Coming along nicely but I forgot

One other debt, K-Designs (GEOnline card) Account. I had it closed. I owe them for sliding doors I had put in in 2004. Balance owed 1488.34 down from 4600.00. Maybe I will try to get another SCEL from the FCU. I can put both those debts (Target and GEOnline) onto their 13% instead of 22% Target and 18% GEOnline. I’ll see, but even if no more SCEL, I can pay those more heartily with this freed up amount….

Can anyone tell me how you tell if a balance transfer is worth it? I have three cards two with rather small amounts and one large card. The interest rates vary from 6.99 on the smallest to 16.99 on the largest. I have a plan to pay off the smaller amounts within a few months and I’m shooting for three years on the largest. I was offered a zero percent until 2010. If I can get enough credit to transfer and there is a three percent balance transfer fee is it worth it?

I know that Chase has a calculator for cardholders, but I don’t know of any others. You might try and google it. But, what does the interest rate go to after the transfer period is over? How much are you paying in interest right now? Is there a cap to the 3% transfer fee? If no cap, I wouldn’t transfer the smaller amounts, but if the after promo rate jumps to a high rate, you will lose any savings you might have gotten.

I’m wondering if I figure out how much I could pay in a year and just transfer that. So even though I have to pay the three percent that beats the 16.99 that I’m paying in finance chanrges now. The hard part will be changing years of buy it now because I want it thinking into if I want it I need to save up the cash.

Thanks for your posts. You should be working to not be in debt at all, paying convenience card interest is almost like throwing money away. If you can pay off you debt then you win by not paying interest money to a bank.

Secured Credit Card Recommendations?

Can anyone recommend a “good” company to obtain a secured credit card from? Or suggest one to avoid? I will be using the card only for business travel, mostly for rental car expenses. Rental cars seem to be the most difficult to get with only a debit card. I’ve just start doing some research on secured cards, and know that I need to be careful of the fees that some charge. Thanks.

There are several national rental companies which will take a debit card. Check into it yourself.

why bother posting if you don’t care to offer anything useful. I said I was starting to check into it, and was just looking for any useful suggestions.

I have used Enterprise but if you have a debit card, they pull $300 out of your account as a deposit or something.

P.S. I think if a company expects you to travel they should give you a credit card rather than you having to front them the money. They can afford it 😎

At banks and here at the mall they sell mastercards that you prepay on. It might be less expensive to go this route if it’s possible to pay up front. I am moving to China for work next week. i understand that over there, credit cards are basically not used. there is a card similar to what you describe, where you put the money that you are going to spend into it every month and you cannot go beyond that, sort of like a debit card. i am looking forward to this because i will pay off all of my credit cards and not use them. the rate of savings of the Chinese is high compared to that of Americans. I like Orchard Bank too.

The Statute of Limitations

I would think that the Statute of Limitations is up on this. It cannot show up on your credit report after 18 years…. don’t worry about that and if it does – contest it. A nice certified, registered letter to the collection agency in question with

“I am well aware of my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and my state laws so I hope to save both of us a great deal of time by letting you know I have checked with my State Attorney General (http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/attorney-general.html) and verified that the Statute of Limitations for enforcing this type of debt through the courts in xxx State has expired. Therefore, should you decide to pursue this matter in court, I intend to inform the court of my dispute of this debt and that the “statute of limitations” has expired.

This letter is your formal notification that I consider this matter closed and demand that you, or anyone affiliated with your company, stop contacting me regarding this or any other matter except to advise me that your debt collection efforts are being terminated or that you or the creditor are taking specific actions allowed by the FDCPA or my state laws.

Be advised that I consider any contact not in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act a serious violation of the law and will immediately report any violations to my State Attorney General, to the Federal Trade Commission and, if necessary, take whatever legal action is necessary to protect myself. Be advised that I tape record all phone calls and violations of the FDCPA can result in you or your company being personally fined up to $1,000 per incident.”

Maybe it’s someone else with the same name. See if the birthdate matches yours. Contact the DMV again, ask what court the ticket was issued and the ticket
number. Contact the court DO NOT GO DOWN IN PERSON… ask for a copy of the ticket to verify your signature. In Cal. if you do not pay a ticket a warrant is issued for your arrest. If you go down in person, they will arrest you. I don’t know if there is a Statute of Limitations as the laws are different for government issues. I would also ask the DMV and the court if there is a bench warrant.

A similar thing happened to my brother (who was in the hospital) and it took me a year to get it corrected, and it was the courts fault. He was arrested twice for the same ticket and I went to court 3 times to clear it up. If the court or DMV makes a mistakes, by law, it’s up to you to correct the matter, not theirs.

Question on an old traffic ticket that has appeared

Hi Guys, I have a question. I have learned a lot from this group and yesterday, I had a phone call out of the blue…. We recently filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and we are on a very strict budget. I have been getting everything paid in full that was left out of the bankruptcy….

Anyway, I get this phone call from a collection agency that says I have an outstanding ticket from 1991 when I lived in California. I don’t even remember this at all…they claim I was also ticketed for being an unlicensed driver!? I have never NOT had a license, so I’m not sure what this is all about. They wanted a credit card to pay it off. I thought this sounded fishy, so I said, “No, I need to call the DMV in California and see if this is for real or not!” This is almost 20 years old! So I called and they said yes, I had a ticket and that it was out of their hands now. That it had been turned over to a collection agency. I was trying to protest, as I don’t believe this is really a ticket that I got!! Again, she said there was nothing they could do and that I had to deal with the collection agency! Does anyone have any advice??? I don’t want this on my credit now and my husband said we are not paying the $580.something they say I owe! What do I do?

First thing you should do is call the DMV back and get a copy of the driving record. It will show the date and time of the ticket/violation. Once you see when and where the ticket was issued start then you may have something to work with. Call them back and ask to speak to a supervisor or manager if you believe its not you. Offer them $58 (10%) to settle this item conditional that no derrogatory statements are applied to any credit reporting agency. Any settlement must be in writing and signed by a confirmed authorized representative of the collection firm. It’s really unlikely they will take any legal action for this small amount so you are really in the drivers seat as to payment. Just stay firm with your offer and if they are harassing you by phone, get their mailing address and sent them a decease letter with return receipt. If they violate this, threaten to sue them in court. They’ll likely settle. Just be tough.

Do some research and see if traffic tickets have a satute of limitations. If they do, this 20 years far exceeds the time limit. The traffic ticket won’t even stay on your driving record for more than 3 years, so I don’t know how they can collect on it.

On a lighter side of Chase

Sometimes you really have to wonder about the intelligence of companies like Chase. I was executor for an estate where the woman died partially insolvent. That is, Chase wound up settling for about 11-cents on the dollar because that was all there was left in the estate under Georgia law.

Signs of their intelligence? The first thing they asked me once they had the death certificate and executor order was, “Would you like to transfer this debt (about $28k) into your name Mr. ___?” Yeah right, like I was born stupid. NO – it is not my debt. I did ask her what she was smoking and could I have some.

The yesterday, I receive 2 IRS forms 1099 (there were 2 credit cards) for the portion forgiven. Now just what do they think I am going to do with these? The estate was partially insolvent. Even if I did have to file an Estate Income Tax return, which I don’t, these are useless. Who is going to pay the tax on them? If there was money, they would have gotten more money.

Anyway, just keep this in mind when dealing with Chase, they lack serious intelligence. Pretty sure those 1099s were just computer generated and I’d imagine by law they have to send them, its between you and the IRS if you need them for anything. Unfortunately, they have to try to get their money. I’d think they would lack intelligence if they didn’t. Its business. lol :)

Please Help Me

I am new to this great gray wall gallery blog and I am hoping someone can help me out here. I have thought of setting up a donation website, or some other form of help. I owe money for my car, pay pal, car insurance, past internet bills, credit card, my bank, my family, my home (which has already gone in default and was supposed togo for short sale..)

The reason being is I met a man back where I used to live, in Maryland who seemed like a good man at the time except when I found out I was pregnant with his baby, I got ill, lost my job for 6 months, chewed up my savings AND MORE because I had to eat. My own family could not help me much, but his family moved me up here to Alaska and offered childcare as his mom is a daycare provider however…. I lost my job in maryland backin january 2008 and have had trouble with jobs up here until now but now I am in serious serous debt. My total income for the year of 2008 was $15,000 rounded UP.

My problem is my debt is not mostly crdit card debt, it is all debt that has things attached… I tried to get my home set up for a short sale but I am wondering if there are different options for that now because I now have a job. I want to be an independant woman again with my own place, and have everything for me and my son. Are there any grants that can help me? Any options for me that I am overlooking?

First off stop panicking! You can’t move forward until you set aside your fears. First and foremost is your ability to afford your housing and living expenses – does your current income cover these expenses with some income left over as contingency money for unexpected expenses? If it does then you should attempt to stop the short sale and get a workout plan started with your home lender. If not, let the home go through short sale process and move to more affordable quarters even if it means renting. Your car and car insurance should be included in your living expenses since you’ll likely need these to get to your job. I assume your credit score is pretty low so for some of the most urgent expenses you should consider applying for no credit check loans from Elc Loans website – they seem to offer quite a quality service. I personally used this company a few times. The good point is that everything is done online.

If you owe money to a bank be sure to move any savings or checking money to another bank right away. Everything else is unsecured including your family. You must support yourself first. Look for opportunities to increase income – part time work, weekend work, start a business on the cheap. Don’t give up – you won’t go to debtors prison and many times you’ll feel overwhelmed, but you can overcome your situation by focusing on your immediate needs first. Good Luck.

The B22 form

The B22 form is a complicated form and you need to fill out the ENTIRE form before a decision is determined regarding the means test. The B22A form is for determining elgibility for Chapter 7 and B22C determines how much money you have to pay in to a chapter 13 plan. I have NOT filed for bankruptcy yet so I CANNOT speak from actual experience and I’m meeting with a CCCS counselor next week(Greenpath) to try and determine a course of action.

If your income is below the median standard then you don’t have to fill out the entire B22A form you qualify for Chap. 7. Under certain circumstances you can ask the court to make an exception if you have unusual hardships such as extremely high medical expenses. Double check what I am saying with the NOLO books as well as www.legalconsumer.com.

There is a form that you can fill you when you do your taxes so that you will not have the amount of debt canceled to be charged as income. A form 982 must be filled out. It will be easier if you have a copy of all of your bills and all of your assets. I have used a CCCS agency and depending on the person in charge of your account, I found that it was something that I could do myself.

The company I use is going to insist that any settlement will not produce a taxable event, further they shield me from the impact of potential judgment liens.

If I were you, I would request that in written due to to the fact that reporting a debt forgiveness over the amount to $600 must be reported to the IRS by the company that is writing it off.

Well aware of IRS rules, but it can’t be debt forgiveness if the debt isn’t validated.

Most CCCS work closely with the creditors in conjunction with the borrower. They typically work against the borrower, they tend to eliminate or reduce the interest for the borrower and put the borrower on a payment plan. Which the borrower is under no obligation to stick to the plan and eventually fall off the plan and tend to free up cards only to grt further in debt.

I personally dont trust the decisions that they give you, yes they probably will help you be better off, however there are better services and options. Ones that will help you make a decison that is going to help your wallet not theirs. Rember any amount discharged using a CCCS must be reported as income on your taxes.

Has anybody used a CCCS agency to get out of debt?

Has anyone gone through a CCCS.org agency program with over $125k in card debt? If you CAN pay, but not the high interest and minimums, is not the CCCS agency a safe way to go? Bankruptcy (ch 13) lawyer wanted $5,400.00 up front, cash. No way, what a load of crap. I want to pay it all off, but with over $75k at 29% interest, I’m screwed. I walked away from thinking chapter 13 and have submitted all my info to a CCCS.org company. I just hope.

Several other alternatives:

  1. See if you qualify for Chapter 7.
  2. Take out Nolo’s books on filing Chapter 7 and 13 yourself from the library or buy them in a bookstore.

Well, according to the Lawyer, income over the IRS standards for this area can not file chapter 7. The IRS standard for here is $67k. I’m well over that so chap 7 (as I am told) is not an option. I’d do chap 13 myself, but just about everything I read says to do that without a lawyer is foolish. I’ll see what the CCCS.org says. So far though, I sent all the info to them last Friday, have talked to an operator once and emailed twice, NO response. I’m hoping that non-profit does not mean non-responsive. Their website is www.surepath.org. Has anybody here dealt with them?

We have been with CCCS since August. So far everything is going good. At first the counselor we had didn’t respond right away but my husband continued to e-mail her and finally got the ball running. Have you consider negotiated settlements with your unsecured debts? Yes, it will hurt the credit but so will CCCS. You should also know that mortgage lenders consider CCCS basically as Chapter 13 Bk’s. You can negotiate settlements yourself or hire someone to do for you.

That is not entirely correct. You need to do the means test to see whether you can file chapter 7. Income less than IRS median means you can almost certainly file Chapter 7. Go to www.legalconsumer.com for free means test calculations. You can also do it by filling out bankruptcy forms B22A and/or B22C on the bankrupty court websites. I’d also give the cccs a try and anyway you need to take a financial counseling course before filing any bankruptcy. Hopefully the new administration taking office in about half an hour might change things to make it easier!

What I said was completely correct. If you make MORE that the allotted IRS standard income for your area then you cannot file chap 7. The form you refer to (B22) says the same thing. Enter the IRS standard for your area, subtract your actual income, if answer is zero or less, you fail means test and can’t do chap 7.

CCCS can’t / won’t help here, so BK (chap 13) looks to be the only option. Has anybody actually done it themselves? I’m talking to a lawyer this week, but seems there is a lot of suggestions to do it your self. Everything I read from professionals says it would be stupid to do myself. I’d listen to someone who had actually done it. If you have not done it, please don’t waste our time with what you think. Too many folks here have WAY too much on the line to hear what you “think”. If you don’t “know”, please don’t reply.

Also, chap 13 is better for me than the so-called negotiators that get you total due lowered etc. In many cases, you have to pay taxes against the amount that the debtor forgave from the total amount. If you had $50K dropped from what you owe, you would owe taxes on that $50k. Not something most would want to do.

I posted this a while back but will re-post it

This has been my stradegy for the last year and it is working wonders- My credit score is a solid 750 now and my debt is really melting fast. So hear it goes. I pay my credit cards 4 times a month- it is intersting to manage but you will see a benifit the very first month and every month thereafter. You will save a ton of money in to be charged interest and qucikly beat down your principal. Any questions feel free to ask.

I’ve never tried that since I have enough problems figuring out how to pay at all. I have a horrible time bugeting. We are fairly backwards using about half of our income on our mortgage. I’ve paid my credit cards early sometimes and then they want to be paid again because they consider that to be an extra payment on the balance due. Then I need to scrap up EXTRA money on top of what I’ve already paid. Does that make sense? Maybe you do something differently? Usually, I pay their minimum on or just before the due dat. THEN in another couple of weeks, I’ll pay extra onto that account. Even $20.00 extra helps. Then, when they apply their finance charge per month it is a bit less as I’ve paid the principle down. It’s a slow go, but it does work.

If you are concerned about the little bit of interest you save this way, why not simply pay that extra $20.00 with your regular payment and save even more.

Hopefully, you would not wait until the due date to make your payment. Many things can happen, including unscrupulous credit card providers CLAIMING that they did not receive your payment in time, and therefor costing you a late payment charge and extra interest.

I do something similar, and it really does make a difference. I pay all my bills twice a month, as soon as I get paid. I divide all my payments in half (plus add $10 extra to each CC minimum) and pay that amount. The card I’m working to pay off first gets every other spare cent. By paying twice a month, my debt has really started to decrease much faster than before.

I highly recommend this practice–it does reduce the daily balance, so it helps drop your balances faster. It may take a little juggling to get it set up at first, but it’s worth it in the long run.

If you, like many people, are just having a hard time paying your bills at all, start with the minimums. It’s all about doing what you can to get rid of this albatross we’re all carrying.

Has anyone else noticed?

Has anyone else noticed that it’s impossible to get new cards with a large enough limit to transfer balances? We currently have a chase cards with 16.99 percent that I don’t think we’re making any progress on. Does anyone have any advice for me? What if I’ve lost my income? Is a loan modification possible then? We’re
not underwater, so I feel the bank is less likely to by sympathetic since we won’t walk away. I’d like to keep our home and feel that eventually we’ll be working again, but we need help through this difficult time.

If you use a Fed. Credit Union, see if they have a card. I did just get the go ahead to tranny about 3100.00 of high interest cc debt to one of my FCU’s cards for 13% APR.

I got my plastic, took down the acc # and sec code, and cut it up. (Sometimes you need the number and sec code to change your password and such, but I might never need that… but no actual card in my hand. But this’ll give me a leg up in beating those two higher interest debts down. You need to talk with your bank. I know the bank that I work for will use unemployment benefits as income, others will help you in different ways.

I can’t collect unemployment because I still own a business. The business hasn’t been able to pay me for nearly two years and in fact I’ve been putting money into it to the point where I’m nearly broke. The trend is currently up however, and I think we could be making money again by the end of the year if we can hold it together that long. What we need is a pause in our payments. I’ve been paying mortgages steadily since 1975 and I’ve never been late with a payment, but somehow I don’t think that will get me anywhere.

many lenders are willing to do a moratorium on mortgages if you can meet a given set of conditions. I do not work in that depart in my bank so I could not comment on the criteria, but I do know that we offer 6 month moratoriums. The big downside to this is that at the end of the term all 6 payments are due.

Regarding Self Employment, we will look at 12 months of bank statements (business only, at 50% of total deposits) to determine income for SE borrowers who have not drawn a personal paycheck in awhile. Again, I would highly recommend that give your bank a call. If they have received money from the FDIC programs they work off of very similar guidelines, aka FDIC mods. The answer to that would be no. Asking for a Loan Mod, or even receiving one from the bank that I work for will not impact your credit score at all. What will impact your score, and I see this all the time, is when someone applies for a Mod, and decides not to continue paying their current mortgage. I would recommend that if you have a financial hardship talk to your bank, they do not want your house, they have too many REOs as it is. If you do not actually need a Mod, but you are attempting to get one because “everyone else is getting one” please do not apply, I turn down about 40-50 applications a day because there is not an actual hardship.

Loan Mods are for people who are suffering a financial hardship. If you are, please call your bank as soon as possible, right now we are taking 60+ days to book a loan mod from the time we receive the WOP (work out package).

Hope this helps.