Can a Debt Settlement Letter Help You With Debt Negotiation?

Before you spend any time looking for a sample credit card debt settlement letter, know that they may not be necessary for you to get debt relief. You can achieve your goals, get your debts reduced and significantly reduce your stress and anxiety levels with debt negotiation. But you may not need outdated methods to achieve those goals.

Many people still believe that they can send a debt settlement letter to their creditors and get a timely response to their offer that agrees to all their demands. This is not the case anymore. The major credit card banks like Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and Discover card receives millions of pieces of mail every month. You cannot expect them to read your letter and provide a quick response if at all to your offer.

If you do happen to receive a response, it will probably say that they do not offer debt negotiation programs or that you have to call in to their call center to discuss your account.

A letter through the mail cannot “negotiate” for you. A negotiation is something that is dynamic and can change in a few minutes. The only way to do this is over the phone. In order for do-it-yourself debt negotiation to work, you have to get comfortable with calling up your creditors and negotiating a reduction on your balances. It works the same just as if you were buying a used car.

It is actually easier to do over the phone because you cannot see the other person and they cannot see you so that makes it easier to play hardball and negotiate for a larger reduction than if you had to see them face-to-face.

Once you fall 120 to 150 days behind on your credit card payments you may start to receive debt settlement offers from your creditors which give you a starting point on the negotiations. Since they have shown they are willing to negotiate, you can call them up and see if they will accept a smaller lump-sum payment that you actually have. You may not have the amount they are asking for in the letter.

Then once you have reached an agreement on an offer that you can afford, ask your credit card bank to fax or mail you the details of the settlement with the payment amounts and due dates. This is the only “debt settlement letter” that you must have before you make your first payment on your settlement. You can negotiate without using any other debt settlement letters.

General McChrystal and BP CEO Tony Hayward Forgot They Were Negotiating

Do you consider good negotiation skills to be important? If you don’t, you should. Do you realize that you’re always negotiating? Anytime you exchange information that gives insight into the way you think and/or the position you hold pertaining to situations, in reality you ‘are’ negotiating. General Stanley McChrystal, British Petroleum (BP) CEO Tony Hayward, and BP’s Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg all forgot this valuable insight, and they paid the price for their forgetfulness.

You might not consider yourself as negotiating during a ‘normal exchange of information’, but the exchange of such information gives insight into your character and highlights your beliefs on stances that you’ve adopted, or might adopt on certain positions.

Consider statements recently made by McChrystal, Hayward, and Svanberg. You would think people with their level of experience and position would know, you’re always negotiating. Thus, McChrystal should have known better than to trust comments he made to a reporter, in thinking those comments would not be printed or find its way to ‘other’ outlets. Hayward should have thought about the ramifications of saying, “I want my life back”, after the accident caused by BP disrupted the lives of so many people in the United States. Svanberg should have given thought to how his statement of, “the little people” would cast him and BP as elitist, detached from those of less fortunes and the doubts people would have about BP being genuinely concerned about the oil spill. Even if you harbor such thoughts, you keep such views to yourself. Through your words and actions, you’re always negotiating.

In McChrystal’s case, since the Rolling Stone article in which he made his disparaging remarks has not “hit the stands”, a lot of the backlash that he experienced came about as the result of the perception his remarks cast. Those remarks painted a perception of him being a soldier that was ‘out of touch’ with the administration to which he serves.

From a negotiation perspective, there are times when it’s appropriate to allow people to draw their own conclusions from what you’ve said, without correcting them. In so doing, you still have to manage their perception of your thoughts, actions, and words. Once those thoughts transition into a negative sphere, in which they become detrimental to your position, it behooves you to correct their perception.

Even worse, when speaking, since people can ‘hear faster’ than one speaks, people will ‘grab’ sound bites. Thus, if you say something provocative, or something that is truly out of character with what’s considered the norm, you open yourself to possible retribution.

One thing that everyone should keep in mind is the fact that the more status you possess, the more media savvy you must become. In addition, one should remember that status is perceptional and thus one should always mind one’s tongue. One errant word can destroy a career, a future, a life. Therefore, as you go throughout your daily activities, remember, you’re always negotiating… and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

· When negotiating, your spoken words express your attitudes. Watch the actions to which your words commit, in order to be framed in the most positive light.

· Like alarm clocks kill dreams, a lack of negotiation skills kill future opportunities. Be aware of the impact your words have on others. Become a better negotiator.

· If you use words appropriately during a negotiation, you won’t have to settle for what you get, you can get what you want.

Top 5 Ways to Not Present Yourself As a Serious Student

I would like to present the Top 5 Things NOT To Present Yourself As A Serious Student. And to be crystal clear, serious students are those who are interested in graduate school (and more than likely, beat the competition to get in).

1. “Is this gonna be on the test?”
*Heavy sigh* Not only am I not reviewing information just for my health, but oftentimes lessons learned in class are bigger than students realize. Assignments that build in critical thinking questions? These are great preparation for the skills needed in graduate school. Little do students realize, grad school is heavily reliant upon critical thinking skills.

2. “I missed class yesterday. Did we discuss anything important?”
Great way to notify me of your absence from class. And regardless of how it was intended, it is a little off-putting to ask your instructor if anything important was covered in class. Aren’t all classes supposed to cover important material? Otherwise, why are we here in the first place? (And yes, I have actually had a student ask me this question.)

Honorary mention goes to: “I missed class. Can you give me the notes?” It is probably a much better idea to ask one of your classmates for notes than the actual T.A. or professor. Again, off-putting. And a sign that you are not taking this class seriously.

3. “I’m only taking this class because it’s required.”
You know…. As a student, it is your absolute right to proclaim that (1) you’re not interested in my class or (2) you’re only paying attention as little as possible to pass the test. That’s fine. However, it is also my right to decline to lend support should you ever ask for a letter of recommendation.

4. “I know I missed ___ classes, but I need ___ points to make a ___.”
My response? “Wow. That’s interesting. I hope you are not implying that I’m supposed to give away freebie points to bump you up to the next grade.” I once had a student state that he realized there was a strict attendance policy, and despite the fact that he missed nine classes, he felt like he deserved an A. You have really got to be kidding. Ditto to the student who admitted that he failed to attend any of the Thursday lectures for his Tuesday/Thursday class (and wanted to know why he was failing tests).

And last, but not least:

5. Texting, Twitter-ing, or Facebook-ing your way through class.
I love social media as much as the next person. However, there is a time and a place to keep in touch with friends — and classtime is neither. Some people think that large lecture-style classes buys anonymity, and while your T.A. or Professor may not say anything to you, trust, they are definitely taking mental notes.

Now let’s talk about how serious students tend to comport themselves in the classroom. First, they’re very aware that the T.A. may be their main point of reference for judging their ability to do well in graduate school. This is especially the case if you attend a large university where the norm is the 1000 seat lecture hall. It is an absolute great idea to take your classes seriously, communicate interest in the particular subject area (or related areas, like asking the Social Psychology professor how to get involved in Cognitive Psychology), or ask your T.A. for advice on applying to grad school. Remember, your T.A. is very likely the person who will be signing off on letters of recommendation (or even if not, the professor is likely to ask his/her opinion about your ability to do well in grad school). Do your best to impress!