Government Debt Relief
Boosted in part by the recent government bailouts and programs for the financial sector, many individuals and families in Michigan, as well as nationwide, inevitably turn to the government for much needed relief. However, when it comes to the issue of providing debt relief, or credit card debt aid, the government does not provide any type of direct assistance or financial aid that will help individuals reduce or wipe out their credit card debt as well as other types of debts like medical bills, department store charges, gas cards, and other unsecured personal loans.
Fortunately, creditors may, depending on your financial situation, agree to provide much needed debt relief, typically by lowering interest rates, waiving late fees and other penalties, or maybe even settling your credit card debt for significantly less than what you really owe. To find out about some of the most common debt relief solutions and what they can do for you, answer a few basic questions to request your free debt relief analysis and savings estimate online.
How the Government Protects Cardholder's Rights
While the government does not offer any direct debt relief solution to consumers such as a debt management program or credit counseling, it is important to realize that the government has made significant strides in terms of assisting and protecting the rights of credit card holders and consumers in general. The Credit Card Act of 2009, in particular, is important credit card legislation that reflects how the government is working to help ensure that the rights of credit card holders are maintained and protected.
What is the Credit Card Act of 2009?
It is important to note that while the Credit Card Act of 2009 offers certain provisions and protections for credit card holders, it does not put restrictions or limitations on credit card pricing and interest rate caps, and it does not have any controls over how fees are set. The Credit Card Act of 2009 was established largely in response to many consumers and Congress believing that credit card companies have played a significant part in the debt crisis. These consumers believe that arbitrary rate hikes, failure to give adequate notice when rates are to be increased, confusing or hard-to-read credit card company contracts and disclosures, as well as a reprehensible credit card company practice called Universal Default, are some of the factors that contributed to the debt crisis.
To help protect credit card holders' rights, the Credit Card Act of 2009 requires creditors to give consumers plenty of notice - 45 days to be specific - when they are planning a rate increase. It also requires creditors to allow card holders who may want to cancel the credit card in question to pay off the entire balance at the older, existing rate, not at the increased rate. In addition, credit card companies are banned from retroactively increasing rates on a cardholder's balance in good standing for reasons that have no bearing or unrelated to the card holder's payment history with that particular card. Before the Credit Card Act of 2009 was established, credit card contracts that included the Universal Default provision allowed creditors to increase a cardholder's rates based on any change in an individual's "credit profile." What this meant was, if you were a cardholder in good standing and had a 10% interest on a card, and you applied for credit, bought a high-ticket item like a car, or missed a payment on a different credit card, the credit card that you had a perfect record of payment could look at those events - which again are completely unrelated to the credit card in question - and raise your rate from 10% to a whopping 29%! This highly dubious practice was prevalent in the past, and is generally believed to have contributed to the debt crisis.
As you can see, the government may not offer debt relief in the form of a debt management plan or credit counseling, but it does offer certain programs, such as Michigan Helping Hand, that go a long way towards helping those consumers who are in need of debt relief. These programs can generally provide assistance to Michigan citizens in the areas of health care, family support, housing, unemployment benefits, and jobs and training.
The bottom line is: If you are in need of debt relief, there is help available and debt relief solutions that may help you get your finances back in order. Get a free debt relief evaluation and savings estimate at no obligation to you by answering a few simple questions regarding your financial situation.