What to look for in a Debt Restructuring (DR) firm:
- A written contract between the business owner and the DR firm that clearly outlines the fees and when they will be assessed.
- Authorization to electronically withdraw funds from the business owner’s bank account. Otherwise, the DR firm and the creditors are subjected to the day-to-day whims of the business. Also, it gives the business owner credibility by allowing this access.
- A consistently affordable budget must be established. Without the existence of a budget, the DR firm has no basis for negotiations and therefore has no idea what the business owner can afford.
- Authority to bind the business owner to a settlement. If a business owner has the option of rejecting a settlement that was negotiated by the DR firm, what’s the point of negotiating? If the business owner refuses or can’t afford the settlement, you have wasted valuable time in negotiations and concessions. The DR firm must be able to commit to a settlement without the involvement of the business owner unless the settlement requires funding that exceeds their budget.
- Proof of Hardship. As discussed earlier, a business owner that can’t or won’t prove their hardship is a Deadbeat and a reputable DR firm requires a certain amount of proof before they will represent a business owner. A reputable DR firm will require certain disclosures. Without these disclosures, you lack credibility with your creditors and you decrease your chances of obtaining an affordable settlement.
- Creditors must be given a vast array of settlement options including payment in full. A good DR firm understands that creditors have different needs and is prepared to work within those parameters. Creditors should be able to choose how much they are willing to settle for or over what time period they would like to be paid. Absent this option, the DR firm is essentially trying to shove an offer down their throat. This is also a reason many restructuring plans fail.
Financial Alternatives. A good DR firm can explain different types of financing that are appropriate for these types of debtors.
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And here is how to spot a questionable debt restructuring firm: Click here