Debt Relief / District Of Columbia

District of Columbia Debt Relief: Is It Legitimate? 5 Things to Know

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Sep 8th, 2022

You may have seen ads for District of Columbia Debt Relief Org or you are just considering debt relief in general due to a financial hardship.

You are in the right place.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand the legitimacy of debt relief in District of Columbia . The best way to gauge the legitimacy of a program might be to consider online reviews. However, you may find that there are not many reviews covering District of Columbia debt relief. That said, we found some interesting insights. Here’s what we'll cover:

  1. What is District of Columbia Debt Relief?
  2. How Much Does District of Columbia Debt Relief Cost?
  3. Does District of Columbia Debt Relief Provide Emergency Debt Relief?
  4. Whether District of Columbia Debt Relief is legitimate
  5. Pros and Cons of Debt Relief Options

Now, if you are struggling with debt and wondering what to do next, we built a free, unbiased debt options comparison calculator (not even an email address is required) that provides a wide range of debt options that may be able to fit your budget. Please note that the calculator is based on your zip code, so it covers Washington, D.C. to East Washington, D.C., and the entire state of District of Columbia.

What Is District of Columbia Debt Relief?

District of Columbia debt relief is an organization that links debtors with other debt settlement companies. Or, it is a financial hardship option when you cannot afford your debt.

Debt relief is a broader term, which refers to getting assistance to help with your debt. Here’s the various debt relief options:

Please note that many people consider District of Columbia when they are facing a hardship such as District of Columbia wage garnishment or a debt collection lawsuit or something that is forcing them to consider their options. Also, you may be curious how popular the bankruptcy option is. In District of Columbia, there were 374 bankruptcy cases filed in 12 months ending in June 2021.

How Much Does District of Columbia Debt Relief Cost?

The cost of District of Columbia debt relief is one of the most important things to consider because you are looking for debt relief. 

At Ascend, we believe that debt relief may be a good option, but it’s only in the context of understanding all of your options and understanding the cost of that option. This is exactly why we built a free debt relief cost comparison calculator below that helps you compare the cost of debt relief, debt management, bankruptcy, and debt payoff planning. It’s 100% free, and doesn’t even require an email address.



Let’s cover some of the costs.


Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the cheapest and fastest District of Columbia debt relief option, but you often have to qualify using the District of Columbia bankruptcy means test, which is based on your income, household size, and state. If it’s helpful, here are the income limits for bankruptcy cases filed on or after May 15, 2022.

# of PeopleAnnual Income
1$74,266
2$138,342
3$138,342
4$182,068
5$191,968
6$201,868
7$211,768
8$221,668
9$231,568

From using the calculator, you will notice that the cost to file bankruptcy in District of Columbia is $313 for a Chapter 13 and $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You may notice that does not include attorney fees though. Attorney fees may vary depending on where you live. For example, the Chapter 7 attorney fees are estimated at $1,500 in Washington, D.C. vs $1,500 in West Washington, D.C.. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy in District of Columbia the estimated attorney fee is $3,000.

You may also see that you are at risk of losing assets such as your home or vehicle if you have too much equity in a vehicle. To protect these assets, you can look at the District of Columbia bankruptcy exemptions. For example, you can see the homestead exemption information below (source):

“D.C. Code § 15-501(a)(14) Any property used as a residence or co-op that debtor or debtor’s dependent uses as a residence”

For debt management in District of Columbia, you’ll see the estimated monthly payment driven by potential interest rates reduction. Debt management is often most helpful if you have high interest credit cards.

For debt settlement, you’ll notice an estimated fee amount and an estimated settlement amount as the companies are trying to negotiate amounts (from say $10,000 to $5,000).

Does District of Columbia Debt Relief Provide Emergency Debt Relief?

Many people are looking for emergency debt relief in District of Columbia, which could be a form of COVID relief. Please note that many of these programs have now ended with the exception that student debt payments that has a final extension until December 31st, 2022.

If a company is promising you District of Columbia emergency debt relief, please do your research to make sure that they are not just trying to pitch to you a debt relief program with high fees.

Is District of Columbia Debt Relief legitimate?

Many people in District of Columbia experience hardship that requires some sort of debt relief. Thankfully, there are legal debt relief options such as bankruptcy in District of Columbia to help you get relief from your debt and a fresh start.

In District of Columbia, you may also find legal aid options helpful that can help you get the help you need at a lower cost. 

Please note that not everyone qualifies for free legal aid. If you are at or below the District of Columbia poverty guidelines, you potentially could also have your bankruptcy filing fee waived. Below are the District of Columbia poverty guidelines.

# of People150% Poverty Guideline
1$13,590
2$18,310
3$23,030
4$27,750
5$32,470
6$37,190
7$41,910
8$46,630
9$51,350
* Add $4,720 for each individual in excess of 9.

Pros and Cons of Debt Relief Options

Finally, let’s cover some of the pros and cons of debt relief in District of Columbia. You can find this list of pros and cons in our debt relief calculator results as well.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy District of Columbia

  • Pro: Legal protection against creditors
  • Pro: Property protection against creditors
  • Pro: No taxes on unpaid debt
  • Pro: No qualification necessary (as long as under debt limits)
  • Con: High damage to credit report (on public record)
  • Con: High damage to credit score
  • Con: Possible low availability to credit after filing
  • Con: Low payment flexibility
  • Con: Length of time 3-5 years
  • Con: Low to medium success rate

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy District of Columbia

  • Pro: Length of time ~ 90 days
  • Pro: Most inexpensive option: ~$2,000
  • Pro: Legal protection against creditors
  • Pro: No taxes on unpaid debt
  • Pro: Eliminates most unsecured debt
  • Pro: High success rate
  • Con: High damage to credit report
  • Con: High damage to credit score
  • Con: Possible low availability to credit after filing
  • Con: No property protection above exemption
  • Con: On public record
  • Con: Must qualify for Chapter 7 in District of Columbia

Debt Settlement

  • Pro: Potential savings can be significant
  • Pro: Payment flexibility for inconsistent income
  • Pro: Can be < 1 year with access to capital
  • Pro: May access credit sooner than bankruptcy
  • Pro: Account cancellation creates accountability
  • Con: Medium to high damage to credit report
  • Con: Medium to high damage to credit score
  • Con: Potential taxes on forgiven debt
  • Con: May be sued and collections can continue
  • Con: Late fees and interest
  • Con: On Public Record (if creditor sues)
  • Con: Low to medium success rate

Debt Management

  • Pro: Potential lower interest rate and fees
  • Pro: Lower damage to credit report and score
  • Pro: Sets your debt on a specific payment plan
  • Pro: Consolidates your debt
  • Pro: Not on public record
  • Con: Often highest cost debt relief solution
  • Con: Lower payment flexibility
  • Con: Length of time 3-5 years
  • Con: Creditors may not work with DMP
  • Con: Low to medium success rate

Should I Pursue Debt Relief in District of Columbia?

Pursuing debt relief in District of Columbia is ultimately your decision and you know your finances best. For example, are you living in East Washington, D.C. and seeing that your rent is going to continue to rise? Are you facing inflation pressures from living in Washington, D.C. and trying to live on a District of Columbia minimum wage of $16.10 per hour?

What you can do (if helpful) is take the free District of Columbia debt relief calculator below that can help you estimate the costs and pros and cons of each of your options.