Loans – Kent Tribune Wed, 02 Jun 2021 19:38:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Loans – Kent Tribune 32 32 How to Get Out of Debt and Increase Your Credit Score in 2021 Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000 RALEIGH (WTVD) – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause financial grief in the New Year. If your hope is to improve your finances and increase your savings, the Better Business Bureau has some tips to help you get out of debt.

The New Year is always a good time to assess your finances. One of the first things you can do is take a look at your credit cards.

Credit cards are known for their high interest rates, which can cost a lot of money over time. The BBB suggests that you see if you can use a balance transfer offer to switch to a card with a lower rate. Do your research on the BBB website first. Across the country, consumers filed more than 8,933 complaints against credit card companies in 2019. Make sure you read the terms and contract very carefully, as there can be hefty penalties if you miss one. payment. If you have multiple cards, decide which debt repayment strategy is right for you.

SEE ALSO | How a couple got out of $ 50,000 in credit card debt

There are many free tools available to help you increase your credit score.

The BBB offers this free debt solution tool to find options to manage your debt. Another great tool to help your credit score is to review programs offered by the big three credit bureaus, including Experience boost.

The most important thing to remember is not to get ripped off by the promises of debt relief from debt relief companies.

SEE ALSO | How a Texas couple forgave over $ 100,000 in debt in 2 years

“It’s actually illegal in North Carolina to charge upfront fees for debt collection services, so that’s a huge red flag. Also, know if they’re out of state, if they are. are often, they don’t make it known in state laws and that can also be a red flag, ”adds Alyssa Parker of the BBB.

Another red flag to watch out for when it comes to debt relief scams is if the company tells you to cut off all communication with your creditor and only make payments to the debt relief company. the debt.

Here are some other warning signs of BBB debt relief scams:

  • A debt relief company charges upfront fees before settling debts.
  • The company guarantees that it can eliminate your debt or reduce it by a particular amount within a specified time.
  • The company advises you to cut off communication with creditors.
  • The company will not send you information about its services unless you provide financial information such as credit card account numbers and balances.
  • To get your debt under control, the BBB suggests trying the following instead:

    Contact your creditors to discuss your repayment options. Most companies are willing to make special arrangements to help. Be realistic about how quickly you’ll be able to repay what you owe before agreeing to a payment plan.

    Talk to a nonprofit credit counselor. If you’re having trouble staying on a budget or can’t work out a repayment plan, consider reaching out to a credit counseling service. Find a nonprofit accredited credit counselor in your area by contacting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 1-800-388-2227 or

    SEE ALSO | Debt collection scams on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Consider a debt management plan if recommended by a nonprofit credit counselor. In a debt management plan, you deposit money each month with the credit counseling agency. The organization then uses this money to pay your bills according to a payment schedule that the advisor works out with you and your creditors. Your creditors may agree to lower interest rates or waive certain fees, but check with them to confirm these offers. You may need to agree not to request or use additional credit while you are in the plan.

    The fees that credit counselors can charge to set up and administer a debt management plan are limited by North Carolina law. Credit counselors cannot charge more than $ 40 to set up a debt management plan, and counselors can charge a monthly administration fee of no more than 10% of the monthly payment, up to a maximum of $ 40 per month. month.

    Consider contacting a local bankruptcy lawyer if your debt situation is particularly difficult.

    Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All rights reserved.

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    Italy to continue debt relief for Africa under G20 presidency -Diplomat Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    ROME, Nov. 20 (Reuters) – Italy will use its upcoming chairmanship of the Group of 20 major world economies to seek further debt relief for African states, a senior Italian diplomat said on Friday.

    Italy takes on the annual rotating presidency of the G20 on December 1 and will seek to build on a deal reached by major international creditors in April that aimed to relieve the world’s poorest countries from debt payments.

    “Any other movement, due to the diversity of the G20 members, will not be so easy, but we will work to achieve a good result,” said Pietro Benassi, diplomatic adviser to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

    Benassi, who is involved in shaping the Italian G20 agenda, told a conference that “raising awareness of Africa” ​​would be one of the priorities. “Debt relief must be one of the expected outcomes of the G20 and we will do our best to achieve it,” he said.

    Policymakers, analysts and investors have warned that African countries face a looming debt crisis and will need more long-term aid than the latest G20 debt plan offers.

    About 40% of countries in sub-Saharan Africa were in debt distress or at risk of debt distress even before this year, while Zambia last Friday became the continent’s first default during the time of the pandemic. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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    UPDATE 2-Request for debt relief from Ethiopia to put other DSSI countries on watch – Morgan Stanley Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    (Add details on bond market fallout and debt charts)

    LONDON, Feb.1 (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s demand for debt relief in recent days is likely to place other poor countries also eligible for the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) under pressure from the bond market, Morgan Stanley analysts said Monday.

    Ethiopia has said it plans to seek a restructuring of its sovereign debt under a new common framework of the G20 group of major economies designed to help cope with the financial pressures of COVID-19, and is considering all the options.

    The news on Friday pushed its government bonds to their steepest daily drop, fearing that private sector holders would be forced to write down and trigger a default in the eyes of major credit rating agencies.

    “G20 DSSI-eligible sovereigns and those requesting IMF programs may be subject to further scrutiny following Ethiopia’s request for debt relief,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note to customers.

    “The key question would be to what extent bilateral creditors insist on private sector participation. A potentially tougher stance on the part of the bilateral sector could weigh on the high yield of emerging markets (countries with lower credit ratings). “

    In all, 73 countries here are eligible for a temporary suspension of debt service payments owed to their official bilateral creditors. So far, forty have applied to benefit from it.

    The G20 also called on private creditors such as investment funds to participate in the initiative on comparable terms. The suspension period, which was originally scheduled to end on December 31, 2020, now runs through June and could be extended further.


    Morgan Stanley said he puts DSSI countries the center of attention and other low-rated countries into three main groups.

    The first includes those who still have manageable debt levels, access to debt markets, or who can leverage existing International Monetary Fund programs such as Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and the Senegal.

    A second category where fiscal finances are deteriorating – requiring either an “extremely favorable” external context or new IMF support to pass – includes Pakistan, Cameroon, Kenya, Costa Rica and Argentina and Ecuador recently. in default of payment.

    Cameroonian bonds looked particularly scared, suffering their biggest drop on Monday since the initial global rout in March.

    The latter group has those currently in default like Zambia and Lebanon as well as those considered at risk for some time like Sri Lanka, which faces a $ 1 billion buyout in July, followed by $ 500 million. to $ 1 billion every 6 to 9 months. after.

    Tunisia was also now in this category with ongoing protests making budget savings even more difficult, with Mozambique and Congo heavily in debt, and finally Laos and Maldives where COVID-19 has hammered their tourism sectors.

    Additional reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Tom Arnold, Andrew Cawthorne and Alison Williams

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    Exclusive: Italian G20 Presidency calls for debt relief and new IMF drawing rights Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    ROME (Reuters) – Italy, this year’s chair of the Group of 20 Rich and Emerging Countries, will push its members to extend debt relief to poor countries struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, told Reuters a senior official of the G20 finance team in Rome.

    FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are seen on a screen before the start of the virtual meeting of the G20 organized by Saudi Arabia, in Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2020. REUTERS / Yves Herman / Pool / File Photo

    Italy was also confident that Biden’s presidency would announce a more cooperative position on the part of the United States on international financial cooperation, especially in areas such as climate change and aid to poorer states.

    “We need to give fiscal space to low-income countries in greater difficulty,” said Gelsomina Vigliotti, Italy’s treasury director general for international financial relations, outlining the country’s priorities for her presidency in an interview.

    Vigliotti said Italy, which took over as head of the G20 in December, would push to extend the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) freezing bilateral service payments until the end of the year. of debt for more than 40 countries.

    The restrictions adopted to combat the pandemic have hit poor countries particularly hard and threaten to push millions of people into extreme poverty. Many countries that were already facing crushing debt levels before the crisis are having to restructure their loans or face default.

    The DSSI, promoted by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and endorsed by the G20, was introduced in May of last year and is currently scheduled to expire in June.

    “Debt will certainly be a very important theme of the Italian presidency,” said Vigliotti.

    To further help poor countries, Italy will also urge the G20 to support the IMF’s new $ 500 billion issue of its own currency, known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the Italian official said. G20, describing this as “a top priority”.

    The former US administration of Donald Trump had blocked the idea of ​​a new issuance of SDRs, a move similar to a central bank printing money, saying it would provide more resources to richer countries because their allocation would be proportional. to their participation in the IMF.

    Vigliotti rejected this argument, saying that rich countries that do not need their allocated SDRs can return them to the IMF facility which can in turn lend to the poor.

    “The aim is to ensure that a new allocation of SDRs is made available to the poorest countries,” she said, adding that there was “general consensus” on the subject within the G20.

    “We expect the new administration (Joe) Biden to take a different stance on the issue,” she said.

    Separately, a French G20 official also told Reuters that Paris was encouraged by signs that Biden would not block new SDRs like Trump did.

    In general, the change of government in the United States has already had a “tangible” impact on G20 affairs, said Vigliotti, with a more constructive and multilateral approach to climate change and sustainable financial investments.

    Italy’s G20 presidency got off to a rocky start with the collapse of the government in Rome when a junior partner withdrew from the ruling coalition. Vigliotti played down domestic political turmoil, saying it would not change the country’s G20 agenda already agreed with its partners.

    Promoting a fairer and more sustainable international tax system will be another priority for the Italian Presidency, she said.

    Rome hopes to negotiate a broad agreement by June on taxation of the digital economy and minimum levels of corporate taxation around the world, she said, on the basis of preparatory work carried out by the United Nations. economic cooperation and development.

    “Failure to reach an agreement would have negative consequences, it would weaken confidence in the ability to find multilateral solutions,” she warned.

    Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer in Rome and Leigh Thomas in Paris; Editing by Toby Chopra

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    Trump backs DeVos plan to limit student debt relief Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    But Trump said in a veto message that he was respecting DeVos’ rule because it would “protect students and taxpayers.” He said the policy would create “a fair process” that “will bring deserved relief to students aggrieved by their educational institutions.”

    This is the eighth time Trump has vetoed legislation since taking office – and the first on a domestic policy issue.

    The Congress Review Act resolution now returns to Congress, where the House or Senate is unlikely to be able to override Trump’s veto.

    House leaders are gearing up for a priority vote on July 1, but it doesn’t look like they have the votes to do so. The legislation initially cleared the House in January on a 231-180 vote, well below the required two-thirds majority.

    In the Senate, the measure also failed to pass by a veto, although 10 Republicans broke with DeVos and joined Democrats in a 53-42 vote in March. It is not known whether Senate leaders will propose a priority vote.

    The White House had previously threatened to veto the legislation as it passed through the House and Senate earlier this year. But Trump told GOP senators in a private meeting that he was “neutral” on the resolution.

    Veterans groups have been pushing fiercely for Trump to sign the measure, running Fox News TV ads about it this week.

    In a statement Friday before the veto, James “Bill” Oxford, the national commander of the American Legion, said the group “hoped President Trump would come to the aid of veteran students again,” and that DeVos’ reign has made it “almost impossible for veterans to be successful” in getting a loan forgiveness if they were deceived by a school.

    Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, who led the effort to overthrow the DeVos regime, called Trump’s veto “a victory for Education Secretary DeVos and the merchants. of fraud in for-profit colleges ”. He added: “My question to the President: In four days, have you forgotten those Memorial Day flag-waving speeches as you vetoed a bill that veterans were calling for?”

    Representative Susie Lee (D-Nev.), Who was the main sponsor of the resolution in the House, said Trump’s veto “sent a message to the American people that they care more about enriching schools in the United States. predators than to protect defrauded students and veterans.

    Trump’s veto, barring a successful waiver, paves the way for DeVos’ rule to take effect on July 1, as expected. DeVos Rule Revises Obama-Era Debt Relief Standards, Known As “The Borrower’s Defense,” Which Were Finalized In 2016 In Response To Misconceptions By For-Profit Colleges .

    DeVos finalized a rewrite of the Obama-era rule last fall, criticizing the previous administration’s approach as offering a gift of “free money” to students at the expense of taxpayers.

    DeVos policy sets higher standards when the government wipes out the debt of students who claim to have been misled or deceived by their colleges. It will apply to all future loans disbursed from July.

    The Education Department estimated that the stricter rules would reduce loan cancellations by hundreds of millions of dollars each year, compared to the policy of the Obama era, saving taxpayers more than $ 11 billion. dollars over the next decade.

    The Obama-era regulations were designed to provide relief to borrowers. DeVos and some Tory critics said the standard was too broad, costly for taxpayers, and punished unintentional college mistakes.

    The Trump administration’s new rule will also remove an Obama-era policy that largely prohibits colleges that receive federal aid from requiring their students to resolve their disputes through arbitration – rather than a court or a class action lawsuit against the school.

    DeVos began fighting Obama-era regulations upon taking office and for more than three years lobbied to reverse the previous administration’s approach to loan forgiveness.

    DeVos sought to delay the settlements, only to be shot down by a federal court last year, which ruled she had illegally postponed them. She has also clashed several times with Democrats, who accused her of being stingy and unfair to struggling students.

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    Curacao to pay $ 10.5 million after cheating on Latino customers – The Downey Patriot Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    SOUTH GATE – The Los Angeles, Curacao-based retailer has agreed to pay $ 10.5 million in a settlement for business practices that have unlawfully harmed Spanish-speaking immigrant consumers and their families.

    The settlement resolves several allegations included in a 2017 lawsuit filed by the attorney general against Adir International, the Curaçao parent company, and its owner Ron Azarkman.

    The lawsuit alleged that Curacao attracted customers by advertising low prices and easy credit, and then informed those consumers that they could only buy at the advertised price after purchasing ancillary accessories, warranties or services. installation.

    In other cases, Curacao has added elements to payment contracts without customers knowing.

    State investigators have spent hundreds of hours interviewing dozens of clients affected by Curacao, almost all low-income Latino immigrants who communicate primarily in Spanish, to collect and provide evidence to support the trial of the Attorney General and any settlement.

    “Immigrants to Los Angeles County, especially those whose primary language is something other than English, face significant challenges every day. The least they can expect is to be treated fairly and legally by the companies that serve and market them in their preferred language, ”said Rafael Carbajal, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs and Business ( DCBA). “We are pleased that the Attorney General has secured relief for consumers who need it most and that we have been able to play our part in helping to maintain market fairness for both consumers and businesses that properly adhere to the law. law.

    As part of the settlement, Curacao is to provide $ 10 million in debt relief to consumers who have been harmed by their conduct. The settlement also includes additional debt relief for customers who still pay Curacao for illegal small claims judgments, plus $ 500,000 in civil penalties.

    The settlement also includes injunctive terms requiring Curacao to comply with California law and treat its customers fairly and ethically. These terms include:

    Stores in Curacao will prominently display a Consumers Bill of Rights;

    Curacao must sell the items as advertised and must provide additional information in its advertisement;

    Senior management will review Curaçao’s advertising to ensure it complies with the court ruling;

    Curacao must fully disclose all important contract terms before asking clients to sign contracts;

    Curacao must provide clients with a contract in their language before asking them to sign;

    Debt collection efforts will be limited to one phone call per day with delinquent consumers;

    Curacao will stop debt collection activities and erase the credit records of consumers who have been subject to default judgments against them in illegal small claims actions;

    A business ethics expert will help Curacao create and maintain an effective sales incentive, compliance and ethics program that encourages legal behavior, and which includes annual ethical culture surveys and reviews; and

    Curacao will regularly report its compliance to the Attorney General for several years and provide access to its files for review.

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    Belt and Road Initiative: Pakistan calls for debt relief from China Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    Pakistan plans to ask China for payment relief for power projects funded by Beijing over the past eight years, the latest developing country struggling to repay debt under the Belt and Road Initiative. Road of President Xi Jinping.

    In informal talks, Pakistan and China discussed easing debt repayment terms on a dozen power plants, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who said Islamabad had not yet made a decision. formal request. The parties have probed Beijing’s willingness to spread debt payments, instead of reducing the return on equity, the person said, requesting anonymity because the plan is private.

    A huge construction of Chinese-funded power plants in Pakistan, which was originally aimed at solving its electricity shortages, has resulted in a surplus that Islamabad cannot afford. China’s initiative-funded infrastructure projects in other developing countries, such as Sri Lanka and Malaysia, have suffered from problems ranging from high debt to corruption. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said he was not aware of Pakistan’s plan to seek debt relief.

    “The energy projects have provided Pakistan with a large amount of stable and low-cost electricity, effectively reducing the overall price of electricity in Pakistan,” the spokesperson said in a written response. “China-Pakistan energy cooperation has progressed smoothly and brought real economic and social benefits.” Pakistan’s power division did not respond to a request for comment.

    China has previously denied US criticism that the initiative leads to debt traps, while acknowledging that countries have had difficulty repaying their loans due to the pandemic-induced global recession. Last year, Beijing canceled interest-free loans to 15 African countries that were due to mature by the end of 2020, and it delayed further payments.

    The Belt and Road program found new life in Pakistan last year with the signing of $ 11 billion in projects, most of which were aimed at renovating the country’s rail system.

    While Chinese funding has helped Pakistan diversify its fuel supplies, it has also resulted in a surplus of electricity, which is problematic for the government in Islamabad as it is the sole buyer and pays producers even when they are not. not produce. To help solve the problem, the government negotiated with power plants, which produce about half of its electricity, to lower tariffs.

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    Good job, Biden. Now comes the hard part. Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    President Biden and his Democratic allies rise high after Congress past the vast COVID-19 relief and recovery package on Wednesday. And they deserve a victory lap, because the US bailout promises to trigger a broad economic recovery and achieves long-sought progressive goals, such as direct cash payments to parents.

    Despite the bill’s messy and controversial outcome in the Senate and the lack of a minimum wage hike, the stimulus package should be seen as the icing on the cake of Biden’s first seven weeks in office. It is also, however, likely the end of easy wins for Democrats and the start of a much more difficult period of steering legislation through a tightly divided Congress.

    In addition to the relief bill, the president used the Defense Production Act to boost COVID-19 vaccine production and sign a wave of executive orders, effectively vaporizing the political legacy of former President Trump by reversing, among other things, the controversial travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries, stop construction of the border wall, joining the Paris climate agreement, cancellation of Keystone XL Pipeline Project, and lifting the immigration restrictions imposed under the guise of COVID.

    With a few effortless strokes of the pen, President Biden was able to erase just about everything Trump has done except the 2019 tax cuts and the successful far-right takeover of justice. federal. Obama himself tried to convince Trump of the fleeting nature of executive decision victories. Unsurprisingly, the 44th president was right and the 45th was wrong.

    But these victories also mark the end of the new president’s honeymoon period. The fruit at hand was picked, eaten and squeezed. The harder work begins today and the president must soon make more difficult choices. He will never be more popular, and Democrats carry more weight today than they will for the remainder of this term in Congress. House Democrats and nearly every member of the party’s Senate caucus agree with an aggressive agenda, including strengthening voting rights and democracy with the recently passed For the People Act (HR 1), granting state status in Washington, DC, and possibly Puerto Rico. , raising the minimum wage, reinvesting in the dilapidated infrastructure of the United States, reforming immigration rules and honoring the president’s election promise to add a “public option” to the health care framework of the United States. ‘Affordable Care Act.

    But the Democrats will not be able to achieve this ambitious agenda thanks to budget reconciliation, the parliamentary maneuver they used to pass the American bailout plan with a simple 50-49 majority in the Senate. If any of these policies are to land on the President’s desk in the form of legislation, the dangerously narrow Democratic majority in the Senate must abolish legislative obstruction, a bizarre American institutional arcane that is not found precisely anywhere in the Constitution, this which requires a supermajority of 60 votes for most bills. The left’s voracious appetite to bombard the filibuster with extreme prejudice cannot be overstated, but for now, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), and perhaps a handful of others, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) stand in the way and remain publicly committed to this absurd and unnerving rule.

    President Biden himself has remained extremely timid on the subject. Considering how quickly he moved forward with the stimulus package without any Republican backing, it’s safe to assume that despite its campaign theme of unity and bipartisanship, there is no illusion about the prospect. of Republicans’ support for other priorities such as the right to vote. .

    But when the stimulus contact wears off, he and the Democratic Party will find themselves at a crossroads. One path will lead to months or years of fruitless negotiations with a Republican party that could not produce 10 votes in the Senate on everything important to Biden and the Democrats. GOP leaders want nothing more than to stop the president’s agenda in the service of a MAGA restoration. If Sinema and the rest of the filibuster fan club don’t budge, that means Biden will be forced to pursue his priorities through executive action. And in theory, there are several of them it could be done that way, from relieving student debt to strengthening unions.

    But it is also a project that is deeply vulnerable to the immediate rejection of conservative-dominated justice. Already a federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to suspend all evictions for 100 days. More judicial roadblocks are sure to occur in response to the kind of large-scale unilateral action the president has so far publicly avoided. And as Biden himself surely realizes after signing dozens of executive orders overturning the Trump administration’s policies, everything is a house of cards ready to be destroyed by the next Republican president.

    The alternative path is clear. The president must take the side of good governance either by publicly supporting the abolition of systematic obstruction or by establishing clear benchmarks and guidelines on how long he is ready to tolerate the coming dalliance between the moderates. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. That doesn’t necessarily mean giving Trump nicknames to recalcitrant Democrats and berating “Killjoy Kyrsten” and “Job-Killing Joe” on Twitter, or threatening eviction from the big left tent. Biden has been around long enough not to be annoyed with Sinema thumbs down on the minimum wage, or the agony of the long dark night of the soul of Manchin. Any pressure applied specifically to these Democrats should be done behind closed doors (which may already be happening).

    But that doesn’t mean the president can’t use his bully chair to make a case for what he wants to happen. And that, in the end, forces President Biden and his team to make a clear choice: either accept that nothing important comes out of the Senate over the next two years, or fight like hell to give the Democratic majorities hard-earned power to rule as they see fit, as they would any other country on Earth that won an election. If they prefer the latter, they should act proactively rather than reactively. Instead of letting party moderates err and stumble toward majority rule, President Biden, as party leader and most influential person in the country, must first unite Congress Democrats and the electorate. behind the principle of majority rule.

    It’s also possible, of course, that Biden and the moderates already have a plan – let Republicans obstruct popular policies such as making Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permanent for so-called DREAMers, then act once on filibuster reform. the public gets tired of the dead end. Although this is a misreading of public sentiment about filibustering and while it would waste many precious months of the first unified Democratic government in a decade, better than asking voters to give them a bigger majority in 2022 when they don’t have one not done enough with the power they had in the first place.

    ]]> 0 How to Negotiate Credit Card Debt Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles that our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on product links from our affiliate partners.

    If you are someone who, as a result of the recent recession, is behind on credit card payments and is running out of cash or simply facing a Financial difficulty in general, you may be able to negotiate your credit card debt.

    Negotiating, or settling, your debt means paying it off for much less than you owe your creditor. The amount you pay is agreed to by both you and your creditor, and usually professionals (often lawyers) come in to help you reach that negotiated amount.

    While debt settlement is often a last resort because of the damage it can cause to your credit score, it could be worth it for anyone struggling with an unmanageable credit card balance that might otherwise go unpaid. .

    Below, CNBC Selection spoke with Leslie Tayne, a debt relief lawyer and founder of Tayne Law Group, where to start negotiating credit card debt, how to find the right support, and what to expect.

    Where to start

    If you think you fit the criteria for someone in need of debt settlement, which means you just can’t afford to pay your past due debt and can’t make the minimum payments, your first step is to do your research.

    When looking for debt resolution programs, look for a local debt lawyer or professional like a credit counseling by visiting a credit counseling company, like National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of independent consumer credit counseling agencies. You can also check with your state attorney general and / or local consumer protection agency for a reputable law firm specializing in debt relief. The best debt settlement companies should be accredited and have a Better Business Bureau A + rating.

    Tayne suggests finding someone who is familiar with not only creditors, but tax and credit matters as well. They will know the ins and outs of the process and already have relationships in place that you can benefit from.

    “Because they do this for a living – and you should only go to someone who does it exclusively – they will have ongoing relationships with creditors, which may allow for greater leverage. and an understanding of what different creditors are looking for in settlements, ”she says.

    What to watch out for

    Unfortunately, finding the right professional to help you manage your debt takes time and effort.

    “A lot of companies claim they can help you, but you have to be careful about who you work with because credit card debt settlement has so many implications,” says Tayne.

    Not all debt resolution programs are valid, so it’s important to check with the sources we’ve listed above before going ahead.

    When looking for the best debt professionals, your first clue is to make sure it’s a human on the other end of the line associated with a real business address, not a PO Box. . Check the company’s website first to find their contact details where a physical address would be listed and feel free to call them yourself and confirm.

    Settler debt scams are all too common and you need to be careful about them as they like to solicit new clients.

    “It’s easy to buy information about you and your debt, so it might sound legitimate, but you’ll need to do your due diligence,” says Tayne. “Nothing should be under pressure and nothing should have any promises.”

    This is a red flag that debt settlement could be a scam if it makes outright promises or guarantees about how much money it can save you or how long it will take to save you money. come to an agreement.

    “There is simply no collateral in debt resolution,” says Tayne. “Creditors frequently change their policies, and anyone who promises you … is not acting in your best interests.”

    In essence, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Tayne adds that the cost of these services depends on who you’re talking to, but there shouldn’t be an upfront fee to pay to see results. Reputable professionals will not charge you until they have done the work for you. This means that the call to the debt relief company, along with any conversation about services and potential solutions, should be free.

    “We don’t get paid until a client’s account is resolved,” Tayne says.

    How to prepare

    Start by knowing the exact amount of your debt and to whom you owe it. Make a list of who your creditors are and gather all of your financial documents, such as your credit report and credit card statements, that contain this information. You can check your credit report for free every week of each of the three credit bureaus at

    “The professional you work with will use this information to better understand your overall financial situation and how much you can afford in monthly payments,” says Tayne.

    She also suggests writing down any questions that arise as you prepare your documents and taking your time to choose a professional to help you. If you feel comfortable, set up a Zoom meeting instead of a call (in case you can’t meet in person during this time).

    “You’ll want to make sure that all of the work is done with one office and not a call center,” says Tayne. Call centers operate like sales centers, and they don’t have the personalized service that a reputable credit company would provide. This makes it a frustrating experience for you as a consumer and proves to be much more difficult to get status updates or responses.

    “You want someone who works for you who understands the financial piece of the puzzle and who doesn’t work from a sales script,” she says.

    What you can expect for your credit

    If you are in a temporary stalemate

    At the end of the line

    If simply paying off your credit card debt isn’t an option right now, and your balances are piling up, negotiation can wipe it out for much less than the original amount.

    “You can then consider planning for the future and setting new financial goals without the weight of your debt,” says Tayne.

    The information on the Citi Simplicity® card was independently collected by Select and was not reviewed or provided by the card issuer prior to publication.

    Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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    Poorest countries face tough choice on G20 debt relief plan Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:07:44 +0000

    LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s poorest countries may soon be faced with a difficult decision: to double G20 debt relief with the warning that they must default on private creditors, or abandon the program for try to keep the financial markets aside.

    FILE PHOTO: A man stands next to a board bearing the logo of the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 19, 2018. REUTERS / Marcos Brindicci / File Photo

    Rich countries on Friday supported an extension of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), approved in April to help developing countries survive the coronavirus pandemic and which has seen 43 of 73 eligible countries potentials here defer $ 5 billion in “official sector” debt repayments.

    The European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), which includes 50 non-governmental organizations, estimates that extending this temporary six-month freeze would provide additional relief of $ 6.4 billion, which would rise to $ 11.4 billion. dollars if the extension continues until the end of 2021.

    This would represent just over a quarter of next year’s combined debt payments for countries already signatory to DSSI, and would represent up to 4.3% of GDP for countries like Angola, according to Fitch Ratings .

    But a meaningful chain can be attached.

    Amid warnings that the pandemic could push 100 million people into extreme poverty, World Bank President David Malpass calls for the involvement of banks and investment funds that have lent to countries in the world. DSSI.

    “The relief so far is too shallow to light the end of the debt tunnel,” Malpass told the United Nations. “Commercial creditors are not participating in the moratorium, depleting funding provided by multilateral institutions.”

    Kevin Daly of Aberdeen Standard Investments, part of a joint private sector response to the DSSI proposals, believes views like Malpass’s Average Private Sector Involvement (PSI) – write-downs for bondholders – could become “Mandatory” within the framework of the expected extension.

    Such a change could be signaled at IMF meetings next month.

    Eurodad calculates that DSSI countries are expected to pay $ 6.4 billion to private sector bondholders and other private lenders $ 7.1 billion next year – a total of $ 13.5 billion which exceeds what signatory countries owe G20 governments.

    “We have already heard that there is a strong possibility that this (PSI) could be the case,” said Angolan Secretary of State for Budget and Investment, Aia-Eza Silva, while adding that the he main focus of Angola remains bilateral creditors like China.


    Charities estimate that 121 low- and middle-income governments spent more last year on external debt servicing than on public health systems which are now at the breaking point, which is a strong moral argument for help.

    However, there are other complicating factors.

    Credit rating agencies S&P Global, Moody’s and Fitch have warned that if countries suspend or postpone debt payments to the private sector, it would almost certainly be seen as restructuring and default on their criteria.

    Restructuring is complex and generally takes much longer than currently in troubled countries. It would also mean that poorer countries that have struggled to access international markets over the past decade would lose it just as they face enormous challenges.

    Moody’s estimates that they face a combined funding gap of $ 40 billion this year. The Institute of International Finance estimates that the external debt of DSSI countries has more than doubled since 2010 to over $ 750 billion and now averages nearly 50% of GDP – a high level for their stage of development.

    A total of 23 DSSI-eligible countries have sold Eurobonds, but only a few, such as Honduras and Mongolia, have done so since the program launched in April. Pakistan wants to sell $ 1.5 billion in bonds, but creditors would hesitate if PSI were to emerge.

    “It is extremely unlikely that a country that has been part of it (DSSI) this year would put its market access at risk,” said Kevin Daly of Aberdeen. “I don’t think any of them would want to participate.”

    Poverty action groups say the private sector is overstating the issue, pointing to how quickly Argentina sold a 100-year bond after one of its restructurings.

    A potential “ carrot ” for countries and their creditors could be Brady-type debt swaps, where investors write off certain loans in exchange for new enhanced credit bonds with full or partial guarantees from the G20 or multilateral banks. development.

    JP Morgan’s bond index arm stirred up discussions about such a plan when it announced this month that enhanced credit debt would be eligible for its main emerging market benchmark from mid-October, just after the main IMF and G20 DSSI meetings.

    Eurodad’s Iolanda Fresnillo said debt swaps could be a solution for many countries, although the hardest hit countries need more extreme measures.

    “It’s not just a liquidity crisis, we have to fight debt sustainability and opt for debt cancellation,” Fresnillo said.

    “By simply postponing payments, you are not solving the problems these countries are facing.”

    Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington and Karin Strohecker in London; Edited by Catherine Evans

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