Debt Settlement Negotiation – Should You Negotiate Your Own Debt Settlement?

Many consumers, upon learning that debt settlement negotiation companies are usually for-profit enterprises, decide to attempt their own debt settlement, reasoning that they can save even more by direct negotiations, cutting out the middle man in the process. While on the surface the reasoning seems valid, what ultimately counts are results. The most important consideration any debtor should contemplate is quite simply the bottom line: How much debt relief will you obtain by attempting your own debt settlement negotiation as compared to hiring a professional debt reduction company to do it for you?

While many of us have indeed attempted to perform our own debt settlement negotiations, the vast majority of us have learned the hard way that when dealing with individual debtors, creditors are absolutely inspired to not give a single inch. You will find the occasional creditor will agree to a reduction in principle of 20 or 30 percent in exchange for paying off and closing the account.

Unfortunately, it is more often the case that your creditors will simply refuse to negotiate. Many will even lie and state that their particular company never, ever settle. This is categorically false; all creditors will settle. But many will only do so when dealing with a professional negotiator; these creditors actually have policies in place that instruct their collections department to refuse to negotiate with individual debtors.

The difference in results between negotiating your own settlement and using a professional debt settlement company to do it for you is primarily a matter of knowledge and experience. Debt settlement negotiation, when done by experienced outfits, will have a lawyer on staff or retainer. Their employees are skilled negotiators, and creditors won’t try to brow beat them, bluff, or lie the same way as they do to people who try to negotiate a settlement themselves, thinking they will save money in doing so.

In fact, trying to do your own debt management settlement is usually far more expensive. Instead of reducing debt by 60% net expenses, you’ll be lucky to reduce the overall amount by 20%. On a total debt of $20,000, this represents an $8000 difference, dwarfing any savings achieved by not hiring a debt settlement company. Most debt management and settlement companies will tack on their expenses to the total amount owed, so the 60% you reduce your balances be after their fee.

Another factor to take into consideration is that the percentage of consumers who attempt their own debt settlement negotiation program and fail in doing so is quite high – over 75%. And this is with a standard of success (a 20% reduction) that is much lower than that obtainable by professional debt settlement negotiators, who on average obtain a reduction of 60% or more.

For the reasons stated above, the best course of action for most people is to procure the services of a professional debt settlement negotiation company. It is far less stress and hassle, your creditors will be instructed to end the harassment immediately, and the long term results are almost universally better than attempting to do your own negotiations. People will hire doctors, mechanics, and lawyers, and the same goes true when dealing with a financial situation beyond your level of expertise – it pays to allow the professionals to do their job.

Assumptions in Negotiations

Often you will hear that you should not assume, and what it makes of “you” and “me.” However, all of us form assumptions, and in actuality they are an important part of negotiations. When entering a negotiation, we should review our own assumptions and anticipate the assumptions of the other party.

There is nothing wrong with making assumptions. The problem is when one thinks and acts as if the assumption is the absolute fact. If you know you are making an assumption, you can prepare for the unexpected and will be less likely to assert your position dogmatically. If your assumption is proved wrong, it will be less likely that you will be hurt by such an assumption when you realize from the beginning that the assumption may be proved false. Unfortunately, many of our beliefs are based on unconscious, hidden assumptions. These are not as easy to bring out in the open and we often fail to recognize their existence.

When I say, “I saw a begger walking out of the ladies’ room,” what is your first thought? Are you shocked? Why might you be shocked? Did you immediately think the begger was a man? I did not say the begger was a man, but many people have a hidden assumption upon hearing that term that it refers to a male. Hidden assumptions can lead us away from the facts and can be very difficult to recognize and correct.

During negotiations, you must remember that what you assume is only a guess or a probability. If you fail to understand the immediate situation because of a hidden assumption, you may be stuck with the assumption as a fact throughout the negotiation. This can lead to disaster. I was reading “The Complete Negotiator” by Gerard I. Nierenberg as research for this column, and he shared an example where assuming could have proved disastrous. During a conference regarding an important and complicated lease, one attorney handed the opposition the lease and stated, “Here is the standard Real Estate Board Form Lease. You undoubtedly know it by heart, practicing as long as you have.” In actuality, these “standard” forms contain a mass of conditions in fine print and it would be extremely difficult for anyone to remember the significance of each and every item in the forms. However, the remark forced the one attorney to assume a role, and instead of analyzing the lease as it applied to the present situation, he dispensed with reading the standard printed form. He assumed that examining it would show his ignorance. He acted out the role of having to know every word of the “standard” lease. The hidden assumption had been used strategically to his disadvantage.

Nierenberg lists three categories of hidden assumptions that are useful in negotiating: first, those regarding the extensional world, the physical world which exists outside the mind of a human being; second, those concerning the intensional world, the world which exists within the mind of each of us; third, the other person’s intensional world. The first category contains the largest and broadest area of hidden assumptions such as those that concern the environment, time and space in which we live. We verify, the best we can, the “facts” of the world around us. Many of the views we hold regarding the outside world are based on assumptions, and we subject them to continued verification. We just need to be careful about believing in absolutes that require no further verification when our absolute may in fact still be an assumption.

Our intensional world is a picture of the outside world, and we must realize that ideas to not have the same meaning for other people that they may have for us. It can be very beneficial to anticipate the other’s assumptions correctly during negotiations. However, it can also put us at a disadvantage to make assumptions about other people’s motivations and actions. We need to realize that our view of the world, along with our value judgments and moral concepts are personal and valid for us alone. If we fail to recognize this, and do not listen to our opposition, we may deprive ourselves of valuable information.

Assumptions are a natural part of life and the negotiation process. There are times when they can be useful in negotiation situations, and other times when they may be detrimental to your success. Hidden assumptions also play a part in various phases of negotiations. When entering a negotiation, we must remember to review our own assumptions and attempt to anticipate the assumptions of the other party. By doing this, and recognizing the role assumptions have in the process, the successful negotiator will better be able to utilize both agreed upon facts and assumptions to negotiate solutions.

Microsoft PowerPoint – The Basic Programme For Public Presentations For a Computer Skills Beginner

We have going through the series titled: The Most Common Programmes in which I have been teaching you. We have gone through Windows X.P., Microsoft Word (the basic Word Processing programme), Excel (the basic spreadsheet programme). Today, we are going through PowerPoint. (to learn Windows X.P., Word and Excel, you may consult previous editions of this column).

PowerPoint is the basic programme for public presentations or shows. Such a public presentation could be a seminar, workshop, concert, talk, lecture, etc., in which the speaker is talking to an audience. The content of the speaker (i.e. of his lecture/talk) is usually displayed by PowerPoint on a large screen with the use of a projector. By this, the audience can follow along or easily take notes as the speaker speaks.

This technology is not only restricted to lectures/seminars, it could also be used in places like the Law court for example, to show evidence or other articles of interest to the court through the programme. PowerPoint is a very interesting application, and it always makes such occasions enjoyable to the participants. It makes the attention of the audience stuck to the content of the lecture, thereby making the speakers task/communication a lot easier. It can display graphics, animations, texts, videos, audios, etc., thus making the occasion interesting for both speaker and audience. In other words, with PowerPoint, as a speaker, your task is a lot easier, and as an audience, your time in listening is a lot more enjoyable.

Who are those who use PowerPoint, or where is PowerPoint used?
Any profession or occasion that is characterized by a speaker and a live audience is a place suited for PowerPoint programme use. Examples include research presentation/seminar (pre- or post-data as done in the institutions of higher learning), motivational speakers, programme launch, display, evaluation or commissioning (especially in the government, or national or international NGOs).

For example, in the academia, students (undergraduates, postgraduates), lecturers, professors, continually carry out research. Most research involve a target problem, it (the research) is meant to provide solution for, taking data, coming with results, and from results propound solution to the said problem(s). in my school for example, we did pre-data seminar (your proposal), and post data (your result and recommendation). The research follow almost the same procedure at all levels of learning, be it undergraduate, post graduate, doctorate, professorship, or whatever.