Posts Tagged: ‘CARD Act’

What happens when credit card companies sell your debt?

April 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Barclaycard sold $1.6 billion of credit card balances in the first quarter of 2017 to the personal-loan company, Credit Shop Inc.  Oftentimes, the accounts that are sold are ones that the card issuer has determined to be too risky for its business or are already in delinquency.  In these type instances, a card issuer can sell the account balances for pennies on the dollars.

Here is what you need to know if your credit card company sells your debt.

The reasons card issuers buy and sell debt.  Some debts are more “reliable” than others.  For this reason, cardholders pay widely different interest rates, depending on how risky the lender judges them to be.  “Subprime” borrowers tend to pay substantially higher interest rates to make up for the possibility that they might not be able to pay back the debt.

How will you know if your debt has been sold?  In many you will only find out if your debt has been sold when you hear it from the new owner or a debt collector calls you and demands payment.

What if a debt collector calls? If you receive a call from a debt collector, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you from abuse and harassment.  A debt collector is not allowed to call you excessively or make any threats.  They are also prohibited from calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. and cannot misrepresent the amount you owe.  By law, you have the right to demand documented proof of the existence of the debt and the amount you reportedly owe. This request must be made in writing within 30 days of the first contact from a debt collector. During the time it takes to investigate and reply to your request, all calls from the debt collector must stop.

You also have the right to request that all future contact be made in writing. This can prevent disruptive and embarrassing calls at home or at work.  You have the right to sue if a debt collector violates any of these rules.

What responsibilities do credit card companies have? Under the federal CARD Act, which went into effect in 2010, credit card companies are required by law to give cardholders 21 days from the date the statement mails to make a payment.  Credit card companies are also required to provide a 45-day written notice before any rate increases. If you receive this notification, consider paying off the account if you are able to or transferring your balance to a low-interest credit card or zero-percent interest card, which overtime will be less costly to repay.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/what-happens-when-credit-card-companies-sell-your-debt-cm776572

The Medical Debt Crisis: Americans still struggling to pay off Massive Healthcare bills

August 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Recent data shows that Americans are forgoing medical care and using extreme measures in an effort to pay off their medical debt. Although, the Affordable Care Act is helping reduce the burden of medical debt for some American consumers- for states that have not expanded Medicaid, millions of Americans still lack insurance and many of the affordable plans offer minimal coverage. The result is that in 2014, 64 million people were struggling with medical debt, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

Two surveys (in 2008 and 2012) explored the finances of lower to middle-income households carrying credit card debt. It was found that households carrying medical debt on their credit cards were more likely to take extreme measures to pay off their debts and forgo necessary medical treatment. Even for the insured, medical debt can negatively impact household finances.

In the 2008 and 2012 surveys, the average total credit card debt fell from $11,019 in 2008 to $8,762 in 2012, a 20 percent decline. Medical debt alone fell from $2,055 in 2008 to $1,679 in 2012, an 18 percent decline. A possible reason for the decline could be the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act). Studies show that the CARD Act dramatically reduced fees for credit card users. Research by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests the CARD act reduced hidden fees, saving consumers billions of dollars. It is also possible the Affordable Care Act played a role along with the improving economy.

Costly medical procedures can quickly lead to a household’s debt spiraling out of control. A key contributor is the out-of-pocket costs, not covered by insurance. The survey revealed dental expenses were the most frequently cited as a contributor to credit card debt; of those respondents who report they experienced a dental expense, a large share said that the expense contributed to their credit card debt. Many basic insurance plans do not include dental.  Emergency room visits and purchasing prescription medication contributed to nearly half of the reported credit card debt.

There are some legislative options in the works. The Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act, proposed by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), would help families dealing with medical debt keep their homes by providing them with bankruptcy protection, and would forgive student debt. It also waives the requirement that individuals who file for debt relief receive credit counseling, if the debt is medical-related. The Medical Debt Responsibility Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), would require that fully paid medical debt be removed from credit reports within 45 days.

Click here to read more on this story.

Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Paying off Student Loan Debt is about to get easier for 5 Million Borrowers

October 30, 2015 Posted by kingcade

The Obama administration has rolled out two new provisions that will give 5 million more college graduates the ability to enroll in income-based repayment plans and make it harder for schools to force students to use prepaid debit cards.

Here’s how it works…

More students can apply for income-based repayment plans.

The Education Department officially unveiled its long-awaited expansion of the income-based repayment program, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which nearly four million federal direct loan borrowers are currently enrolled.   The new plan, which takes effect this December, is called REPAYE (the “RE” stands for “revised”) and will allow 5 million more federal student loan borrowers to enroll.

The new plan accomplishes this by allowing borrowers to sign up regardless of when they borrowed their loans or their debt-to-income ratio. The existing PAYE model is only available to people who borrowed after 2007 and whose debt greatly outweighs their income. Those enrolled in the REPAYE plan can have their payments capped at 10% of their income. Allowing the additional 5 million borrowers to qualify for the program will cost the federal government an estimated $15.4 billion over the next 10 years.

No more deceitful debit card agreements.

The government has been trying to crack down on prepaid debit cards on college campuses.  Thanks to the 2009 CARD Act, which stops banks from marketing credit cards on campuses, college credit card agreements have dropped by more than half between 2009 and 2013.

To get around this, the banks shifted their focus from credit cards to prepaid debit cards.  Today, 40% of students attend schools that have agreements with banks to market student debit and prepaid cards on campus, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. These cards are known to come with high overdraft fees and other hidden fees.

The new Department of Education rule requires schools to allow students to choose how to receive their student aid refunds. They can no longer be forced or urged to open a certain kind of account to get that money.  The rule says schools have to make sure fees are not “excessive and confusing.”

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Find out what your Debt is really Costing You

June 6, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Thanks to the CARD Act, those who carry credit card debt are reminded on their monthly statements just how long it will take to pay it off in full. For many consumers, this is not a pretty picture. Most do not realize that by being in debt, purchases you make on those credit cards are actually costing more than what you pay the merchant. It’s a vicious cycle. Each dollar you do not pay over the fixed minimum payment ends up costing you much more in the end.

For example, if you have a $1,000 credit card balance at a 20 percent APR and you plan on making a payment of $20 a month until it’s paid off, it will take you just over nine years and you will have paid approximately $1,168 in interest. The key is to make more than just the minimum monthly payment. Even low-interest rate debts like student loans, which can be extended out 30 years, by making only the minimum payment you are increasing the time you carry those balances because of the compound interest.

Here’s some advice…
• If possible, start paying off the debt in full, beginning with those cards that have the highest interest rates. Also, paying off the smallest debts first can give you motivation to tackle the larger debts.

• Do not let purchases made on credit cards become invisible spending. Switch to a debit card and sign up for balance notifications and alerts on your phone and email.

• Consolidate credit card balances. If you qualify, consolidate your credit card balances to low-interest or 0% interest cards to reduce the cost of your debt. You may also want to consider a personal loan that offers a low interest rate.

• Avoid paying consolidation or consulting fees. Avoid paying fees to credit consolidators. Much of what they are doing for a fee, you can do yourself.

• Understand credit effects. There is a common misconception that carrying debt is good for your credit score. This is absolutely false. To achieve your best possible credit score, it is important to keep your debt ratio to under 30%, 10% is even better.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/avoiding-paying-debt-costing/story?id=23101519