Do it yourself debt settlement can save you a great deal of money in debt settlement fees. So at least looking into doing it yourself is worth your time and if you have less than $ 10,000 in unsecured debt, negotiating on your own may be your only option. It is not as difficult as you might think, but it will take a little bit of planning.
The best way to start is to make a list of all the accounts that you want to settle. List how much you owe and how much you have in total funds to use for settling your accounts. This is something I did before I bought my house. I had $ 1,900 (mostly medical bills) and was able to settle them for $ 1,100. The unfortunate thing about outstanding debt is sometimes can lead to property liens and as a result most mortgage companies will not grant you a mortgage without all debts being current or resolved.
I talked to all my creditors personally when I negotiated my settlements. You can do the same or you also have the option to make a debt settlement offer using a debt settlement letter. I recommend having the money available at the time that you negotiate the settlement. Lenders are more willing to work with, if they know they will be seeing the payment soon. I sent all payments as money orders within 24 hours of agreeing on a settlement amount. An electronic payment would be even better. Many lenders do not want to deal with checks for obvious reasons.
If you do not like the number that the lender has come up with, subtract 10% or 20% from it and make a counter offer. Remember, they are going to be a lot more inclined to give you what you want if you are able to make the payment at the time of negotiation.
I would recommend starting with the account that you owe the least on. At the time I did mine, I had several that were very small and did those all in the same day. This method is the same method that financial experts recommend when you are repaying current credit card debt-smallest account to the largest account.
If you have a lot of debt, this process may take a while. Be patient, save your money and remember, you did not get in debt overnight and you will not have it resolved in day. But as long as you have a plan and you stick to it, you will eventually be debt free.