I took money from my retirement to make the mortgage payments. It finally sold, but at that point I owed $30,000 in credit card debt and $10,000 in federal taxes. I was broke for the first time in my life and I guess that's what it took to finally make changes. I dumped the husband, sold everything I had, and moved into a one-bedroom apartment. I enrolled in a debt management plan and am working with the IRS to settle the tax debt. I have two years left before I am completely debt-free, but I have never been happier. I have gotten over having to have 'stuff.' I guess for some people they have to lose everything in order to find out what is really important in life." -- A., a credit counselor with Apprisen The Spending Trap "From 2000 to 2008, I racked up about $15,000 in credit card debt, took out a risky adjustable-rate mortgage, rolled negative equity from one new car into the next (twice!), and used part of my student loan payouts for nonessential expenses. In 2005, I spoke to a credit counselor who recommended a debt management program, but I declined, not wanting to give up the credit cards. Three years later, I was laid off from a high-paying union job and was forced to liquidate my 401(k) to give myself a 'fresh start,' as I had not made much progress on my debt, and had no emergency savings and no job prospects. After three weeks on unemployment and a brief stint at a temp agency, I responded to an employment ad for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions. After being hired and going through credit counseling training, I realized just how many mistakes I had made over the previous decade." -- S., a credit counselor with ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions A Little Bad Luck and a Little Bad Judgment "About a year ago, I was financially fine. My car was paid off; my parents were letting me live in their second home, so my only bills were utilities and my phone. I was a recent college grad working part-time at a bank. But then my car was totaled when it got hit by someone running a stop sign. My insurance check was only $5,500, so I wiped out almost all of my savings, put $12,000 down on a car and borrowed another $5,500 from the dealership. But my insurance company wouldn't pay my medical bills, and the driver's insurance company said I would have to sue them for the money. I had thousands of dollars in medical bills, a new car payment, and needed a crown on one tooth. I took out a loan through the bank where I worked, but two months later my hours were cut. Once I got a second job, I was working 67 hours a week at two jobs and spending three hours a week at physical therapy. I got rid of my smartphone, got cheaper car insurance, stopped going out, stopped buying things I didn't need, started couponing and only buying things on sale. Then I found a better job as a credit counselor. I still have about a year before I can finally relax, but I have a plan and a time frame. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit Credit Counselors' Confessions: How We Got Ourselves Out of Debt
Debt Settlement Company Barred from Doing Business in Oregon as Part of State Lawsuit
This article meant to provide readers with insight on how credit card debt can really get out of hand and how difficult it is to overcome the problem that it causes. The article published on June 20, began by narrating how credit cards can easily be availed before the recession. A booming economy gave credit card companies the confidence to issue accounts to consumers who do not have a steady income to support payments. This is also true for mortgages and auto loans. What the article is driving at is that while generosity helps keep the consumer economy thriving, it became a problem when the decline happened. The article narrated how people lost their homes, valuable possessions and still landed in a heap of debt. The country was in some serious card trouble because people relied on credit cards to support even the most basic of expenses. The problem continues to escalate as the credit card bill shows an amount that the consumer cannot pay off. The article then concludes how the need for credit card debt help must be sought and that a third party debt relief service provider can play a huge role in debt freedom. Debt Consolidation Whiz warns how consumers must take extra care in choosing the company that they will hire to help with their debts. If they choose the wrong company, the consumer could end up losing hundreds or thousands of what they could have saved had they gone to a better debt relief company. The article suggests that credit counseling programs can be an option to solve debt problems. This program restructures the debts of the consumer and negotiates for a lower interest rate on the current debt. The article then cites the benefits of credit counseling: 1. Credit counselors directly work with creditors and lenders for interest rate negotiations. They have a close working relationship with creditor which makes it easier to do business and haggle for a lower rate. 2. Counselors can stop creditor and collection calls. 3. Credit counseling can accept any debt amount. The article is also quick to point out certain disadvantages. The programs usually take long to complete. The longer payment term allows the lower monthly payments but it usually costs more in terms of interest amount - even with a lower interest rate. Debt Consolidation Whiz suggests that consumers consider debt settlement as a way to get out of debt too. They believe that the potential to have a part of the debt forgiven could sound appealing to those who are burdened with credit card debt. To read the whole article, visit Debt Consolidation Whiz. The website is an online source of information about debt relief and debt consolidation. The site also provides debt relief company reviews for consumers looking to hire a debt professional. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit Debt Consolidation Whiz Discusses Out of Control Credit Card Debt and How to Best Solve It
Debt Consolidation Whiz Discusses Out of Control Credit Card Debt and How to Best Solve It
Our printer-friendly stylesheet will make sure extraneous website stuff isn't printed. You're done! July 5, 2013 (Be the first to respond) http://www.insidearm.com/daily/collection-laws-regulations/collection-laws-and-regulations/debt-settlement-company-barred-from-doing-business-in-oregon-as-part-of-state-lawsuit/ The Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services have obtained a court order prohibiting World Law Debt and several affiliate companies from doing business in the state. The two agencies on Monday sued World Law Debt accusing the Texas debt settlement company of multiple violations of Oregons Unlawful Trade Practices Act, including charging excessive fees and claiming inaccurately that it had Oregon attorneys on staff handling client cases. The complaint also alleged the company financially abused its customers 65 years old and older. The state obtained a temporary restraining order Tuesday prohibiting World Law Debt and its affiliates from doing business in Oregon. It will seek a longer-term ban later this month. The DOJ strives to protect all Oregonians, particularly the elderly and other vulnerable segments of the community, said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Teaming with the Department of Consumer and Business Services is an effective way to offer Oregonians the tough consumer protection they deserve. World Law Debt came to Oregon in 2009 offering to help debt-burdened Oregonians negotiate with their creditors, work out a payment plan and actually lower the amount they owed, according to the complaint, filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. World Law Debts Oregon customers authorized the company to take monthly withdrawals from their bank accounts, according to the complaint. These withdrawals were used to establish savings accounts for individual customers. When the consumer has saved enough, World Law claimed it would contact the creditors and negotiate a lump-sum payment or payment plan. In response to consumer complaints, Oregon consumer credit counseling lawmakers enacted new restrictions on the debt settlement industry in 2009, limiting the fees they charge and requiring they register with the Department of Consumer and Business Services. The department fined World Law Debt $70,000 last September for failing to register before doing business in Oregon and other violations of the law. World Law Debt has not paid the fine, remains unregistered and has continued to operate, signing up at least a hundred new Oregon clients since it got fined, according to the lawsuit. The Department of Justice is seeking more than $10 million in civil penalties, $25,000 for each of the 425 contracts the company entered into with Oregonians while it was not properly registered. The state is also demanding World Law Debt fully refund its Oregon customers. Oregon has 67 businesses that are licensed with the Department of Consumer and Business Services to help people with debt, including nonprofit credit counseling organizations. For Oregonians considering doing business with debt management companies, the department advises they first make sure the company is properly registered. More information is available at 503-378-4140 or toll-free at 866-814-9710. In addition to World Law Debt, a number of related entities are named as defendants. They include Swift Rock Financial, Orion Processing, World Law Group, World Law Direct, World Law Plan, World Law Processing, World Law Debt Assistance and several other similarly named companies. Printing Articles ...or print directly from your browser by choosing File > Print... from the menu or by pressing [Ctrl + P]. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit Debt Settlement Company Barred from Doing Business in Oregon as Part of State Lawsuit
The answer depends on how you consolidate and what you do afterwards. Debt consolidation loans Getting a new loan to pay off other debts is the most popular way to consolidate. It's certainly what most people think of when they think of consolidation. But finding a loan with decent terms for this purpose can sometimes be challenging especially if your credit scores are a bit lower due to the balances you are carrying. Student loan consolidation rates It's certainly not impossible, though. Peer-to-peer lenders like LendingClub.com and Prosper.com, for example, routinely make these kinds of loans to borrowers with good credit. Your bank or credit union may also be willing to help you consolidate, and there are some online lenders that offer consolidation loans. (Tip: Triple check to make sure you are dealing with a reputable site if you are shopping for a loan online. Scams abound.) Effect on your credit: Consolidating credit cards with high balances using an installment loan-- a loan with fixed monthly payments-- may actually benefit your credit rating, especially if you use the loan to pay off credit cards that are near their limits. At the same time, any new loan can cause a short-term dip to your credit scores-- so don't be surprised if that happens. Debt management plans Though often confused with debt consolidation, a debt management plan (DMP) is somewhat different. These programs are offered through credit counseling agencies and, strictly speaking, they don't actually consolidate your debt. Instead, you make a "consolidated" payment to the counseling agency, which then pays each of your creditors, usually at a reduced interest rate and payment. Even though you are only making one or two monthly payments, the counseling agency doesn't actually pay off your creditors. Still, these programs are available regardless of credit scores, so if you are having trouble consolidating due to the fact that you are maxxed out on one or more of your credit cards, a DMP may be worth considering. Effect on your credit: You will be required to close most, if not all, of your credit card accounts while on a DMP and that will affect your credit scores. On the other hand, FICO ignores any notation that you are paying your debt through a counseling program when calculating your scores. So it will affect your credit, but it may not be as bad as you fear. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit Will debt consolidation help or hurt?