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Credit Card Companies Often Won’t Negotiate – Bankruptcy an Option

Blogs from September, 2012

Lady Justice law scale

During an especially rough financial patch‚ it makes sense that consumers would rely more heavily on credit cards.

Holding a credit card

The problem is that these companies are stubborn‚ and often won’t work with you to reduce fees or help make your payments lower and more manageable.

Sometimes‚ with the help of an experienced Woodland Hills bankruptcy lawyer‚ the company can be persuaded to bend. But we know that there are some situations in which bankruptcy may be the best solution. These involve individuals who‚ in particular‚ are wrestling with other debts as well.

Anyone who has ever tried to reason with the credit card companies may find they often aren’t interested in offering you a workable solution.

Some of the most commonly requested (and frequently denied) appeals include:

  • A request to drop a late fee. If you ask for this once‚ assuming you are in decent standing with the company and haven’t asked for any negotiations within the last year‚ the bank may work with you. Any more than that‚ however‚ and you’re likely to get a red light.
  • A request to drop the annual fee. The fact is‚ most secured credit cards do have some kind of annual fee‚ and sometimes‚ it’s not that much – maybe $30. But unless you have amazing credit‚ you aren’t likely to get this fee dropped.
  • A request to extend a promotional offer. Let’s say the company offered you a 0 percent transfer balance in order to move a balance of several thousand dollars from another‚ higher-interest credit card to the current one. If you aren’t able to pay off that balance within the allotted time (usually 18 months or so) you could be slapped with an interest rate of 22 percent or higher. This is obviously a huge increase that‚ depending on the balance‚ can result in quite a bit extra each month. Get behind on that and now you’re facing serious trouble. You can certainly ask f the company will agree to extend that promotional offer for another couple months‚ but you will probably be turned down. That’s because the whole point of these promotional offers is to get you sucked in. They don’t really expect you to pay it off‚ and in fact‚ they’re banking on the fact that you won’t. Instead‚ you may be able to do another balance transfer to a different card‚ but unless you have stellar credit‚ you may be looking at high fees to do so.
  • A request for a higher credit limit. You might qualify for this if you have a solid credit score‚ you pay all your bills on time and you cover more than the monthly minimums. But if you’re in trouble because you lost your job or have some medical emergency‚ you are not likely to find much relief. Plus‚ running up higher credit card debt is not really a long-term solution anyway. Even if you only intend for it to be temporary‚ when you start using credit cards to pay for the basics‚ you are in a precarious financial position.

The bottom line in all of this is that even when such hardship requests are granted‚ they still might not be enough to relieve you of the financial burdens that prevent you from moving forward. In such cases‚ bankruptcy becomes a better solution.

If you are facing foreclosure in Woodland Hills‚ contact Cal West Law to schedule your free consultation. Call (818) 446-1334

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