Monday, January 18, 2010

Entrepreneurs are the losers with a debt settlement industry in crisis

As a coach for many entrepreneurs I see it is key to have access to credit to start new businesses. Like many small business owners I started my design business with credit cards. Using those credit cards, I built a company from $17 and a glue gun to $1.5 million of retail sales over four years. Having health, marriage and business problems meant that I faced a perfect storm. Like many others today, I couldn't pay off my debt.

People today are facing more immediate financial pressure than ever before. Jobs are vanishing, foreclosures are trending at record numbers and more people are turning to bankruptcy-- needlessly.

What consumers lack today are real concrete solutions to help them deal with problem debt. The only legal solution that is approved in all states is bankruptcy. But what about consumers that don't want to go bankrupt? What options do they have?

I turned to a debt settlement company. It was the only way that I could have paid back creditors and not filed bankruptcy.

Debt settlement allows the consumer to eliminate their financial liability in a mutually agreeable way for less than the full amount owed based on what they can afford. They can actually achieve results in a difficult situation, resolving their money troubles without bankruptcy. Debt settlement helps consumers avoid bankruptcy while returning a fair and negotiated amount to the creditor in a legally binding way. It helps the consumer to be represented by a true third party-the debt settlement company.

"I am extremely concerned for consumers," said Alex Viecco, VP and co-founder of New Era Debt Solutions. "There's been an influx of sub-prime mortgage lenders rushing on to the settlement bandwagon trying to make a quick buck."

Today, many new debt settlement companies are appearing. These companies, many of dubious character and expertise, are creating problems that are leading to a patchwork of state legislation that will close or highly regulate debt settlement companies to protect consumers.

New Era Debt Solutions, a debt settlement company, wants federal regulators to proactively come out with legislation to regulate the debt settlement industry, protecting the consumer and forcing opportunist debt settlement companies off the map.

The debt settlement industry desperately needs one set of federal legislation that provides a clear framework of protective rules allowing consumers access to the valuable tool of debt settlement.

"We don't want to stand by and watch consumers be robbed of access to debt settlement, leaving them with only bankruptcy as a real and final option to their debt problems," said Dan Smith, President and CEO of New Era Debt Solutions. "People want to pay what they are able to afford and avoid bankruptcy. Debt settlement allows them to do that.

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