If you are in financial crisis, debt settlement, where creditors agree to settle your debts for less than you owe, may seem like the only solution. But debt settlement carries risks, which include a hit to your credit score and no guarantee that your debts will be resolved. It is possible that debt settlement could make your financial problems worse.
If debt settlement is not in your best interest, filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a faster way to deal with your debt. For a debt management plan to work, you need to have steady income, which is not a requirement for filing bankruptcy.
Another option could be a debt management plan that comes from a non-profit credit counselor.