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Understanding negotiations with a creditor

from: Mortgage & Debt Facts

When we think of the term creditor, most of us shrink at the thought of owing someone money. Used in the financial world, the term "credit" originated with a chance percentage of whether or not someone would pay back their loans or not. In the early days, a person's dependability or personal reputation had a lot to do with their ability to pay their bills on time or repay their loans. If these were not paid, the "shooster" was considered undependable and shiftless, and then ran out of town on a rail.

A creditor is typically a company or individual who a person owes money to, specifically from a past bill that has never been paid, with the creditor desiring a successful settlement negotiation in order to have the account permanently closed. Today, almost everyone owes money to someone, with the recent housing mortgage problem a prime example of it. In this case, the creditor would be the bank who actually owns the homes now being repossessed, while the debtor would be the one not able to pay for their home.

Basically, the creditor wishes to have the bill paid off or removed from their records, through any means possible. A lot depends on the way it is handled--what kind of debt it is, how long the customer has owed the bill, the financial situation of the debtor, and the type of creditor involved. Of course, the willingness of the customer to pay it off plays into this somewhere and somehow. But in the case of the mortgaged homes, the bank ends up taking the house back from the creditor, in order to recoup some of the money owed to them due because of a major inability to make monthly payments. The homeowner walks away either by choice or through forced evictions by the bank.

Making a payment plan with the creditor is part of getting a person's credit back on track, a preferable choice of both parties. And the payment plan usually does not go beyond a three or six-month pay off, and it almost always is less than the original bill was originally. If the creditor does not or cannot work out a payment plan with their money-owing customer, usually bankruptcy may occur or the bill will remain unresolved.

Most debtors or individuals who owe money know very little about bankruptcy, with the majority knowing little about finances. Additionally, bankruptcy has changed a lot in the past year or so, in comparison to filing in the past. But over the years, money issues have compounded to the point that most relationships are in serious trouble because of them—mainly due to lack of communication, as money represents different things to different people.

Another thing to remember is this, the creditor may have a list of outstanding bills that a person owes but some of the creditor's documentation may not be correct due to human or system error. The bureau can be notified in order to remove the errors, which is why it is important occasionally to obtain a free credit report to keep check on its status.