Clients often ask me, can I negotiate with creditors? As an attorney, negotiating is on my daily to-do list. Sometimes it does not work to my advantage (ask my wife and kids). Other times it allows me to get a favorable result for my clients – be it contract or lease negotiations, or debt ranging from medical to student loan to deficiency obligations.
All this negotiating has given me some experience, and I have some tips on how you can negotiate with creditors.
- Understand what the other side wants. Find out what the endgame is for the other side, and you will be on a better path to a solution. Do they want the entire balance, a portion of the balance, or an apology?
- Make the other side act first. When they give you that initial offer, you have leverage, an understanding, and can make an educated counteroffer.
- Only bluff when necessary. This is not family game night. Be truthful, ethical, and willing to compromise.
- State the facts. Loudly. If you have the law and the facts on your side, stick with them.
- Avoid telling too much. Do not lie, but you do not need to show all of your cards. It may put the other side at an advantage against you in negotiations.
- Be willing to walk away. If the other side believes that you are willing to end the negotiations, that may lead them to extend an offer you find acceptable.
Get Help if Not Comfortable
While negotiating with creditors can put you in a better spot financially, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. In this case, an experienced debt, bankruptcy lawyer can be a great benefit to you. The lawyer will know how to negotiate and be able to see the tactics of the other side. Plus, representation will show the creditor that you mean business.
If you need help analyzing your financial situation and finding a solution, do not wait to get help. Give us a call.