Read the Latest Issue of ‘Your Money & The Law’ Newsletter
You may get calls from credit card companies asking whether you’d like to hear about additional products they offer. If you said yes to a call from Discover between December 2007 and August 2011, you may be in for a little extra cash. Discover has settled deceptive marketing charges brought by the FDIC. The bank was accused of tricking customers into paying for extra credit protection programs.
The amount of student loan debt in the United States is close to $1 trillion, second only to mortgage debt. Due to the poor job market of the past few years, nearly one in every six borrowers with a student loan balance is currently in default. But the government does a good job of tracking down the money it’s owed.
As the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gears into full implementation over the next two years, health insurance will be extended to millions of Americans who couldn’t previously afford it. With medical bills one of the largest causes of bankruptcy, will healthcare reform bring a reduction in people who resort to bankruptcy court to seek medical debt relief? Perhaps, say the experts.
U.S. consumers are $18.7 billion behind on their credit card debt. Increasingly, banks are taking delinquent borrowers to court, suing them for payment. Often, these borrowers never show up in court to contest the charges. This can be a big mistake, especially because the documents submitted to the court frequently include costly errors.
Outlawed in the United States in the 1830s, debtor’s prisons are somehow making a comeback now that regular folks are more vulnerable to financial trouble. Whether it’s inability to pay court fees as a criminal defendant or outstanding credit card debt, your unpaid debts can still land you in prison, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has said people cannot be imprisoned merely because they can’t pay up.