Whether you decide to enroll in a professional debt settlement program or negotiate settlements with your creditors on your own, the process is the same. The settlement company will require you to sign a limited power of attorney, so it can negotiate on your behalf. You’ll then need to set aside money to build up a settlement fund. Once you’ve saved enough to make a reasonable settlement offer, you or the professional debt negotiator will negotiate with the creditor for a reduced payoff amount, typically between 25% and 50% of the outstanding balance.
Once the creditor agrees to the settlement amount, you make payment and the account is paid off. (typically listed as settled-in-full, as opposed to paid-in-full, but is determined by the creditor). You then continue putting money into the settlement fund to accrue enough money for negotiating the next settlement. Basically, the process is a cycle of saving up and setting aside money, negotiating a settlement and paying the settlement.