Debt settlement is an alternative to bankruptcy that may help you repay a portion of your debt over the course of (on average) 3-5 years. If you opt for debt settlement, you will have a representative who negotiates with your creditors on your behalf. Once the debt settlement amount has been agreed to, you will make one monthly payment to your debt settlement representative. The money will be kept in a "clients' trust" bank account from which your creditors will be paid. While just about any debt may be reduced via a settlement, it is generally used to help reduce the amount of interest that is paid on unsecured debts (such as credit card debts).