One thing you must understand is how a debt settlement attorney and his law firm will help you. The first thing to be aware of is that the purpose of they attorneys is to help you get out of debt as quickly as possible. The attorney's goal is to reduce your debt as much as possible as well as to reduce the interest rate so that you are able to climb out of your hole.
The unfortunate thing about this process is that you need to let your debt default in order for the creditors to be willing to negotiate with your attorney. The creditors want you to continue to pay only the minimum payment so that you pay all the interest, and that's where they make a ton of money. This is where the length of your debt just seems to add up to 30 years or more. So your attorney needs you to actually stop paying so that he is free to make an agreement with the lender and reduce your debt amount and interest rate.
Please be aware that this will hurt your credit score, but in the end it's worth it because you're going to be debt free. It may not make a difference anyways if your credit score has already been compromised. Your credit score will recover after a while, and it will recover even faster once you're out of debt, which is the ultimate goal. So don't be afraid to start this process now simply because your credit score may drop a bit.
When you stop your payments and your attorney is in the process of working out an agreement, your goal is to save up as much money as possible. This is going to help tremendously when an agreement has been reached and you're able to pay off a large portion of your debt right away. You will also be able to have some money to live off of.
The nasty collection calls will also stop once you hire a debt settlement attorney. If the calls don't stop, your attorney likely has the legal right to make them stop. Once you do stop your monthly payments and default on your bills, your creditors do have the right to take you to court, and your attorney will be able to help if that happens. It's very unlikely that they will because it is very costly and there's no guarantee that they'll get their money, even if they win. It's still nice to know that someone has your back.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what a debt settlement attorney can do for you, and I wish you best of luck as you try to become debt free!