While your debt settlement company is in negotiations with creditors, one tool of ammunition used on your behalf is the personal circumstance that brought you into the program from the start. This is what we refer to as your Hardship.
At one point your signing agent asked you the question “what in your life brought you to the point where you felt our services could help you?” Many consumers only consider high amount of debt or high interest rates as a hardship worthy of obtaining all the assistance they need and in some cases total debt forgiveness. The truth is no court in this country will accept either of those reasons as a hardship due to the fact that just about everyone is in that same financial position. With my clients I chose to define a HARDSHIP as Sad, Depressing but TRUE stories. There must be something like:
• Significant Decrease in Income
• Divorce Resulting in Financial Hardship
• Loss of Employment
• Significant Expenses for Family Elder Care
• Significant Expenses for Children (Including Tuition)
• Limited Fixed Income with Insufficient Funds to Cover Basic Expenses
• Significant Medical Expenses
• Legal Action resulting in Financial Hardship
• Job Relocation resulting in a Financial Hardship
• Tax problems resulting in Financial Hardship
• Death in Family resulting in Financial Hardship
• Accident resulting in Increased Liabilities and Inability to Cover Basic Expenses
There must be something in your recent history besides the high interest rates that made your financial life difficult so as a rule we insist on Sad, Depressing but TRUE stories. Many times one of our Client Services Representatives will be in casual conversation with a consumer reviewing their account and learn the client has had a death in the family, a major accident that turned into major surgery or some tragic experience that resulted in a financial downward spiral.
At one time I had been working with a client over a twenty month period when out of the clear blue he made mention the deaths of five family members over a period of three years prior to and during his joining the debt relief program. He had been so busy for such a long time managing the damage that he had not considered sharing so great a loss as his hardship. This is not uncommon with people. Perhaps it’s the pride or the sense of responsibility in us.
The act of living itself is a challenge and no one will get out of life alive. So don’t be afraid to share with your representative the negative things in life that brought you to this point of overwhelming credit card debt. This is a negative we can turn into a positive with nothing to feel ashamed of. There are more than a few of us who have experienced this very same obstacle within our own lives. We understand and we’re here to help.