Bad Things Happen To Good People – Overwhelmingly, the people that call me truly want to repay their debt. They aren’t deadbeats. They aren’t looking for a free ride. They are simply trying to resolve their debts without resorting to bankruptcy. In some cases, my clients have even moved out of the country, and even in that case, they want to do the right thing and pay what they can to the bank/SBA. Most borrowers are good people that are largely victims of a bad economy.
Time is of the Essence – I’ve weaved this theme throughout various articles, but it does bear repeating. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to settle. If your file gets referred to an attorney to begin litigation, it can make it infinitely harder to settle. Just ask my client who has been waiting a year for a settlement, as the bank pushes ahead with personal judgments against them.
The Rules Are Always Changing – As times passes, the stance that lenders and the SBA take with respect to certain issues evolve to fit the current the current economic times. Even though the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) tend to stay the same, the interpretation and focus tends to vary over time, and even within the different SBA offices. Working with an expert who knows how the SBA is currently viewing different factors can be the difference between a successful settlement and a long, drawn out battle that ends in the levying of tax refunds and wage garnishment.
Freedom Isn’t Free – The idea behind settling (from the bank/SBA perspective) is to settle for an amount that is reflective of a guarantor’s ability to pay. This means that if you are going to successfully negotiate an OIC, you need to be willing to tap all available resources. If you are going to have 50% or more or your debt forgiven, the expectation is that you will give as much as you can afford…not simply as much as you feel like paying.