It’s a new year. It’s a new day. There are some new rules.
Financially, times are about to become hard for many of us but we the consumer still have some negotiating leverage.
Folks just don’t have the cash flow they had 6, 8 or 12 months ago. Not too long ago distressed borrowers might have avoided disaster by taking out an equity loan on their home, borrowed from 401ks or may even have borrowed from relatives or friends but in these dire times these are no longer options for many.
Lenders are realizing that many Americans will not be able to pay their bills as the economy gets worse and worst.
Some lenders have given the collection agencies that work for them the authority to get whatever cash money they can – even if it’s a fraction of the total debt – while they can.
Don’t get it twisted, creditors aren’t being nice – they are simply trying to get cash since cash is golden right now. In the months to come some people won’t have any extra cash to pay old debts so lenders are willing to negotiate today. As they say, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’. To paraphrase, it is better for creditors to accept what they can get today than to wait and risk getting nothing.
Some banks like Bank of America, Chase and even American Express are currently waiving late fees, lowering interest rates and are even reducing balances for nearly a million borrowers. Some lenders are offering to forgive their debtors between 20 and 70 percent of their debt.
As bad debts sky-rocket lenders are caught between a rock and a hard place so they will offer loan adjustments to people who meet certain criteria such as being delinquent for 90 days or longer, the borrower’s income, existing bank relationships and a credit record that suggests that missing a payment is an exception rather than the rule.
So, if you owe some money, now is the time to contact your bank, lender or collection agency and negotiate, negotiate, negotiate some sort of settlement.
Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy,
peace filled and prosperous New Year!