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No. of Recommendations: 1
To clarify it appears you understand some law:

Not a lawyer, don't play one on TV, but have been down a similar road.

C- your credit will be trashed and you will have to NOT live beyond your means
how long

Credit takes 7 ish years to rebuild
Living Below your means- you will have to do that forever

You have to STOP paying for 3-6 months (and trash your credit) in order for them to pay attention.
really typical??

Yes, Typical. Yes, Really.
Just as people who can see that they are going to be in trouble try to negotiate with their mortgage holders while they are still making payments.
Most get nowhere until they have stopped paying for several months.

You can offer to settle for about 20-30% of your total.
have you seen percentages before in the 10-15%???

I, personally, have not.
Does not mean that it cannot be done.
Start with an offer and go from there, worst that the CC does is negotiate the settlement amount.

(example- you settle your ~$45K balance for $20k, you will get a 1099 for $25k)
therefore my earned income will increase by 25,000 for that calendar year???

Yes, Yes, it will.
Not only will you have a tax liability on that amount, but also the proportional amount (and I am sure someone-besides-me has the exact percentage) of liability that goes towards Social Security and Medi-Care.
So ball park estimate is about a THIRD of that "forgiven amount" is a tax liability.
Whether this is actually out-of-pocket depends on the rest of your tax situation.

peace & not fun
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