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Merchant Cash Advance Business Debt Relief

Merchant cash advances (MCAs) can provide quick access to capital for small businesses, but they also come with high costs and risks. If your business has struggled to repay an MCA, you may be facing aggressive collection tactics or threats of legal action. However, there are options to resolve MCA debt and achieve relief.

How Merchant Cash Advances Work

A merchant cash advance provides a business with a lump sum of capital in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. It is not technically a loan, so MCA companies can bypass state lending laws and charge higher fees.Here’s a quick rundown of how merchant cash advances work:

  • You receive an upfront sum of cash, usually between $5,000 – $500,000
  • The MCA company takes a fixed percentage of your daily credit card sales – typically 8-20%
  • You make payments until you pay back the advance plus fees, which often equates to an APR between 60-400%

This structure allows fast funding but can become problematic if sales drop. You still owe the fixed daily amount regardless of actual revenue.

The Risks and Realities of MCA Debt

While merchant cash advances provide easy money upfront, they come with major downsides:

  • Extremely high cost – The equivalent APR is many times higher than business loans or credit cards. You may end up paying 2-10x the amount you borrowed.
  • Aggressive collections – MCA companies can debit your account daily without warning, causing cash flow issues. If you fall behind, they may harass you with calls, lawsuits, or threats.
  • No flexibility – You owe the same fixed daily amount even if your business struggles. This can lead to a crushing debt spiral.

These issues cause many businesses to fall behind on their payments. Up to 60% of MCAs end up in default, per a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Finding MCA Debt Relief

If your business can no longer afford MCA payments, take proactive steps to resolve the situation. Ignoring debt problems will only make things worse.Here are smart options to seek MCA debt relief:

See also  Fort Worth Business Debt Settlement Lawyers

Negotiate with the MCA Company

  • Appeal to them directly to reduce payments or settle for less than you owe
  • Highlight financial hardship – they may prefer renegotiating over getting nothing
  • Get any agreements in writing – verbal promises may not protect you

Refinance with Better Terms

  • Seek a business loan or line of credit to pay off the MCA
  • This exchanges high-cost debt for something more sustainable
  • Be cautious of predatory lenders who charge similar rates

Explore Legal Strategies

  • Review the MCA contract for unlawful terms or deceptive language
  • Dispute problems through arbitration or file complaints with regulators
  • Consult an attorney about defenses against collections or lawsuits

The best path depends on your specific situation. Speaking with a business debt relief professional can help you assess all options.

What to Expect from MCA Debt Collectors

If you fall severely behind on merchant cash advance payments, you are likely to face aggressive debt collection tactics. MCA companies pursue defaulted accounts forcefully to recoup their capital.You may encounter the following pressure tactics:

  • Constant phone calls demanding payment
  • Threats to sue you personally for the debt
  • Attempts to seize funds from your bank accounts
  • Negative reports damaging your personal credit
  • Harassing contacts with your customers about unpaid debt

This onslaught of collections activity can feel overwhelming. But it helps to know your rights and protections under state and federal law.

Your Legal Protections from MCA Collectors

When confronting forceful MCA debt collectors, be aware you have certain legal rights and defenses:

  • Restrictions on call frequency – Collectors may not call repeatedly in a harassing manner.
  • Prohibitions on false statements – It is illegal for collectors to lie or misrepresent the debt status.
  • Bans on threatening litigation – Collectors cannot threaten lawsuit without actual authority and intent to sue.
  • Limits on contacting third parties – Collectors are constrained on calls to your relatives, employer, or customers.
  • Shields against retaliation – You are protected from reprisals for asserting your rights.

Document any unlawful collection activity for potential complaints or counterclaims. An attorney can advise if a collector crossed legal boundaries.

Strategies to Beat MCA Debt Lawsuits

If an MCA company does file a lawsuit over unpaid balances, do not panic or ignore the case. Work proactively with legal counsel to construct a defense strategy focused on:Procedural Challenges

  • Hold plaintiffs to strict proof standards
  • File motions contesting jurisdiction
  • Seek case dismissal on a technicality
See also  NYC MCA Lawyers - NYC Business Debt Settlement Lawyers

Substantive Defenses

  • Challenge breach of contract claims
  • Argue fraud or misrepresentation
  • Invoke usury ceilings on interest rates

Affirmative Counterclaims

  • Sue for abuse of process
  • Allege deceptive business practices
  • Seek damages for collection law violations

A skilled business litigation attorney can help determine if any of these tactics apply and defend you in court.

Negotiating MCA Debt Settlements

If going to court over an MCA debt would prove costly and risky for all sides, a settlement agreement may serve as the most pragmatic solution.In a settlement, you and the MCA company reach a negotiated compromise to resolve the debt for less than the full balance. This provides relief to your business and returns some money to the creditor.Here are key tips for structuring a favorable MCA debt settlement:

  • Open with your best offer – Anchor expectations low, so future counteroffers seem more reasonable.
  • Gather data to support financial hardship – Detailed proof makes low settlement amounts believable.
  • Link settlement terms to other concessions – Seek not just a haircut on the balances but a full release of liability.
  • Get all deal points in writing – Verbal promises often vanish. Signed contracts protect you.

With the right approach, you can persuade even the most stubborn MCA creditor to settle. This beats long legal fights or accruing massive nonpayment penalties.

Qualifying for Tax Relief on Canceled MCA Debt

If you successfully negotiate an MCA debt reduction or settlement, the canceled portion may qualify as taxable income. However, under the tax code’s insolvency exclusion, you can potentially avoid any tax liability.Here is an overview of qualifying for tax relief on discharged MCA debt:

  • Establish your insolvency – Document that your business liabilities exceed the fair market value of total assets.
  • Submit IRS Form 982 – File this after debt cancellation to list the excluded income amount under the insolvency provision.
  • Get a certified accountant’s opinion – Seek a supporting statement validating if your business meets IRS definitions of insolvency.
See also  Colorado Merchant Cash Advance Debt Relief Lawyers

With the right evidence, you can avoid any cancellation of debt income hitting your tax bill. The complexity of these rules underscores the value of consulting experienced financial and legal advisors.

Options When Facing Personal Guarantee MCA Exposure

Many business owners sign personal guarantees when getting merchant cash advances. This pledge makes you individually responsible if the company defaults. MCA creditors can then target personal assets for repayment.If dealing with guaranteed MCA debts, you have two main paths forward:

Seek Creditor Leniency

  • Request waiver of the guarantee terms
  • Highlight good faith efforts to resolve debts
  • Note the win-win of preserving your earnings potential

Pursue Legal Defenses

  • Challenge enforceability of the guarantees
  • Allege creditor negligence or noncompliance
  • File for consumer bankruptcy if needed

Which route makes most sense depends on your attorney’s review of the guarantee documents and the creditor’s collection conduct.

Finding the Right Business Debt Relief Company

As this discussion illustrates, safely resolving MCA debts requires expertise across financial, legal, tax and negotiating spheres. Rather than tackle this alone, partnering with an experienced business debt relief company offers big advantages.Look for a relief firm that provides:

✔️Free debt assessments – They should evaluate your situation at no cost before making recommendations.

✔️Data-driven debt reduction – They should leverage analytics on creditor behavior to formulate high success strategies.

✔️Legal review of documents – They must determine if contracts, guarantees or collection practices are unlawful.

✔️Settlement negotiating services – Their expertise should deliver optimal settlements or debt restructuring.

✔️Ongoing support handling issues – They need capacity to resolve inevitable collector problems after settlements.Reputable and ethical providers follow a fiduciary duty to put your interests first. This provides the best chance at overcoming MCA troubles and securing financial stability going forward.With smart moves, merchant cash advance difficulties can be resolved, allowing your business to thrive into the future. Partnering with experts represents the most reliable path. Relief and better days lie ahead.

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