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Contrary to much of their advertising, banks and credit card companies are not your friends. But, if they believe that accepting an arrangement calling for less than regular scheduled payments or approving a settlement that gives them only 50% of the balance due is in their benefit, they will often accept your proposal. If they believe you are a candidate for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which they would probably receive nothing, they may become very interested in hearing your plan for lower payments or a debt settlement as an alternative to bankruptcy. This is why it is so important to have a plan that appears to help the lender just as much as it helps you.