Counts Law Firm, PC effectively negotiates and settles credit cards, automobile loans, real estate loans, student loans, collection accounts, and creditor lawsuits. Our settlements reduce your monthly expenses, reduce collections calls and stress, dismiss lawsuits, avoid bankruptcy, and allow you to regain financial control. Retaining our firm allows you to have more leverage than hiring a non-attorney debt consolidation company when negotiating with your creditors and allows you to implement federal consumer law that requires debt collectors to stop contacting you – instead they must contact your attorney.
Lump-Sum Settlements allow you to pay-off your debt in a single payment with a discount up to 50% to 70% off. For example, if you owe $100,000 in credit card debt, and we settle for $30,000, our negotiation would save you $70,000.
Payment Plans, on the other hand, allow you to payoff your debt (at a low fixed interest rate) over an extended 12-96 month payment period. For example, if you owe $25,000 on a 60-month loan/credit line, our payment plan settlement could reduce a $1,000 monthly payment (at 30% interest plus late fees and arrears), down to a more affordable $300 per month monthly payment (at 4% interest).
A licensed attorney, Emahn Counts, who has over ten (10) years experience in consumer finance, economics, collections litigation, and debt settlement, manages Counts Law Firm, PC. Mr. Counts has represented and/or been employed by American Express, Discover Card, Bank of America, Porsche Financial, Honda Finance, Toyota, Acura, Sallie Mae. Additionally, Mr. Counts was the attorney-in-charge of California collections and litigation for one of the largest nationwide collections agencies and law firms in the country. He knows first-hand, probably as well as any expert in America, how to navigate consumer finance transactions, and directly negotiate with the attorneys and managers of the largest banks and collections agencies in the country to settle debts at the most discounted terms.
STEP 1: INITIAL CONSULTATION
We start with an Initial Consultation (either in-office or by-telephone) to obtain an overview of your debts, expenses, income, assets, problems, and goals.
STEP 2: FINANCIAL INTAKE FORM
We provide you with a simple Intake Form to determine your current monthly debts, fixed expenses, variable expenses, income, and assets.
STEP 3: FINANCIAL ANALYSIS & ACTION PLAN
Your financial plan is a collaborative document tailored to your goals with step-by-step Monthly Expense Goals to cut unnecessary costs and find less expensive alternatives. Certain assets may need to be sold or loans may need to be obtained to pay off debts. The money saved from the reduced monthly expenses and settlements will pay-off your debts and allow you to build your savings account.
STEP 4: SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS & AGREEMENTS
Once you provide us with Power of Attorney, we contact your creditors with a Settlement Demand Letter explaining your economic hardship, total debt obligations, and likelihood to seek bankruptcy if your settlement were not to be accepted to contact your creditors. We then follow-up with your creditors to negotiate the terms, then we prepare a Written Settlement Agreement to resolve your debts.
STEP 5: IMPLEMENTATION OF GOALS
Your Financial Plan only works if you implement the recommendations. Your financial plan is the foundation of an ongoing, collaborative relationship. We stay closely involved with your financial progress and periodically meet with you to review increases in income and new developments in your life.
Now more than ever, we need practical financial advice and professional advocacy. Counts Law Firm, PC has access to a comprehensive wealth of financial information and financial tools that customize solutions to develop your plan and move it into action. Practical financial advice and advocacy helps you make the most of what you have to create a comfortable future for you and your family. We are available to be your first point of contact for you to make intelligent financial choices that can impact your financial future. Contact a professional at Counts Law Firm, PC to create a financial plan and debt settlement strategy to make a huge difference to your financial future and give you peace of mind. Good professional advice is money well spent.
After your initial consultation and execution of a Retainer Agreement, Counts Law Firm, PC will provide you with the Financial Intake Form. The financial intake form allows you to understand where the money goes so we can free up cash for savings, long-term expenses, starting a business, or other life goals. Completing the intake form will require some work, but the benefits more than offset the time invested. How you create your intake form is up to you. You may use your last three (3) months bank account statements, credit card statements, cash receipts, financial planning software (Quicken/QuickBooks), or you may choose just the paper and pencil route. Once we receive your completed Intake Form, Counts Law Firm, PC will contact you to clarify any information listed (or not listed) on your Intake Form.
You provide Counts Law Firm, PC with your completed Intake Form along with a copy of your most recent credit card or debt statements, and your three (3) free credit bureau reports from www.annualcreditreport.com.
It may be a good idea for any employee who receives an annual tax refund to download a new IRS Form W-4, fill it out, and turn it in to your human resources office. Anything that lowers your tax bill — exemptions, tax credits, deductions, and losses — can be considered in your allowance calculation. You can change the number of allowances at any time. The more allowances you claim, the less is withheld. We can determine how much in increased monthly income you can have from updating your W-4.
Counts Law Firm, PC cannot guarantee that a particular settlement offer will be accepted by your creditors. Prior results are not a guarantee of results in any particular case. Results vary based on the creditor, creditor’s manager/attorney/agent, your assets and income, your debts and expenses, and your ability to make an agreed upon settlement payment.
Debt negotiations and settlements will likely be reported on your credit history, unless the creditor specifically agrees in writing to delete any derogatory credit entry. If you want to request that a particular debt be “deleted” from your credit bureau as a condition of a settlement offer, please advise the attorney.
If any debts listed on your credit report or attempting to be collected by a collection agency, are erroneous, we assist you by: (1) Serving a Debt Verification Demand Letter and (2) filing a Credit Report Dispute Letter with the credit bureau to delete/clear the erroneous items from your credit report and improve your credit score.
When a debt collector calls after you have retained Counts Law Firm, PC, you will redirect them to contact your attorney’s office and they must contact our office and not you, to comply with federal law. You will have the option to sue for FDCPA violations if the collection harassment persists.
Your creditor may report lump-sum debt settlements as your 1099-income, which may have tax consequences, however, see your tax professional for advice to itemize your deductions to offset such income. Your tax professional may advise you that the IRS permits consumers to write-off any income from canceled debts up to the amount by which you were “insolvent” at the time. Therefore, unless you have a positive net worth you ordinarily will not have to pay taxes on forgiven debt amounts, if you contact you tax professional and complete the correct deduction forms. You should discuss your entire financial plan, including our recommendations, with your C.P.A. or tax professional as we do not prepare or review your tax returns or provide advice related to the tax implications of your financial decisions.
If you prefer, we can give you limited scope counsel to prepare your financial plan along with the recommended settlement offer terms for you to present directly with the organizations to which you owe money. However, we don’t recommend you to try it without experience or legal counsel.
Counts Law Firm, PC does not consolidate your debts into a single payment, make payments for you, file bankruptcy for you, or the like. If you are looking for a “quick way out” or “get out of debt quick” scheme, or irresponsible “hands off” approach, this is not it.
Bankruptcy does not provide you with a financial plan to address the reasons and bad financial habits that caused you to go into debt in the first place. If you are looking to not repay any of your debts, you need to contact a bankruptcy attorney to determine if you would qualify for a discharge of all your debts and if so, how that may affect your ability to obtain credit in the future. The trend began in the 1990s, when the rate of personal bankruptcy in the country rose by nearly 70 percent, and it continues today. A few years ago, the federal bankruptcy laws tightened and consumers who previously would have qualified for a bankruptcy discharge of all their debt, now only qualify for a monthly payment plan. If you did qualify for bankruptcy, it might be a better option for you, if you are interested in determining if you qualify for bankruptcy, you should consult a bankruptcy attorney. Even if a bankruptcy attorney determines that you do qualify, bankruptcy has a long-term negative impact on your credit worthiness and can be a demoralizing process. Regardless of the cause of debt – the most common is misuse of credit – there are steps you can take to eliminate, reduce, overcome, and manage it.
Counts Law Firm, PC instead creates a plan to balance your budget and we negotiate settlements with your creditors to eliminate your debts without the need for debt consolidation or bankruptcy.
Financial success comes from knowledge about how money works and executing well-informed financial
decisions and to obtain the best value for the dollars you spend. The most important thing our
clients can do to become wealthy is to learn how to manage and maximize their money. There are
several common excuses:
No Money. If you live paycheck to paycheck then why do you need to learn how money works? If you don’t have any money left, you don’t have any money to manage. Right? Wrong! Everybody can find ways to reduce expenses and increase income — no matter how tight you think you have your budget!
No Time. There are millions of personal finance books and articles. The average person is concentrating on moving through life, balancing the demands of work and family. They don’t have the time or money to learn and build a financial plan. Right? Wrong! They can’t afford not to retain an informed financial counsel.
No Information. Many people think there are techniques or methods that financial advisors charge thousands of dollars for, techniques that aren’t available to someone making $50,000 a year. Right? Wrong! The truth is, the same financial planning tools used by the wealthy are available to you. The reason people who have personal financial counsel often become wealthy is because financial counsel know and apply the basic rules of how money works, and know the keys to gaining maximum value for minimum price.
Financial Planning is the business of changing your life. We encourage you to utilize our expertise in order to become an informed independent thinker and make choices based on sound information. We fulfill our mission — to help you become financially independent — in a variety of ways. We offer advice designed to help you increase income, reduce expenses, reduce debt, reduce taxes, protect your assets, and save for short-term and long-term expenses.
Unlike a traditional “financial advisor”, or 99% of “financial counselors” you will ever hear about, we are unique firm in that unlike them, Counts Law Firm, PC does not sell investments, stocks, mutual funds, annuities, securities, retirement accounts, tax-deferral accounts, tax returns, tax financial statements, insurance, or any related products to our clients. Counts Law Firm is not a series 65/66 Investment Advisor, CFP, CFA, CFC, CPA, SEC securities broker/dealer, real estate broker, or fee-based adviser. Counts Law Firm, PC is a law firm registered and licensed by the State Bar of California to provide legal advice, counsel, and advocacy in debt and financial matters and adhere to the Code of Professional Responsibility. We do not sell, buy, or recommend investment products of any kind to our clients.
After we have created your practical financial plan, we recommend that you contact financial professionals to purchase those types of products, if you choose to do so after successfully eliminating your debts, reducing your expenses, and creating an emergency savings fund. Unlike traditional “financial advisors”, when you come to Counts Law Firm, PC you will never have to worry about a conflict of interest or a product being pushed on you, our only focus is balancing your budget. The attorney’s service agreement is a legal retainer and not a baseless contract offered by many non-attorney services.
Our plan is grounded in the theory that savings, not stocks or securities, are the first cornerstone of wealth and comfortable living. Savings protect you in emergencies; most experts recommend maintaining enough readily accessible assets to cover at least six (6) months of expenses. Pay yourself first, a key rule of saving. By setting aside a certain amount each month for savings, you will build toward your goal without missing the money.
Yes, you can! Execution of your financial plan may require “pain” and self-constraint in downsizing certain aspects of your current lifestyle and postponing some enjoyment today for the sake of enjoying a comfortable future. It is often a good idea to include the entire family in the budgeting process since it will define the scope of their reduction in purchases and spending. We recommend you set-up all Fixed Monthly Expenses on automatic bill pay.
Your life changes and so do your finances. Remember that your financial plan is a living document. As your circumstances change, so will your goals and needs. Once you receive a financial plan from Counts Law Firm, PC, you should review your budget every six (6) months to make sure it reflects your goals and to see if you are saving as much as you possibly can. After you have a Financial Plan in place, we recommend that you contact our office at least once a year for us to evaluate your success and changes, and to revise your Financial Plan for your new goals. Regular interaction can ensure that your financial strategy is always consistent with your goals and changing lifestyle needs. Cash flow management is possible for anyone if you believe, commit, and implement whatever it takes to achieve the goal!
If you are looking to negotiate or settle a debt, do not hesitate to contact Counts Law Firm. Emahn Counts is an experienced Los Angeles debt negotiations attorney who has years of experience in handling all types of debt negotiation.