Family Debt Problems

07 Dec Don’t Cave In and Apply for Department Store Credit Card

Tis the season for Christmas spending, and this weekend I entered a Department Store against my will. I hate shopping, but that's another story. At checkout, the cheery young sales associate asked me a simple question. "Would you like to save 10% on your purchase today?" (I just love this sales pitch. ) My wife was about to run away because she saw the blood drain from my face, and she immediately found the shopping cart wheels very interesting. I replied: "Sure I would love to save 10%, but I am not willing to fill out one of those nasty little contracts of adhesion that wreck people's lives and destroys families." I wasn't nasty, mean or rude to the young woman, but when our conversation ended, I think she felt differently about her offer.
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07 Dec #4 We Have a Post Marital Agreement — Does That Change Anything?

#4 We Have a Post Marital Agreement -- Does That Change Anything? debt-definition-300x199This continues the series “I'm Filing, My Spouse Isn't-What Happens?” The series is introduced here. After you are married, you may reach an agreement about who will be responsible for this or that expense or debt, or maybe who will get ownership of this or that piece of property, etc. Think of this as a contract between you and your spouse, and it may, indeed, bind the two of you. However, do your creditors know of it and its details? If they don’t know of it and you are both seemingly or actually involved in a transaction, how are your creditors to know of the private agreement between the two of you?  Would they have lent you that money if they had known your intention that only one of you would be responsible for paying it back? 
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02 Dec HAMP’s False Promises: Administration Admits That So Far, It’s a Failed Program

The $75 billion HAMP program designed to induce mortgage lenders to modify home mortgages owed by financially troubled homeowners isn't working, and now the Obama administration has admitted as much. Due to recent coverage of the HAMP program's failures by major media outlets, public awareness of the issue has been rising. This could be good news for homeowners on the edge, but none of them should hold their breath waiting for help. In a November 30, 2009, story appearing in the New York Times, Peter S. Goodman reported that out of 650,000 homeowners who had been offered "trial modification" of their mortgages, fewer than 2,000 had been given permanent modifications. Originally, 3 to 4 million homeowners were to have been helped by the HAMP program. Goodman quoted Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., as expressing "frustration" with HAMP. "Very few people have emerged from the trial period," said Merkley.
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01 Dec What’s In A Name? U.S. Organization For Bankruptcy Alternatives (Misleading Name/Misleading Benefits?)

I became aware of an organization named the United States Organization for Bankruptcy Alternatives,  a debt negotiation industry organization, which purports to offer a different road for the financially distressed.    The Association urges debt negotiators who are not part of an industry association to join with them to have their voices heard (strength in numbers?). My initial reaction to the website owned by the organization is that the Association attempts to look like an official governmental agency--pictures of a courthouse prominently displayed, the name of the Association includes "UNITED STATES", photos of flags flying, blue skies overhead..... I also looked at the vendors recommended by the Association.   The vendors include companies who target distressed consumers by their FICO (credit) score and others who run debt management companies.
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30 Nov They Went Broke (Increasing Numbers Every Month)

Early in November 2009, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) announced that bankruptcy filings had increased 27.9% in October 2009 from October 2008.    The ABI relied on statistics from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC).   In October 2009, consumers filed 135,913 bankruptcies.  In October 2008, the number of consumer bankruptcy filings was 106,266.   The October 2009 filings also represent a 8.9% increase from the September 2009 filings.  
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