• The debt settlement company will direct you to stop paying your creditor and instead send the money directly to them each month. The company's goal is to demonstrate to your creditor that you don't have the money to pay up - that's your leverage. After a few months, the company will typically go to the creditor and say, "I'm holding X dollars on behalf of your customer. He doesn't have the money to pay you, so you should take this amount as a settlement or you'll end up with nothing." If the creditor wants to get paid badly enough, it will take the money.