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Working with credit card companies – the good, bad and ugly . . .

Posted on : 04-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Uncategorized

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A few months ago we knew we were headed into “negative” territory on our bills.  A perfect storm of events were happening and we could see what was going to happen.

In our efforts to work with our credit card companies, we started by calling Chase – please don’t laugh… we didn’t realize at the time we were taking on the stupidest credit card company in the world, and I am not exaggerating.

Chase refused to work any hardship with us – we simply requested a lower interest rate and a temporary lowering of our payments (we did not request any reduction in principle).  Instead, they told us they couldn’t do anything and refused to work with us.  They told us our only option to work with them was through Consumer Credit Counsel Service (you know, that “credit counseling” company paid for by the credit card companies – the same one who’s focus is making sure the credit card companies get paid, 4-walls be darned?!).  They didn’t care that we were already working with a financial counselor through all of this.

Well Chase, this month will be the first of several months you won’t be getting paid.  You refuse to work with us so you’ll just have to wait in line behind others who are willing to work with us.

So, knowing what a nightmare our first attempt was, hubby called Merrick Bank today.  The 1st call didn’t go so well… however, she hung up on hubby so he called back again… and got someone nice – yes, I said nice, and helpfulThose are oxymoron’s in the credit card industry.

So, Merrick bank is very willing to work with us.  We have 2 credit card’s with Merrick and they were wonderful on both of those cards.  We told them we don’t have any money this month, however due to our efforts at selling things and bringing in extra income, we anticipate having the ability to repay again beginning next month.  In otherwords, we will miss 1 payment on both cards.  They said just call them to make the arrangements they agreed to which was dropping our rate to 6% and eliminating any late fees that accrue once the accounts go late.

Imagine that, a credit card company that actually wants their money and is willing to work out something temporarily with us.

Spurred on by the success of that phone call, hubby went on to Juniper Bank (we have 2 accounts with them as well).  They won’t do anything, period.  We can work through Consumer Credit Counseling and that is our only option with them.  No lower of rate, no temporary hardship, nothing.  In fact, they tried to sell hubby “credit protection” – yes, just what we need: to increase our debt with you when we are telling you we are not able to make the payment this month?!

So, Merrick Bank and our credit union are first priority on our “debt snowball” list and Juniper Bank and Chase are last priority.  Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll be going 4-6 months late on payments to them (unless something drastic changes in our financial situation in the very near future) which means likely charge offs… which means the companies aren’t likely to get even the principle amount owed to them as they’ll have collection agencies collecting for them.

We tried – over and over we tried. We asked simply for temporary abatement, not a hand out.  It’s no wonder people just give up and file bankruptcy (we will not).

We’ve also done this with every single card (including my coveted Macy’s Elite card)…

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