Debt settlement – urgent question

I have tried working with my credit cards to do this. They all say no way and then get quite ugly. Citicard being the worse. I have offered only 20 percent to the lowest 4. It’s not much but its all I have. Now I thinking maybe I can get them to work some other arrangement. I’d like to offer to pay them the original amount owed (less late fees and over the limit fees, plus higher interest). Am I nuts to even try this? If I could get them to agree to that and then give me a set amount of time to do this in, I just might be able to get my head above water. Anyone able to do this? Any other suggestions?

Okay everybody…Ive been following this group for quite awhile, And now I think Im to the point Ive decided to try debt settlement with all of my credit cards, Ive talked with a Credit Counselor, (Green Path?) and was not impressed with the help they had to offer, and what they wanted to charge me. Ive paying basically minumum amounts on all of them (approx $34,000 debt to following cards: Cap1, HSBC, Chase, 5th 3rd, Bank of America) Hosehold income is approx $62,000, I have a mortgage that MAY just break even if sold (no equity) Both my husband and I have older cars that are paid for, and require misc. parts every now and then, My home is very modest, and Im raising 4 kids with my husband, we both work full time, and have “hobbies” that bring in small amounts of money, but nothing significant (not for lack of trying though!) I hate to be judged, but “yes” we were living beyond our means, not saving, and always counting on pay increases that stopped years ago. I could go into more into detail about how we ended up with so much debt, but I guess it doesnt matter much at this point.

Credit companies are already sending us notices that our available balance is being lowered, and the ones with higher interest rates wont lower them, our credit score is going down if I continue on this path, so I am thinking debt settltment may be something I should do. (know debt settlement hurts credit too)

The idea of just stopping the payments freaks me right out, I take a lot of pride in being able to pay my bills, but the gig is up. I have spoke with the companies who handle the settlments for you, but they are charging atleast 2,000.00 crazy. BUT I did gain knowlege talking with them, so I pretty sure I can handle it, I DO worry they may have some “trick” or “technique” that I may not know of, that could screw me up, I dunno.

I worry about that, but I mostly worry about worst case senerio, which I have no idea what it is????? this is unsecured debt Im trying to settle…..so they harass me by phone???? take me to court? garnish wages???? from what Im hearring, as long as I show up to court, the judge will help figure out something I can afford, once again, I dunno! I have no assets…other than a 401K, worth maybe 20,000???? (havent checked lately!) could they touch this??? Should I try to contact all my CC before I stop paying, just so I can say “see…I tried to work with you first, you didnt want to” would that even matter????? Im hoping because of the climate now, the CC will quicker want to settle than the fear of getting nothing.

One more thing….My hours at work have been cut from 40, to 30, per week and it could contiue for sometime, that is mainly why Im finally deciding to do something about the debt….I so dread it……but Im finally stuck, and must do something, it really sucks.

So if anyone has advice, support, or answeres to questions I asked….please respond!!!!