by Mark E. Godbey, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist
Debt management is very similar to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a debt management program, you are paying the company a monthly debt management payment for a period of usually 3 to 6 years that they will apply to a monthly payment to each credit card in the program until the debt has been paid. You are still paying interest but in most cases, the debt management program is able to negotiate with the credit card company a much better interest rate. In addition, since debt management requires a monthly payment to each creditor, the creditors do agree not to collect against you so long as you are continuing to make your payments to the plan. A debt management programs has its advantages, but it is very important to understand what it can and cannot do. It is also very important to understand that it is not guaranteed to be successful and filing bankruptcy may be a much more beneficial option.