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Everything posted by bostonte

  1. Mostly it's a two income household and the obligations that go with it (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) going to a single income in each of two households and no change in debt load and/or lifestyle. Debts incurred when you were married may be too high for you to keep paying promptly on when you no longer have the spouse's income. Also, a lot of people get divorce settlements that say ex has to pay XYZ joint credit card bill. That spouse doesn't pay. Other spouse ignores the creditor to have a fit with the ex for not paying, but in the mean time while trying to recover that money their credit is getting trashed.
  2. Make sure all of your accounts that are included in the bankruptcy are reporting $0 as the balance. Beyond that you really just have to let those two new credit cards and your mortgage age. Use them but keep the charges very low to keep your utilization low. If you have the cash, a secured credit card with a decent line would help. Large enough to allow you to use the card without killing your utilization. Then try for something bigger and better in 6 to 9 months.
  3. And today I received the following in the mail: "Dear bostonte: We are in receipt of your recent correspondence, which included a copy of a document indicating that bankruptcy has been filed which affects the following information. -- List of my multiple accounts reporting, including one bank who kindly listed me as Suspected Fraud Activity Please be advised that based on the bankruptcy filing, the information listed above has been removed from your consumer file at ChexSystems. If you have any questions please contact us. Sincerely, Consumer Relations Chex Systems, Inc." I sent them a letter along the same general idea as what was listed in the CH 7 section on Mary's site. I don't know who made the decision that updating to "Paid" or "Included in Bankruptcy" wouldn't be sufficient, but it certainly works for me. They even removed two older accounts that were still within the reporting time but listed as "All amounts owed have been paid". I didn't get a new copy of my report with the letter as verification, but I did open a new bank account without a problem! A pleasant surprise to an otherwise not so pleasant time period of my life (bankruptcy filing)...
  4. Just saw this one. Thoughts? Kinnecta Federal Credit Union Visa Gold - Share Secured 9.80% APR, No Annual Fee It would appear anyone can become a credit union member by joining the Consumers Cooperative Society of Santa Monica for $10.
  5. Perhaps he took a receivables financing agreement on his merchant processing account -- and he is trying to divert revenue away from the merchant account so he can keep a larger percentage to make his bills in a tougher economy?
  6. Foreign Currency is the other big one I forgot to mention. One of my business suppliers is in New Zealand and charges my debit card for every shipment. The amount almost always changes between authorization and post. I never see the NZD amount on my account statement, just the USD conversion. Any fee should have been included in the conversion automatically. It would be very unusual for a debit/gift card to have a charge applied later. I used to live in Canada and use my US accounts all the time -- on my debit card, I never once saw a separate charge come later. My bank did have a "conversion fee", but it was accounted for in the exchange rate used to do the original calculation. One of my credit cards did put a fee as a separate line item that appeared a few days after the charge settled -- but the amount had already been held with the original transaction, and separating to two line items was merely better accounting not taking additional funds.
  7. A Forced Post is a charge that goes on without a matching pre-authorization code. What type of merchant was this? Do you have an explanation for that $1.51 difference? If it's a restaurant/hotel that could be a tip or gratuity. On a regular credit card the pre-authorization would be valid for a certain percentage above the transaction to account for that -- on many debit and gift cards the pre-auth is only valid for the transaction amount and it ends up going through force post if it's adjusted. Or was the $68.09 a mistake when the cashier entered it into the credit card terminal and they corrected it after you left? (They aren't supposed to do that, but they sometimes can.) Perhaps a tax or something else calculated at the end of the transaction that was forgotten? Was the hold possibly on long enough before they settled that the pre-authorization expired? It's much more common on gift cards because authorizations don't go as far or as long. They assume on a credit card you won't care because you won't have to pay the auth amount, just the amount that's settled -- but on a gift card you can't spend it if it's held in an auth (i.e. 22% above your dinner bill last night being held). So authorizations are valid for less money and less time.
  8. What is the benefit of this idea over keeping everything current but adding all extra to one card? Every month you don't pay 1, 2, or 3 those balances will be getting higher. It's not as if they're going to freeze the current balance while you work on number 4. Unless you intend to draw it out until you can settle for less than full, it's probably not wise. Once you "let the other three go", they're going to shoot up to default APRs (probably 23% or higher). Some cards have default rates around 34%. So it's going to be far more expensive. If you can't afford the payments now, you definitely won't be able to afford them defaulted. And the way it usually works is you default, they jack up the apr and add fees, and then even if you eventually settle -- your settlement percentage is based on the debt amount with this extra interest and fees. So it's not 60% of your current balance, it's 60% of what your balance will be 7 or 8 months from now with all that fees and interest.
  9. "My reports are clean, I just pulled them a few days ago. They gave me the darn card before I was even close to completing rehab on my student loans so what gives??" "I've had the account since Feb" Even if February was the final 9th payment before your student loans were rehabbed, that's only 5 months at best since you had a serious delinquency. None of that is reported? Student loans can trash your report when they go bad, the collection agencies that work them are nasty. Reread your reports to check -- in this climate a late within 6 months is as good a reason as any to deny a CLI. Macy's is also very good about giving out $100 and leaving it there. My personal opinion is they figure $100 is little risk and gets you to the store to buy things and get your card savings. (It's the only store I've been in where the cashier makes it a point to mention that they can ring everything up, suspend the transaction, take cash or a debit card for an immediate credit to your store charge, and then resume and process the purchase "on the card".)
  10. They may get wages without a judgment, because you probably agreed to a voluntary wage assignment in the loan paperwork. Send them a letter revoking any wage assignments. *Then* they can't get any wages. Also inform them that you are revoking any and all authorization to initiate pre-authorized debits, ACH transactions, or any other debit instrument against any of your bank accounts. They *will* still attempt to take money out of your account, but you have this letter and proof of sending it, your bank should quickly rectify the situation. It's probably best to send this letter, inform your bank, and close the account and reopen another. Tell the bank you are afraid your account is compromised and want it closed and a new number issued. Wether you intend to pay them or not is your business, but at least this way you can continue on reasonable terms and not have them hitting your bank account left and right causing huge overdrafts.
  11. What do the terms look like on the loan you're trying to refi/mod? Is the current rate high enough, or term short enough, that a new loan at current rates and terms would reduce your DTI enough? I realize the problem is in getting that loan. Just wondering if it's a matter of not being able to get the loan, or the lender seeing the situation on the new loan not being different than present (i.e. the terms wouldn't change very much).
  12. The default rate is so high because the people they're suing are near their last rope. If you're being taken to court over a credit card bill of $1,000 -- you have big concerns supporting yourself and your family You are not in a position to pay a lawyer, buy legal references, and/or take the time off work to figure out a response and attend. Plus, despite what people may think, I doubt anyone is thinking they don't have to pay. More likely than not they get the summons, read it, go "Yep, well, I do owe them" and don't realize that they should still do something even if they agree that they owe money. Sue someone not living paycheck to paycheck for $1,000, and I bet you don't get 90% defaults. If you were paycheck to paycheck barely feeding your family, would you loose the hours at work to go attend a court hearing where you know you owe the money so can't see a possible defense? The only solution I can see would be allowing the clerk's office to offer a small bit of "legal" advice. For example the State Bar drafting a pamphlet that the clerk could guide someone through. Since they either aren't lawyers, or at least aren't your lawyer, the most they can do is tell you technically how to fill out the forms. They can't explain "oh, a junk debt buyer lawsuit? here's a sample of a response. you should request they produce x, y, z. and this is how you answer their interrogatories." There's no guide to this. People get a summons in the mail, full of legal language. The only contact information is either the clerk's office or the opposing counsel. Neither can or will help. So people see the other option is a yellow pages opened to Attorney -- but know they don't have the money for it.
  13. Collect Corp is the *worst* when an Amex account first goes bad. They will tell you anything to get you to pay. And yes, they will harass you about this debt. Find the notification laws for recording calls in your state, and try and record every call you have with these people. When they were calling me they violated left and right. If you can afford it, please pursue the violations. At worst, you are only responsible for charges on the actual card you had -- not on the entire account. But realistically you aren't responsible for anything. Despite with Amex and their collection agencies may wish, most of the time the additional cards have no financial responsibility. They will tell you that you do in hopes that you'll get scared and pay. I can't offer much beyond they will bug the heck out of you, but once it passes beyond Collectcorp they will leave the authorized users alone. My Amex account has gone through multiple CA's and to court -- and except for the original calls from Collectcorp they no longer have any interest in my additional cardholders. Send a C&D telling them you have no financial responsibility on the account and they are to stop any and all contact with you. Good luck!
  14. My American Express business cards have always appeared on my personal report.
  15. Why do you need to be in this particular spot? You said it's because it's near her neurologist and special needs school. Is there some option to get her sent to that school even if you live in a different area? In my State you can send your kids to a different district anyways -- ESPECIALLY if there are special needs involved. The requirement is the parent needs to provide transportation. Have you looked into the different options to redistrict her? I don't understand what the doctor's location has to do with it. You said you're a stay at home mother so surely you would be driving her to appointments. Is this doctor's practice geographically limited? Or do you mean for when she's admitted to the hospital that the closest hospital is where the neurologist practices? If that's the case is it possible her urgent care admissions could be handled at another location closer to another apartment with the routine care and follow-up done with the neurologist at this current spot? Are you absolutely sure the dollar and stress savings from living a bit farther out wouldn't off-set the inconvenience? Obviously you need to look out for her health, I'm just playing devil's advocate to help make sure you've seen more options.
  16. Am I the only one that would be cautious of calling all these numbers to get the line reinstated -- when you're unemployed? I'm sure it must be one of the questions they would ask before reinstating the account -- has anything in your financial picture changed, can you verify your employer, etc.
  17. Did you put the mortgage payments in when you did the math? $3,000 in bills a month sounds low for a $400 LOC payment, $10K in Credit Cards, and the two remaining mortgages of about 200K each. Do you have a car loan or lease? That's included too.
  18. What is the money within your 401K invested in? Certain products are only supposed to be offered to "high net worth" individuals who, in theory, can afford a loss and/or a financial advisor to ensure they know what they're doing. If you happen to have a product within your 401k that's flagged as one of these offerings, that's the only reason I could see why they would have to stop contributions (i.e. can't sell it to you until you satisfy their underwriter you're within the guidelines). Otherwise, it's probably just a case of send the form to everyone and then we have it if we need it in the future. I get them once a year from one of my brokerage accounts, despite holdings where it's completely unnecessary. When I asked they said they send them up once a year and just keep in on file in case it's needed. If you aren't comfortable providing the information, I would leave it blank and submit the signed form. Many times it's merely a requirement of getting the form back, not actually getting the information (i.e. if you don't fill it out they will not put you in the high net worth group, and otherwise not really care -- but if they never get the form back it's not "settled" on their underwriting where you place)
  19. bostonte

    Stolen ID

    If the check is old and for a small amount, the first one probably was some shady guy that just happened to buy some debt. I've had to work with more debt collectors than I'd like to admit, and there's a certain age and dollar value that puts you at the "You've reached my dirty bedroom in my mother's basement. Please send your payment today by Western Union so I can walk next door to Xtra-Mart and pick it up." collectors. They have no teeth, but they also have no qualms with ignoring the laws. I would suggest sending the report and a letter by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested. Give the collector some time to respond (they won't), and then send another letter, the report, and a copy of what you sent the collector to Certigy. They should help you if you make it look like the collector is non-responsive and you intend to pursue this further if they don't. Best of luck.

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