City skyline
one stop for all your financial needs!

Debt Settlement and Debt Relief

Debt Settlement is a good option for individuals that have small amounts of unsecure debt and funds available to offer as a lump sum settlement. It is important to note that debt settlement does NOT stop collection activity such as wage garnishment, bank levy, foreclosure, or repossession until the creditor has accepted the debtor’s offer. Many individuals would rather try to negotiate with their creditors instead of filing bankruptcy to minimize the impact on their credit. However, in order for debt settlement to be successful, the individual will typically need to have around 20-30% of the total they owe to offer one-time lump sum payments to creditors. Many individuals are not able to gather the funds together to make debt settlement work, but people who can on average tend to save 70-80%. It is important to remember that debt settlement can have tax consequences such as a 1099-C (Cancellation of Indebtness “COD”), which should be discussed with an Atlanta Tax Attorney prior to settling.

Debt Negotiation and Defense is good for those who are actively facing a creditor judgment, bank levy, or wage garnishment and unable or unwilling to file bankruptcy. In order for a creditor to collect their debt, they must first file a lawsuit in the county in which the debtor resides. If the debtor does not file an answer, the creditor will get a default judgment. If the debtor files an answer, it will likely delay the proceeding and the court will set a hearing. It is always in the best interest of the debtor to file an answer to a lawsuit. However, as long a the creditor can prove that the debt is owed (state a claim) and process was properly served, the creditor will win the judgment. Once a creditor obtains a judgment, they must file a second lawsuit to collection the judgment. The second lawsuit is usually filed against debtor’s employer (wage garnishment) or bank (bank levy). A wage garnishment continues for a period a six months, whereas a bank levy is a one-time hit on the debtor’s bank account for funds available on the date of the levy. It is possible to defend these types of actions. Available defenses for collection lawsuits include failure to properly serve the debtor, filing the lawsuit outside the statute of limitation, or failing to prove that there is a claim. As for wage garnishments and bank levies, the debtor can file a traverse (exemption) which states the funds are exempt from levy because they are social security benefits, unemployment benefits, workers compensation, veteran’s benefits, state pension benefits, disability benefits, money that belongs to a joint account holder, child support or alimony, or any other exemptions as provide by law. It is very important to speak with an Atlanta Tax and Bankruptcy Lawyer sooner rather than later in these types of cases, because often times we can work out a settlement prior to the creditor issuing a wage garnishment or bank levy. By reaching out to the creditor ahead of these actions, the Debtor can reduce their stress, save time and money.

Last alternative to bankruptcy is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is process that combines all your debt into one monthly payment. Individuals wishing to consolidate their debt can do through a debt consolidation company. It is always important to research and make sure the company has a good reputation and proven results. While debt consolidation can be a good tool to lower interest rates, the amount paid is typically the same or more because the term of the loan is extended. In addition, debt consolidation does NOT provide the same protection as bankruptcy when it comes to stopping wage garnishments, bank levies, and foreclosures.

If you would like more information please contact us today at (404) 551-5838 for a free one hour consultation with Alyssa Maloof Whatley, Atlanta Tax and Bankruptcy Attorney.

I run a CPA firm and Alyssa has helped my clients that have IRS issues. Her expertise ends up giving the clients more favorable tax liability positions than they had before. She is enjoyable to work with and communicates clearly and to the point. I have learned a lot from her due to her immense tax resolution knowledge.
Alyssa Whatley helped us with a major tax issue that seemed impossible and she seemed to do it with ease. She helped us through a very difficult and hard time. Alyssa's work ethics and performance set a very high standard that we value. She works with strong intention and honesty. She represented us so well and gave us honest answers. She was careful and this made us know that she is trustworthy. We knew that she really wanted to help us and that is her heart for why she does what she does. Alyssa has an endearing confidence that gave us assurance and a calm knowing that she is very knowledgable and good at what she does! Alyssa always responded promptly to us and kept us very informed. She is definitely at the top of her game in her field! Thankful to have had her representing us! Lindy
Alyssa immediately impressed me with her competence. That was most important to me. How well will my attorney do their job for me? Alyssa knocked it out of the park for me. Her understanding of our overly complex Tax laws never ceased to amaze me. Alyssa seemed to know every trick in the book to achieve the best results. Alyssa analyzed my state of affairs and delivered better results than I had hoped for. Before meeting Alyssa, I was wary about whether my attorney would have _my_ best interest at heart? I did not expect a cheerful attorney; What a difference a smile makes when you're going through troubled waters. Alyssa deserves my highest recommendation. I just wish I could express my appreciation better. Job well done, Alyssa! Thank you! Anonymous
I contacted Alyssa after I was wrongfully imprisoned due to a clerical error by Fulton Co. Alyssa listened with empathy to my entire story and took all of the correct steps in handling my case. Alyssa updated me frequently on my case so that I could rest assure it was in the right hands. Alyssa was able to get my case dropped and my money returned very quickly. Mrs. Whatley came highly recommended to me and I see why. Alyssa's professionalism, experience, compassion, and positive attitude was exactly what I needed during this time of uncertainty. Kaitlin
Mrs.Whatley handled a case for us with the IRS. We had tax liens after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and she was able to have them removed promptly. She is extremely knowledgeable about tax law and I'd recommend her to anyone, including my own family and friends. Keith