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Get Out of Debt for Less With Debt Settlement

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The average American household has over $15,000 of credit card debt. Many of these families are struggling to make the minimum monthly payments, and some are using plastic to cover daily living expenses such as groceries, transportation costs, and medical co-pays. Despite improving economic conditions, more and more credit card users are receiving phone calls and letters from creditors that their payments are past due.

If you have too much debt and stress, now is the time to stop this destructive cycle and get the help you need from a debt reduction program. This article teaches you the principles of debt settlement, one of the most popular forms of debt relief.

What is debt settlement?

Debt settlement–also known as debt arbitration, debt negotiation, or credit settlement–is a debt relief approach where negotiators communicate with creditors on your behalf to settle your debts to reduced and agreed-to amounts. Only unsecured debt-credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans-can be negotiated. You cannot settle mortgages, rent, utility bills, cell phone and cable charges, insurance premiums, car loans, student loans, alimony, child support, taxes, or criminal fines.

Once you enroll in a debt settlement program, your negotiation team opens a trust account for you. You must deposit up to 50% of your unsecured debt into the account over a period of 24-60 months. This money is used to settle your debts with creditors. Because the average debt settlement firm is for-profit, you must also pay the company a 15-25% service charge. This fee is based on the original amount of your unsecured debt or the amount negotiated, depending on the debt settlement company.

Most debt arbitration companies use a third-party escrow service to “warehouse” the money that they will later use to fund the settlements they negotiate for you. The most common escrow company is Global Client Solutions. Sending money to your trust account is generally done through ACH on the same day each month. If your checking account is with a bank where you also have a past-due loan or credit card balance, it is suggested that you use a different bank for your debt settlement program.

Here are three things that a debt arbitration company must tell you before you enroll in their program:

1. You must be given an “upfront estimate” in writing of all costs associated with settling your debts to reduced and agreed-to amounts.

2. You must be given an “estimated timeframe” to reduce your debt.

3. You must be told that debt settlement can adversely affect your credit score.

Here are some examples of what a debt settlement company cannot tell you:

“We can eliminate 50-70% of your debt.”

“We can settle your debt to pennies on the dollar.”

“We can cut your debt in half.”

“Debt settlement will not affect your credit score.”

“Calls and letters from creditors will stop once you enroll in a debt settlement program.”

“Debt settlement does not affect your taxable income.”

“Once you join a debt settlement program, you will no longer have to communicate with your creditors.”

If you are considering debt settlement, here is what you need to know first:

1. Debt settlement will not solve your careless spending and savings habits. The only way that you will ever achieve lasting financial freedom is to apply the dynamic laws of financial recovery to your everyday life. These smart-money principles will help you to establish spending and savings habits that are built on solid bedrock. They are discussed in a separate article entitled “The Dynamic Laws of a Successful Financial Makeover.”

2. Debt settlement should not be confused with bill consolidation, another form of debt reduction. Bill consolidation-also known as interest-rate arbitration-takes your high-interest credit cards and loans and consolidates them into one, low-interest loan that you can afford. In other words, you’re taking out one loan to pay off many others. Bill consolidation does not reduce the outstanding balances that you owe to creditors. It only lowers your interest rates.

3. One of the primary reasons that people choose debt arbitration is to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection. Here are five reasons why the consequences of bankruptcy can be overwhelming:

Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years and adversely affects your credit score.

Bankruptcy will follow you for the rest of your life. For example, many loan, credit card, and job applications ask if you have ever filed for bankruptcy protection.

Bankruptcy cannot eliminate alimony and child support obligations as well as criminal fines.

Except in very limited circumstances, bankruptcy cannot wipe out student loans.

Bankruptcy cannot prevent a “secured creditor” from repossessing property. According to Nolo.com: “A bankruptcy discharge eliminates debts, but it does not eliminate liens. So, if you have a secured debt (a debt where the creditor has a lien on your property and can repossess it if you don’t pay the debt), bankruptcy can eliminate the debt, but it does not prevent the creditor from repossessing the property.”

4. If your unsecured debt is $10,000 or more, debt arbitration could save you more time and money than bill consolidation. Here is why: With debt settlement, your unsecured debt is reduced by up to 50% and you will not have to pay added interest on the remaining balance. This is not the case with bill consolidation, where is there is only a reduction in interest rates. As a result, a debt settlement program can have a shorter repayment term than a bill consolidation one.

5. There is no public record that you have ever settled your debts.

6. With debt arbitration, reduced balances appear as “paid in full” or “paid as settled” on your credit report.

7. Debt settlement adversely affects your credit score.

8. Never let a debt settlement company pressure into joining their program.

9. Don’t hire a company that has no interest in your specific financial needs.

10. Before you enroll in a debt negotiation program, review your budget carefully and make sure that you can afford the monthly payments. Don’t be surprised if you have to eliminate certain nonessential expenses.

11. During the debt settlement process, calls and letters from creditors might continue. Enrolling in a debt settlement program does not automatically stop “lawful collection activities.”

12. Debt arbitration can be a gamble because some creditors might refuse to negotiate. In such cases, you are responsible for paying the outstanding balance on the creditor’s terms.

13. As we mentioned above, only unsecured debts such as credit cards and personal loans can be negotiated to reduced amounts. You cannot settle mortgages, rent, utilities, cell phone and cable bills, insurance premiums, car and student loans, alimony, child support, taxes, or criminal fines.

14. You might suffer tax consequences. For example, if you owe $25,000 and settle for $15,000, the $10,000 difference is considered taxable income. The creditor must send you a 1099-MISC reporting a “discharge of indebtedness income.”

15. A debt settlement company cannot represent you in court unless it is also a law firm.

16. Debt arbitration cannot prevent the foreclosure of your house or the repossession of your car.

17. Despite warnings from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some debt settlement companies still engage in unfair business practices. The Federal Trade Commission advises: “Before you enroll in a debt settlement program, do your homework. You’re making a big decision that involves spending a lot of your money that could go toward paying down your debt. Enter the name of the company name with the word ‘complaints’ into a search engine. Read what others have said about the companies you’re considering, including whether they are involved in a lawsuit with any state or federal regulators for engaging in deceptive or unfair practices.”

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a debt settlement company:

1. How long has the company been in business? How much consumer and business debt does the company manage each year? How many individuals, families, and businesses does the company counsel each year?

2. Are you assigned to an experienced financial counselor to ensure that your debt settlement program flows smoothly from start to finish?

3. Is the debt arbitration company a member of the Online Business Bureau as well as their local BBB? What are their ratings with both bureaus? What kinds of complaints have been made about their services?

4. Is the company an active member of TASC, (The Association of Settlement Companies). TASC requires that all of its members maintain a stringent set of standards in doing business with consumers and businesses.

5. Is the debt arbitration company a member of Dun & Bradstreet, the world’s source authority for business insight?

This article has taught you the principles of debt settlement, one of the most popular forms of debt relief. Although a debt arbitration program can help you to reduce your debt, it does not teach you how to live fiscally fit. The only way that you will ever achieve lasting financial freedom is to apply the dynamic laws of financial recovery to your everyday life. These smart-money principles will help you to establish spending and savings habits that are built on solid bedrock. They are discussed in a separate article entitled “The Dynamic Laws of a Successful Financial Makeover.”

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Bitcoin Exchange Balances Decline To Three-Year Low Amid Rising Prices

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Picture of bitcoins pouring out of a vault

Bitcoin exchange balances have been on the decline since the bull rally began. The volumes were expected to go up once the digital asset had hit a new all-time high in October. However, this was not the case. Previous trends have often pointed to exchange balances seeing an increase in bull markets when investors moved their holdings to exchanges in order to take profits. This bull market has defied all expectations for it and continues to do so.

Outflows from exchanges outpace inflows as investors withdraw BTC from exchanges en masse. Exchange balance volumes relative to the circulating supply of bitcoin have declined towards three-year lows. BTC exchange balances now sit at levels not seen since January 2018. This has led to a supply squeeze on exchanges, causing sell pressures to drop tremendously.

Related Reading | American Singer Mariah Carey Offers Free $20 In Bitcoin To Promote Adoption

Big Exchanges See Declining Balances

Big exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Huobi have seen large volumes of bitcoin withdrawn from their exchanges. Binance recorded the highest outflows for the last week with 21,000 BTC withdrawn from the crypto exchange. This is one of the sharpest declines recorded in the market.

BTC exchange balances continue to decline | Source: Arcane Research

Huobi also saw thousands of BTC leave the exchange in the past week. The past seven days save 8,000 BTC withdrawn from the cryptocurrency exchange. The outflows from the exchange culminated in a 9% drop in the volume of bitcoin held on Huobi.

These outflows are no longer surprising given that the market has continuously followed this trend for the past few months. Growing scarcity has led to mounting buy pressures as investors scramble to get their hands on as much of the digital asset as they can.

Exchanges Hold 12.94% Of Bitcoin Supply

The share of the total circulating supply held by exchanges has plummeted in October. Currently, exchanges hold 2.44 million BTC on their balances. This translates to 12.94% of the total circulating supply, a new three-year low. A total of 27,500 BTC left exchanges in the past week alone.

Related Reading | Brace For Impact: Wall Street Is Headed Straight For Bitcoin, Says Analyst

Chart trends show that the volume held by these exchanges has consistently declined as the price of bitcoin has grown. Exchange balances had peaked for the year in June after the market had experienced a crash that put an end to the bull rally in April. Sell pressures eased in the months following June, leaving room for further accumulation by investors. Investors are choosing to leave their assets in cold storage rather than moving to exchanges to take gains from the market.

Bitcoin price chart from TradingView.com

BTC trading in the mid-$58K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Glassnode’s data shows that Coinbase holds 29% of global exchange reserves. Despite the sharp decline in its balances, Binance still holds 21% of global bitcoin exchange reserves. Gemini holds the third-largest volume with 12% of global reserves. The report however did not include balances from the crypto exchange, FTX.

Featured image from Bitcoin News, charts from Arcane Research and TradingView.com
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Bitcoin

XRP Builds Momentum With 7% Increase As Ripple Expands

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Ripple XRP XRPUSDT

XRP has been soaring in the monthly chart with a 7.2% profit as Ripple continues to expand its corridors worldwide. As of press time, the seventh crypto by market cap trades at $1,01 and records a 10.3% correction in the daily chart.

XRP correcting in the daily chart. Source: XRPUSDT Tradingview

XRP seems to be reacting to the general trend in the market as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies in the top 10 by market cap trend to the downside. As NewsBTC has reported, the derivatives sector has been heating up due to the recent rise in the aforementioned coins.

Related Reading | SEC Takes Blow In Action Against Ripple, Will It Impact XRP Price?

Historically, this has taken a toll on the bullish momentum built by the bulls. In the case of XRP, it’s a positive sign that it has been able to sustain gains in higher timeframes.

The sentiment around XRP has flipped bullish since Ripple has been able to sustain and push back against the U.S. SEC in their case for the alleged sales of a security.

In addition, the payment corridors, one of the most important use cases for the XRPL Ledger and its native token, are recovering. These entities use Ripple’s payment solution On-Demand Liquidity (ODL), based on XRP, and were negatively impacted after the SEC filed for their legal action.

The Liquidity Index Bot, an ODL payment corridors monitor, records an increase in the daily volume for these entities. As seen below, the XRP/AUD payment corridors show some recovery after it went negative in May 2021.

Ripple XRP XRPUSDT
Source: Liquidity Index Bot via Twitter

Other payment corridors record a similar or a more significant increase. Since they are based on ODL, the volume registered by these entities is indicative of the levels of adoption for XRP and suggests the token is experiencing a re-surge in demand.

Related Reading | Ripple Surges 15% Following News That It Wants To Go Public

XRP Debuts In MENA Region, Ripple Enable More Adoption

In the coming months, the demand for the token could continue to surge as the payment solution company recently announced a partnership with Pyypl. The partners will launch a new payment corridor in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Data shared by the payment company reveals that the MENA region saw $78 billion in remittances in 2020 alone. Thus, why the partnership could onboard millions to the XRPL Ledger and ODL as countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia “shift to digital” payment methods.

Related Reading | Ripple Announces New Payment Corridor in Japan As XRP Rallies 23.5%, More Profits Ahead? 

The collaboration will start in the UAE to bring low-cost and instant remittances for people living in and outside the MENA region. Ripple claimed the following about the potential for the partnership:

This announcement builds on Ripple’s already growing presence in the region (…). All of this is driving a record year for Ripple in MENA, with RippleNet already logging four times the transaction volume year-to-date versus all of 2020.

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Polygon (Matic) Prices All set to Create New ATH, Prices Around $2 Level

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Polygon (Matic) Prices All set to Create New ATH, Prices Around $2 Level
  • Traders may attempt to exit long positions when Polygon is near $2.
  • A big closing over $1.87 would entice investors, alleviating selling pressure.

Polygon’s native token, MATIC, looks to be catching up with the market. By all indicators, prices may be on their way to a new all-time high. Likewise, the Polygon has broken past major resistance and is poised to hit new highs.

MATIC Price has risen over 22% in the previous four days, signaling positive momentum. Prices have climbed lately from $1.52 on October 23 to $1.86. The cryptocurrency is now trading at $1.8370, up 10.33% in the past 24 hours. $MATIC has a year-to-date ROI of +10337 percent.

For confirmation, measure the distance between the initial swing peak and the low swing peak, then multiply by $1.73 (breakout point) to arrive at a $4.32 target.

Before retesting the ATH at $2.70, Polygon will have to overcome two significant roadblocks at $2.04 and $2.22. If MATIC overcomes these challenges, it will reach $4.32. Traders may attempt to exit long positions when Polygon is near $2. Unfortunately, that might halt the upswing and prevent MATIC from breaking past that barrier and realizing its upside potential.

MATIC/USDT: Source: TradingView

The IOMAP graphic above shows the Bulls winning. At $2, just 1,280 addresses have acquired over 35.5 million MATIC. Polygon’s primary support level is $1.75.

With daily addresses increasing over the previous three months, the main spike is on its way. In addition, it seems that more cash and investors are entering the market, as the 7-day MA for active wallets has increased. To date, approximately 92 percent of all $MATIC addresses are profitable, according to ITB statistics.

The GIOM model predicts that Polygon has a single resistance at $1.87. Approximately 17.54 thousand crypto addresses bought 135 million tokens. A big closing over $1.87 would so entice investors, alleviating selling pressure. On the other hand, MATIC may so easily expand its surges. The alt will then skyrocket to $2.7 or more.

MATIC has risen by over 30% so far in October, and now, according to a Reddit debate, MATIC has handled 1 Billion transactions on the Polygon PoS chain.

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