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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Meredith, Apr 4, 2000.
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Contact each lender an make your request. There is no reason for them to turn you down.
I wasn't all that sure what to say to them or how to go about asking or what departments to talk to. She is in a real mess about 13k of debt on 13 cards and I'm sure I haven't found all of it yet. They had filed bankruptcy before and I hope it doesn't come back at em while I'm trying to help them. Does anyone know anything about Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies and what they offer, or how lenders feel if they are stuck on your credit report after a bankruptcy?
meredith... if you're going to deal with your mother's creditors yourself, the first thing you must do is find out what each of them needs from your mom to allow you to inquire on the account. for obvious reasons, you don't want to be added to the accounts as an authorized user, but simply to be able to have your questions answered, and to otherwise deal with the card company(s) on her behalf.
if the accounts are open, she may be paying annual fees on each one. therefore, i suggest you ask orchard bank to consolidate their three into one. also ask that they attach an interest rate (on the consolidated account) equal to the lowest rate currently being charged. this same approach should be followed with any other lender with whom your mother presently has multiple open accounts.
i would also suggest that you find out the maximum interest rate your state permits a creditor to charge after receiving judgment. in other words, if they sued her and won, they couldn't continue to charge 23% APR (for example)... the law would require them to reduce it to something much more reasonable. it varies by state, but in some, it can be as low as 6%. your state attorney general's office should be able to tell you that.
once you know what the post-judgment rate is in your state, you should ask each of her creditors to reduce theirs to that level. your explanation when they object (and they will) is that your mother has little to lose in terms of creditworthiness, and this allows them to collect what's owed them at the same rate they'd be allowed if they sued her... but it saves them the time and the expense of litigation.
a word to the wise... a first-line customer service rep is not likely to have the authority to make such a concession. you need to talk to someone in their collection department, and preferably someone who's a little further up the chain of command.
if you'd rather not do this yourself (and it can be daunting) a non-profit consumer credit counseling agency (CCCA) will review all of your mothers outstanding debt, compare it to her available income, and try to work out a reasonable repayment plan. the CCCA will then contact each of her creditors and propose the plan. the creditors are under no obligation to accept the plan. however, if it's even remotely reasonable (in terms of allowing them to be repaid), most will.
two things to remember: under no circumstances should you be asked to pay any kind of a fee for this service. also... ask the CCCA rep if he or she will attempt to renegotiate the interest rates with the card company(s). if the proposed payments to each lender are less than the monthly finance charges, your mother will be paying forever. so the interest rates, from here on out, are important.
i hope these suggestions are helpful, at least as a place to start.
Your mother has 3 credit cards from the same bank? Could you tell me what card the are for my record.
Orchard, 2 from gateway, 2 from ccb and it goes on and on......
I am authorized to make financial descisions for her already right down to being able to sign her checks from the bank. So that step has been taken care of thank you for your suggestions I will see what I can do to implement them. Does anyone have any others?