Michigan Bankruptcy Laws/Michigan Credit Card Debt Lawyers/Bankruptcy Attorneys
I, Walter Metzen, will provide, free of charge as part of your free initial Bankruptcy Analysis, a means test calculation to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Michigan Credit Card Debt Lawyer. Nearly 90% of the people who walk through my door are eligible to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Michigan and get a permanent discharge of their debt. With Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Michigan, we can develop and affordable repayment plan to fit every budget.
Contact me, Michigan bankruptcy attorney Walter Metzen to learn more about how I can help you get a Fresh Financial Start!.
Facts for Consumers Using Credit Cards
Secured Credit Card Marketing Scams
ANYONE CAN QUALIFY FOR A MAJOR CREDIT CARD!Separated? Divorced? Bankrupt? Widowed? BAD CREDIT? NO CREDIT?NO PROBLEM!
Ads like this may appeal to you if you have a poor credit history or no credit at all. Beware: while secured credit cards can be an effective way to build or re-establish your credit history, some marketers of secured cards make deceptive advertising claims to entice you to respond to their ads.
Secured vs. Unsecured Cards
Secured and unsecured cards can be used to pay for goods and services. However, a secured card requires you to open and maintain a savings account as security for your line of credit; an unsecured card does not.
The required savings deposit for a secured card may range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Your credit line is a percentage of your deposit, typically 50 to 100 percent. Usually, a bank will pay interest on your deposit. In addition, you also may have to pay application and processing fees — sometimes totaling hundreds of dollars. Before you apply, be sure to ask what the total fees are and whether they will be refunded if you’re denied a card. Typically, a secured card requires an annual fee and has a higher interest rate than an unsecured card.
Deceptive Ads and Scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against companies that deceptively advertise major credit cards through television, newspapers, and postcards. The ads may offer unsecured credit cards, secured credit cards, or not specify a card type. The ads usually lead you to believe you can get a card simply by calling the number listed. Sometimes the number is not toll-free. A ‘900’ number service, for which you are billed just for making the call, may instruct you to give your name and address to receive a credit application, or give you a list of banks offering secured cards. It also may tell you to call another ‘900’ number — at an additional charge — for more information.
Deceptive ads often leave out important information.
How to Avoid the Scam Michigan Credit Card Debt Lawyers
To avoid being victimized, look for the following signs:
If you’re considering a secured card as a way to build or re-establish a credit record, make sure the issuer reports to a credit bureau. Your credit history is maintained by companies called credit bureaus; they collect information reported to them by banks, mortgage companies, department stores, and other creditors. If your card issuer doesn’t report to a bureau, the card won’t help you build a credit history.
For More Information Michigan Credit Card Debt Lawyers
To build a credit record, you may want to apply for a charge card or a small loan at a local store or lending institution. Ask if the creditor reports transactions to a credit bureau. If they do — and if you pay back your debts regularly — you will build a good credit history.
If you cannot get credit on your own, you can ask a relative or friend with a good credit history to act as your cosigner. The cosigner promises to repay the debt if you don’t.
If you’re having problems paying bills, you may want to contact a credit counseling service. Non-profit organizations in every state counsel consumers who are in debt. Counselors try to arrange a repayment plan that is acceptable to you and your creditors. They also can help you set up a realistic budget. These counseling services are offered at little or no cost to consumers. You can find the office nearest you by checking the White Pages of your telephone directory.
Sometimes, non-profit counseling programs are operated by universities, military bases, credit unions, and housing authorities. They are likely to charge little or nothing for their services. Or you can check with your local bank or consumer protection office to see if it has a list of reputable low-cost financial counseling services.
Protect Yourself Michigan Credit Card Debt Lawyers
Be wary of credit counseling organizations that:
You may be able to lower your cost of credit by consolidating your debt through a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit. Remember that these loans require you to put up your home as collateral. If you can’t make the payments — or if your payments are late — you could lose your home.
What’s more, the costs of consolidation loans can add up. In addition to interest on the loans, you may have to pay “points,” with one point equal to one percent of the amount you borrow. Still, these loans may provide certain tax advantages that are not available with other kinds of credit.
Personal bankruptcy generally is considered the debt management option of last resort because the results are long-lasting and far reaching. People who follow the bankruptcy rules receive a discharge — a court order that says they don’t have to repay certain debts. However, bankruptcy information (both the date of your filing and the later date of discharge) stay on your credit report for 10 years, and can make it difficult to obtain credit, buy a home, get life insurance, or sometimes get a job. Still, bankruptcy is a legal procedure that offers a fresh start for people who have gotten into financial difficulty and can’t satisfy their debts.
There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Each must be filed in federal bankruptcy court. As of April 2006, the filing fees run about $274 for Chapter 13 and $299 for Chapter 7. Attorney fees are additional and can vary.
Effective October 2005, Congress made sweeping changes to the bankruptcy laws. The net effect of these changes is to give consumers more incentive to seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7. Chapter 13 allows people with a steady income to keep property, like a mortgaged house or a car, that they might otherwise lose through the bankruptcy process. In Chapter 13, the court approves a repayment plan that allows you to use your future income to pay off your debts during a three-to-five-year period, rather than surrender any property. After you have made all the payments under the plan, you receive a discharge of your debts.
Chapter 7 is known as straight bankruptcy, and involves liquidation of all assets that are not exempt. Exempt property may include automobiles, work-related tools, and basic household furnishings. Some of your property may be sold by a court-appointed official — a trustee — or turned over to your creditors. The new bankruptcy laws have changed the time period during which you can receive a discharge through Chapter 7. You now must wait 8 years after receiving a discharge in Chapter 7 before you can file again under that chapter. The Chapter 13 waiting period is much shorter and can be as little as two years between filings.
Both types of bankruptcy may get rid of
unsecured debts and stop foreclosures,
repossessions, garnishments and utility
shut-offs, and debt collection activities. Both
also provide exemptions that allow people to
keep certain assets, although exemption amounts
vary by state. Note that personal bankruptcy
usually does not erase child support, alimony,
fines, taxes, and some student loan obligations.
And, unless you have an acceptable plan to catch
up on your debt under Chapter 13, bankruptcy
usually does not allow you to keep property when
your creditor has an unpaid mortgage or security
lien on it.
Debt Negotiation Programs
Debt negotiation differs greatly from credit counseling and DMPs. It can be very risky, and have a long term negative impact on your credit report and, in turn, your ability to get credit. That’s why many states have laws regulating debt negotiation companies and the services they offer. Contact your state Attorney General for more information.
Debt negotiation firms may claim they’re
nonprofit. They also may claim that they can
arrange for your unsecured debt — typically
credit card debt — to be paid off for anywhere
from 10 to 50 percent of the balance owed. For
example, if you owe $10,000 on a credit card, a
debt negotiation firm may claim it can arrange
for you to pay it off with a lesser amount, say
Just because a debt negotiation company
describes itself as a “nonprofit” organization,
there’s no guarantee that the services they
offer are legitimate. There also is no guarantee
that a creditor will accept partial payment of a
legitimate debt. In fact, if you stop making
payments on a credit card, late fees and
interest usually are added to the debt each
month. If you exceed your credit limit,
additional fees and charges also can be added.
This can cause your original debt to double or
triple. What’s more, most debt negotiation
companies charge consumers substantial fees for
their services, including a fee to establish the
account with the debt negotiator, a monthly
service fee, and a final fee of a percentage of
the money you’ve supposedly saved.
Turning to a business that offers help in solving debt problems may seem like a reasonable solution when your bills become unmanageable. But before you do business with any company, check it out with your state Attorney General, local consumer protection agency, and the Better Business Bureau. They can tell you if any consumer complaints are on file about the firm you’re considering doing business with. Ask your state Attorney General if the company is required to be licensed to work in your state and, if so, whether it is.
Some businesses that offer to help you with your debt problems may charge high fees and fail to follow through on the services they sell. Others may misrepresent the terms of a debt consolidation loan, failing to explain certain costs or mention that you’re signing over your home as collateral. Businesses advertising voluntary debt reorganization plans may not explain that the plan is a bankruptcy filing, tell you everything that’s involved, or help you through what can be a long and complex process.
In addition, some companies guarantee you a loan if you pay a fee in advance. The fee may range from $100 to several hundred dollars. Resist the temptation to follow up on these advance-fee loan guarantees. They may be illegal. It is true that many legitimate creditors offer extensions of credit through telemarketing and require an application or appraisal fee in advance. But legitimate creditors never guarantee that the consumer will get the loan — or even represent that a loan is likely. Under the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule, a seller or tele-marketer who guarantees or represents a high likelihood of your getting a loan or some other extension of credit may not ask for or accept payment until you’ve received the loan.
You should be cautious of claims from so-called credit repair clinics. Many companies appeal to consumers with poor credit histories, promising to clean up credit reports for a fee. But you already have the right to have any inaccurate information in your file corrected. And a credit repair clinic cannot have accurate information removed from your credit report, despite their promises. You also should know that federal and some state laws prohibit these companies from charging you for their services until the services are fully performed. Only time and a conscientious effort to repay your debts will improve your credit report.
If you’re thinking about getting help to stabilize your financial situation, do some homework first. Find out what services a business provides and what it costs, and don’t rely on verbal promises. Get everything in writing, and read your contracts carefully.
Equal Credit Opportunity
Credit is used by millions of consumers to finance an education or a house, remodel a home, or get a small business loan.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) ensures that all consumers are given an equal chance to obtain credit. This doesn’t mean all consumers who apply for credit get it: Factors such as income, expenses, debt, and credit history are considerations for creditworthiness.
The law protects you when you deal with any creditor who regularly extends credit, including banks, small loan and finance companies, retail and department stores, credit card companies, and credit unions. Anyone involved in granting credit, such as real estate brokers who arrange financing, is covered by the law. Businesses applying for credit also are protected by the law. Michigan Credit Card Debt Lawyers
When You Apply For Credit, A Creditor May Not...
When Deciding To Give You Credit, A Creditor May Not...
When Evaluating Your Income, A Creditor May Not...
You Also Have The Right To...
A Special Note To Women
A good credit history—a record of how you paid past bills—often is necessary to get credit. Unfortunately, this hurts many married, separated, divorced, and widowed women. There are two common reasons women don’t have credit histories in their own names: they lost their credit histories when they married and changed their names; or creditors reported accounts shared by married couples in the husband’s name only.
If you’re married, divorced, separated, or widowed, contact your local credit bureau(s) to make sure all relevant information is in a file under your own name.
If You Suspect Discrimination... Michigan Credit Card Debt Help
If a retail store, department store, small loan and finance company, mortgage company, oil company, public utility, state credit union, government lending program, or travel and expense credit card company is involved, contact:
The FTC cannot intervene in individual disputes, but the information you provide may indicate a pattern of possible law violations that require action by the Commission.
If your complaint concerns a nationally-chartered bank (National or N.A. will be part of the name), write to:
If your complaint concerns a state-chartered bank that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation but is not a member of the Federal Reserve System, write to:
If your complaint concerns a federally-chartered or federally-insured savings and loan association, write to:
If your complaint concerns a federally-chartered credit union, write to:
Complaints against all kinds of creditors can be referred to:
Contact me, bankruptcy attorney Walter Metzen to learn more about how I can help you get a Fresh Financial Start!.
Be sure to Obtain a copy of your Credit Report after your Michigan Bankruptcy Filing and check it for Mistakes.
Contact me, bankruptcy attorney Walter Metzen to learn more about how the new Chapter 7 bankruptcy law may affect your case. I offer a free initial consultation so we can discuss your case personally.
We are a Debt Relief Agency helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Let us help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you.Content Footer