When it comes to debt, there are many smart options for young professionals who want to retire before they are 37. Many companies offer debt consolidation services or negotiate on your behalf to get your creditors to settle for less than you owe. However, only a few also offer legal services to help you navigate the complex world of debt negotiation. Oak View Law Group is unique, as it is a legal firm that specializes in debt settlement cases. Can that be an effective tool in reducing your debt load? We put together a full Oak View Law Group review to help you decide.
Oak View Law Group Company Overview
Oak View Law Group is a national legal group, though they are based in California and certified by the California Bar Association. They are a legal firm, but they specialize in debt negotiation, debt consolidation, bankruptcy, and other financial issues. Before we continue with our Oak View Law Group review, here are some basic facts about the company.
- Minimum debt required: $1,000
- Average debt: not disclosed
- Fees: 15 to 25% of the enrolled debt, which includes a $50 monthly consulting fee
- Timeframe: 6 to 48 months
- How much you are likely to save: about 33% after fees
How It Works
As we found during the research leading up to this Oak View Law Group review, it functions very similarly to a traditional debt settlement company. You get in touch with them and have a free consultation with an advisor who looks over your debts and can give you a sense of how much Oak View Law Group can negotiate with your creditors to offer you leniency. Then, based on that information and how much you can pay per month, you two put together a monthly payment plan.
The money from those payments, after having a $50 monthly consulting fee taken out, goes to a special account that Oak View Law Group can draw upon to pay off your debts as it negotiates with your creditors. Depending on your debt, this part of the debt settlement process can take a year or two, though if you can commit to a larger monthly payment it could take as little as six months.
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Throughout this process, you will have regular access to financial and legal advice from Oak View Law Group. That is what the $50 per month consulting fee represents. Note that this only includes advice. While Oak View Law Group can also serve as your legal representatives should you be sued by one of your creditors, that will come with additional costs. It can still be advantageous over an outside lawyer, as they are already familiar with your case.
It is important to note that during this time, your credit will continue steadily decreasing, as you are not making payments on your debts. It is impossible to negotiate on debts that are being actively repaid; there is simply no leverage. That is an often-forgotten part of the debt settlement process, but it can be recovered from. If your only alternative is bankruptcy, going with debt settlement is much better for your credit score in the long term, especially if you stay on a good financial path.
Benefits of Using Oak View Law Group
As we were putting together our Oak View Law Group review, we were not surprised to note that a law firm is different in many ways from a regular debt settlement company. That brings its clients some unique benefits. We have already briefly touched upon the ability to call upon Oak View Law Group’s legal expertise should you find yourself involved in legal issues relating to your debt, but there are also a number of other things where Oak View Law Group is a better choice than other companies.
It has one of the lowest minimum debt requirements in the business. While most companies won’t even bother with debts lower than $10,000, Oak View Law Group has a lower limit of $1,000. It is important to note that debt settlement rarely makes sense in cases where the debt is that small, but it does show that Oak View Law Group is very flexible when it comes to customer needs.
It also charges flat fees of either 15% or 25% on the debt that you enroll with them, which also makes it a good choice for negotiating smaller debts. Other companies with variable rates can often increase them for smaller amounts or shorter terms in order to make sure they can make a decent amount of money on the transaction.
What Are the Risks?
We would be doing our readers a disservice if we did not mention some potential risks of choosing this company for your debt settlement in our Oak View Law Group review. As a law firm, it is not certified by any of the major debt servicing industry associations.
That means that instead of appealing any disputes you have with them to a national association, you have to bring up your complaint to the California Bar Association, which does not usually deal with these kinds of problems, so solving the issue could be difficult.
In more practical terms, Oak View Law Group charges a monthly consulting fee for the legal services that it can offer you, though for the majority of your time with them you will probably not require them. If you are looking to only make smaller payments against your debts, the additional $50 a month can represent a good chunk of your payment that could be going towards your debts.
Let us say that you are looking to have Oak View Law Group settle a $3,000 debt. They believe they can settle it for $1,200, and you can make payments of up to $200 per month. They subtract the $50 fee from each payment, as well as add their 25% fee to the total amount.
The fee comes out to $750, making the total $1,950. At your rate of payment, you can reach that amount in 10 months, as the $50 monthly fee also counts against the 25% success fee. After 10 months of payments, Oak View Law Group will approach your creditor and try to get them to accept the $1,200. If they succeed, you are now debt free and they take their fee of $750, leaving you with savings of 35% after fees.
Oak View Law Group has attorneys across many different states, and you can reach out to your local one. You can also give them a call directly and they can put you in touch with a local advisor, or use their website.
- Website: Oak View Law Group
- Phone: (800) 530-6854
- Oak View Law Group Login Page
- Social Media: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube
If there is one thing that our Oak View Law Group review has shown is that it is good to have a team of lawyers on your side when it comes to questions of debt. For people who have only a few debts but want them resolved quickly and without overpaying on fees or interest, Oak View Law Group offers an excellent opportunity with its local representatives and a flat, transparent fee structure. But for larger debts, a dedicated company can probably offer better savings. If you have been an Oak View Law Group customer, we would like to hear your take on it.