California Debt Settlement Attorney
Consumers are not using the law to their best advantage in the battle for financial security. While bankruptcy is a powerful weapon and should be utilized to the greatest extent possible, there are other valuable tools available to consumers facing insurmountable debt. Such tools are the Debtor Protection Plans and Debt Settlement Plans offered by Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. These plans are in addition to our bankruptcy services and are only available to California clients.
Featured Case Results
- $16743 account claim by Credigy Receivables, INC/Stoneleigh Recovery Associates, LLC terminated for $0.00
- $11,705.00 Everest Business Funding account settled for $2,500.00
- $7,752.49 U.S. Bank account settled for $0.00
DISCLAIMER: Every case is different. Results depend on the unique law and facts of each case. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC makes no guarantees or warranties about the outcome of any particular matter or case.The Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC website, or the information contained within the website, should be construed as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.
The Debtor Protection Plans and Debt Settlement Plans that Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC has to offer, are like no other. No other plan offers the protection of experienced, knowledgeable, and determined consumer protection lawyers. No other plan allows you to keep your own money in your own pocket. No other plan allows you to make changes as needed. No other plan places a “wall” between you and your creditors so they cannot contact you, PERIOD. No other plan compels collectors to prove up what they claim. These plans are some of the reasons Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC is California’s premier debtor protection law firm.
PLAN GOAL: PAY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE TO CREDITORS
Our Debtor Protection Plans and Debt Settlement Plans encompass all types of debt. They are “get out of debt” plans with the central goal of keeping as much money in YOUR pocket for as long as possible. They are plans that are more concerned about securing your future than lender profit. At their core, the plans provide you with the options that you will only pay something when: 1) the creditor proves it is owed; AND 2) you actually have something that can be attached. We will only settle with those creditors that prove what is owed. Any settlement will then depend on what you can actually afford.
FIRST: THE “WALL” IS PUT IN PLACE WATCH VIDEO
The first thing we do in every client’s get out of debt plan is to formally notify all creditors that you are represented by an attorney. This will cease all telephone calls (to work, home, cell, anywhere), mail, email, texts, from all of your creditors. This includes ALL creditors: original lenders (like Chase, Bank of America, or any other bank), collection agencies, debt buyers, medical providers and even most student loans. This “Wall” is important for several reasons:
- First, you can then focus on what you must do: increase income and/or decrease expenses in order to save. Other than reporting creditors’ attempts to contact you to us, this is your only job in the plan. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC does everything else.
- Second, At least 85%* of unsecured account collection will be “shut down” by our mere representation of you. By “shut down” we mean a majority of collectors will take no further action against you. This is because once you are represented by an attorney, the law says creditors/collectors can no longer call consumers, let alone ask for money. Other than a desire to clean one’s credit, we see no advantage in making any payments to this approx. 85% of accounts unless it is to settle for less and close the accounts once and for all.
- Third, creditors/collectors cannot help themselves and many will violate the law by calling or mailing our clients anyway. This immediately creates a claim against the creditor/collector for money. These client claims often times result in money to the client or debt relief or both.
- Lastly, on the remaining 15%* that do take legal action, Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC can defend any court action, thereby keeping the wall in place and we will STILL make the creditor prove their case. Many times they are unable to do so and the case is dismissed. In a majority of cases they would rather settle than spend the time and money necessary to go to trial.
*Our best estimate of what percentage of unsecured accounts gets sued in CA is actually between 12-15%. This is from years of defending these cases. Every circumstance is different. It is dependent on who your creditors are, the amount owed, and what assets creditors think you have. Creditors also change their internal policies from time to time, either increasing or decreasing the number of cases they file. For creditors it is a numbers game. For you, it should be about keeping as much money in your pocket as possible, for as long as possible. Don’t be the easy target.
SECOND: CREDITORS MUST FIRST PROVE WHAT IS OWED – few do WATCH VIDEO
Many collectors will not be able to prove what is owed. Most won’t even try and instead will rely on a continuing assault on your telephone or mailbox. What Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC does, is turn the tables on them. We continually make demands for verification of the debt.
HOW DOES THE PLAN WORK?
You and your attorney both have a job to do in order to successfully complete your get out of debt plan:
- Retain Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as your attorney;
- Report any creditor communications;
- Focus on saving money (increasing income and/or reducing expenses)
- The first thing Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC does is send a formal letter of representation to your creditor(s), announcing that we are your attorney and demanding that they no longer contact you. From this point forward the creditor can only speak with Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC about your account.
- Next, Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC demands proof of the debt. Most creditors will not respond to these verification/validation requests. Those that will do, will probably provide an inadequate response. This failure alone should cease collection efforts.
- Next, Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC demands the creditors cease all collection activity for failure to properly authenticate the debt.
- Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC conveys all settlement offers to you, securing an enforceable written agreement should you decide to settle. WATCH VIDEO
- Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC will consult with you as often as needed to review your circumstances and answer any questions.
- If sued, Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC can aggressively contest the case, advising you of likely outcomes and recommend a course of action on how best to proceed. WATCH VIDEO
- If the creditor violates the law, Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC will aggressively pursue all claims to your advantage. WATCH VIDEO
Regular Updates: During each step of the plan, Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC consults with you about which creditors, if any, have stepped up with proof; about which creditors are likely to pursue the debt and which will go away; about which accounts have been sold and to whom; about which accounts will likely violate the law. Our experience gives us a very good idea on what the client can expect and from whom. This extends to collection attorneys. Some file lawsuits, but not all are very good at winning them. Collection attorneys, creditors, collectors, all like the easy targets. Don’t be the easy target. As a Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC client, most creditors will want to stay away from you.
Plan Flexibility: Each plan is unique to you and flexible. Every client’s income, assets, creditors, amount of debt, and type of debt is different. There is no one size fits all. Future flexibility is also required as every client’s circumstances change. A good news example is that a client finds a good job after starting the plan. This income must be protected to the greatest extent possible and will affect how they should proceed. A bad news example is the client who loses their job and now bankruptcy should be explored again. One trick ponies like debt settlement companies or bankruptcy only attorneys can’t make these adjustments. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC is constantly reviewing your situation to do what is best to reach your goal to: keep as much money in your pocket as possible, for as long as possible!
How Does the Money Work?
We do not use “escrow” accounts and we think consumers should stay away from them. First, we believe the common sense wisdom that one should always hold their own money. Once money leaves your hands, chances are you will never see it again. Just look at all the people who made deposits to debt settlement companies’ “escrow” accounts that are no longer in business. Gone, never to be seen again. If your debt settlement company is still in business today, there is no guarantee they will be around tomorrow. Second, it always costs money for someone else to hold your money. Not only in terms of lost interest (even law firms must forward any interest to the state bar), but these companies either openly tell you of the fee or build it in to your service fees. The real truth as to why debt settlement companies and service providers want to hold consumers’ money is to ensure the payment of their fees. Third, the whole premise is based upon the fallacy that you can’t save it yourself. It’s understood that with some folks money burns a hole in their pocket. What do these people do? They give it to someone they can trust to hold it. If you can’t deposit money into your own account, keep it in your pocket, bury it in the back yard, have a trusted family member or friend hold it, but don’t give it to someone you never met or worse, a company not even in your state.
What Are The Fees?
Debtor Protection Plan and Debt Settlement Plan fees are very affordable and will depend on the type of debt involved, how many debts you have, and the status of the debt (pre-litigation, lawsuit, and judgment). You can also choose if you want a performance-based fee, fixed flat fee, or hourly rate. We give you the option, so you determine what is best for you. Harassment cases are done on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win.