There may come a time when you find yourself in a debt situation that leads to considering an Ohio debt settlement. Unfortunately, some consumers find themselves being sued for debt even after participating in the debt settlement program for a reasonable amount of time. Other times, individuals participating in an Ohio debt settlement find that none of their debt has been settled and their money has been tied up in debt settlement fees and charges. This is a bad situation, but it does happen. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to alleviate the situation.

What is Debt Settlement in Ohio?

The State of Ohio defines debt settlement, also referred to debt adjustment as the business of adjusting, pooling, or managing debt or budget counseling that seeks to make changes to or eliminate indebtedness. In the Ohio Legal Code, debt settlement is the process of taking money from a debtor in order to pay back the debtor’s creditors.

Advanced Fees

Advanced fees from debt settlement companies aren’t against state law, but it does limit the amount a debt settlement company can charge. Most Ohio bankruptcy attorneys will advise individuals to avoid engaging any debt settlement company that charges an upfront fee, so proceed with caution if the company you are exploring does so. Debt settlement companies can’t charge more than 8.5% of your overall monthly debt settlement payment or thirty dollars, whichever is greater.  If a debt settlement company is charging you more than this, they are in violation of Ohio state law.

Misrepresentation

Ohio debt relief companies must be open, honest, and upfront about what services they can offer. The loophole that many debt settlement companies find is through the contract, which you should read extremely carefully. Some less than reputable debt settlement companies often downplay the risks of being sued during their program while including verbiage in their contract stating that you can and may be sued for a debt that is included in your debt settlement portfolio. The moral here is to take everything a debt settlement company tells you with a grain of salt, and to pay ultimate attention to what they outline in writing.

Getting Debt Settlement Help

Before you file bankruptcy, you must attend an inexpensive (typically $50-$100) credit counseling course. This is often recommended by bankruptcy attorneys or credit counselors as a step to take before you enter into any type of debt settlement program, as you’ll have the opportunity to speak with a credit counselor who can help you put your own debt elimination plan in place. If this is unsuccessful, you’ll have 6 months to file for bankruptcy before needing to take the course again. Bankruptcy is often superior to debt settlement. For example, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can, in some instances, allow you to get out of debt in as little as three years, without the risk of losing your property or having to face a lawsuit over debt. Contact an Ohio Bankruptcy attorney today to review your options and find out if debt settlement is the best action for you.