Ask the Expert

Ask the Industry Leading Trainer and Consultant, Renauld Smith questions about Money, Debt, Credit and more.

Have a Question?

You can ask Renauld for free advice and guidance on just about anything relating to the Debt Relief Industry:

  • Ask an Industry Veteran of over 20 years questions about Money, Debt and Credit.
  • Report a scam or bad experience you had with a Debt Relief Company.
  • Report a positive experience you had with a Debt Relief Company.
  • Know who you’re doing business with, before you hire them.
  • Having trouble with your Debt Relief company-IAPDA Offers Free Dispute Resolution Services.
  • Are Debt Collectors Harassing you-Free Attorney Consultation.

Renauld Smith

Industry Veteran & Executive Director of IAPDA

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FAQ's For The Consumers Please Contact us directly if your question is not answered here.

Why Should I Trust IAPDA?

IAPDA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate both the consumer and the debt settlement industry on their options for debt relief. Accreditation and certification ensure that consumers are speaking with educated and trained advisors. Consumers can search the IAPDA accredited service center for confirmation the debt relief company they are considering meets the industry minimum standards.

What Does Company Accreditation Mean?

The definition of accreditation means official recognition, or something that meets official standards. IAPDA has accreditation authority by the states that require debt relief companies hold accreditation and certify their employees.

What Type of Training Do the Certifications Provide?

Iapda provides the following education and certification to all consumer facing employees”

  • Enrollments
  • Customer service
  • Consumer facing negotiators
  • Mangers
  • Third party vendors

Training includes in-depth knowledge of the available options for debt relief, how debt relief affects a consumer’s credit, understanding creditor lawsuits, consumer laws, and how they apply to debt settlement, how creditor and collections works, moral and ethical topics, understanding and compassion for consumers, diversion, and inclusion and much more.

Can You Help Resolve a Problem with My Debt Relief Company?

Absolutely! Click on the review tab at the top right-hand corner of the home page and reach out to us with your experience. Our conflict resolution department will reach out to your debt relief company on your behalf and try to resolve your concerns. You can also write a review about your experience to help others avoid the same problems.

Is Debt Settlement Better Than Filing Bankruptcy?

Each situation is unique. Chapter 7 and 13 can help stop a foreclosure or repossession. Chapter 7 is a full liquidation of debt but hard to qualify for, each state has a set income cap that limits this ability. Debt settlement can be a better option than filing bankruptcy in certain situations. Debt settlement involves negotiating with creditors to reduce the amount of debt you owe. Debt settlement can help you avoid filing for bankruptcy and the long-term effects that accompany it. It can also help you avoid paying the full amount of debt that you owe. However, debt settlement does involve paying a settlement amount and can have a temporary negative impact on your credit score.

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Your eligibility is based off information from. On these forms you’ll report your income, debts, and expenses in detail.

Be careful trying to go it alone. A study of nearly 650,000 chapter 7 cases filed from 2007 to 2016 concluded that more people tried filing without an attorney (7% up to 11%), but the results weren’t pretty.

Debtors without a lawyer were “nearly 10 times as likely to have their cases dismissed or their discharges denied than debtors with attorneys,” concluded Ed Flynn, an editor at the American bankruptcy institute.

Will I Get Sued While in a Debt Relief Program?

Defaulting on your debt is what puts you at risk for being sued, not being enrolled in a debt settlement program. A reputable debt relief company will help through either a legal insurance plan or a law firm. Stay away from companies who do not offer support in the event of a lawsuit.

Will My Credit Be Affected While in a Debt Settlement Program?

Yes, but not because you are enrolled in a Debt Settlement Program. Your credit is affected regardless the moment you are late with payment and worsen once accounts are charged off and in collections. Once an account is settled and updated to your credit reports, your credit will begin to increase.

How Long Will Filing Bankruptcy Affect My Ability to Get a Loan?

Consumers filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will begin receiving loan offers in the mail within the first few months. Consumers in a Debt Settlement Program will start to see an improvement in their credit worthiness after their accounts have been settled and their Credit Reports updated. For consumers filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy it will take a few years to become credit worthy.

How Is Debt Validation Different from Debt Settlement?

IAPDA believes that Validation is a necessary tool in the process of Debt Settlement but believes that Validation is not a one-size fits all method. Not every account will be invalidated, and Validation efforts are known to increase litigation brought on by the Creditor. The most important thing a consumer should be aware of are Validation companies who charge an advance fee. No compliant Debt Validation or Debt Settlement Company should ever collect any fees from a consumer until they have successfully performed the services they were hired to perform.

Don't wait! Get the professional help you deserve!

Finding the right option is the first step towards a solution. Let connect you with a specialist for a free evaluation to review your specific financial situation.

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How much credit card debt do you have?

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How much student loan debt do you have?

What type of student loans do you have?

What is the status of your loans?

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Are you employed?

$10K in back taxes?

Are you currently enrolled in a payment program with the IRS?

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What problems are you having with your credit report?

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Are you married?

Any children or dependents?

Gross income on tax return (all income):

Do you own home?

What's the loan amount?

Are you filing to prevent foreclosure?

Any lawsuits? Are your wages being garnished?

Do you own a car?

Is there a loan?

Have you filed for bankruptcy in the last 8 years?

Roughly how much is your debt?

Have you sold or transferred property over $600 in the last year?

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Are Collectors calling many times a day?

Are Collectors calling you before 8am or after 9pm?

Are Collectors trying to collect on a debt that you previously settled?

Are Collectors being abusive or threatening?

Please verify you have a current copy of your credit report.

* When inquiring about Consumer Protection a copy of your credit report is necessary

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