• Credit Card Debt, Borrowing Fall as CFPB Takes Aim at Add-On Costs

    July as consumer debt declined, even as Americans boosted their spending by the most in five months. The Post said it was the first time that Americans cut back on borrowing in nearly a year, adding that the drop in credit card debt offsets “a small rise in a measure of auto and student loans.”

    This came less than a week after the Detroit Free Press said that more credit card holders and consumer groups could also be saying good riddance to very costly add-on products, such as so-called “credit-protection plans.” This is because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is putting multiple institutions on notice about misleading debt-protection products and consumer insurance. These plans are under fire from the CFPB for deceptive marketing practices, and the Free Press reported that one settlement with regulators resulted in Capital One Bank refunding about $150 million to 2.5 million customers as well as paying $60 million in penalties.

    While these are all encouraging developments that can hopefully help more individuals avoid the burden of credit card debt, there are still other concerns that we will discuss in our next blog post. Are you currently overwhelmed with credit card bills? You should know that filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can end calls from debt collectors and may be able to give you a fresh start by wiping out the credit card debt or allowing you to only pay back a fraction of what you owe. Fill out the form located on this page or contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 to see what our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can do for you.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers

  • Are You Tired of Being ‘Stuck in Slow-Growth Mode’?

    While Bloomberg Businessweek reported on August 31, 2012, that consumer confidence hit a three-month high in August, an update released less than a week later by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois said the state’s economy is “stuck in slow-growth mode.” The State Journal-Register reported on September 4, 2012, that a “flash index” of corporate, individual and sales tax receipts was unchanged at 102.9 in August. The figure has remained in that range for the past three months after what the Journal-Register said had been two years of steady growth.

    “As is the case in months past, while the rate of growth is now positive, it is not strong enough to make much headway in reducing the unemployment rate,” the report stated.

    As the local economy continues to underwhelm, it’s thousands of middle-class families in Chicago and surrounding areas that continue to feel the burden. Millions of homeowners dig deeper into credit card debt just to pay for gas and groceries. They are forced to sweat every month as they wonder whether or not they will have the money to get by.

    While all of us want to see the news get better, the reality is that times are tough. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage or your family is facing the threat of foreclosure, you need to know that you have options. Filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help bring you the relief you need by ending the calls from debt collectors and giving you a fresh start. If you want to see what our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can do for you, get started by completing the form located on this page or contacting our firm today at (866) 930-7482.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyers