bad off.
I agree that collecting from a person out of the country is difficult or impossible so that's an idea to remember.
Law Office of Michael J. Primus We are a debt relief agency and help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy laws