I am in a world of hurt with our credit although we have never missed any payments and have always remained current however it is becoming harder and harder to continue on.
Total unsecured debt is near 90,000. We have been living check to check for years. Credit card companies have lowered our credit limits and hurting our credit score even more by appearing to be maxxed out on limits.
In 2006 we took out a debt consolidation loan with Bank of America it was at a fixed rate of 10.99 and total balance after fees was 51,000. We are now down to 38,000. Our monthly payment was set at $815 for 9 years. At the beginning we paid more than $815 but had to stop.
Two months ago we started paying $50 extra on our payment as a start to get rid of this debt faster but we received a letter from Bank of America this week stating that our fixed interest rate agreement of 10.99 will be changing to a variable rate as of Feb. 1st 2010 which letter states may increase our payments.
We have NEVER been late or missed a payment. I called Bank of America to inquire because a few months ago we received a letter that stated that if we loaned additional money from that account the newer amount would be tabulated at a variable rate and we would have two different payments.
We have never asked or loaned any more than the original amount. The representative was very rude and I stated that this was a fixed rate agreement and that variable rate is illegal and will throw us into bankruptcy. I got off the phone in tears I haven’t slept and I do not know how much more I can bare before I loose it. The extra $50 a month is coming from cutting back on groceries. Can they change my fixed rate to a variable on a 9 year debt consolidation loan when we have never been late or misse a payment? We will never get it paid off now. What are our legal rights? What can we do? –
Recently someone added a comment on Bank of America Offers “Clean Sweep” Debt Consolidation Loan Up to $50,000. Let’s Look at The Facts And See Who Is Really Cleaning Up that was similar. Here is my response to that comment and your situation.
Ultimately the answer is going to lie in the fine print of the terms and conditions at the time the change was made.
If you don’t have a copy of the latest terms and conditions for the card, (who does?) call and ask customer service to email or fax you a copy for you to read and examine.
If my memory serves me correctly I have all the T&C change sections to read that any term could be changed with as little as 15 days written notice. In the BoA Clean Sweep offer you commented on it said “For approved accounts, we also reserve the right to change your APR, fees or other credit terms at our discretion.”
The difference was that before the banks made such horrible decisions and lost all that money they cared about loyal customer retention. Now, they are just scrambling for as much profit as they can make. This is a classic example of how everyone is only as valuable to the bank as their last payment.
It is regrettable and unfortunate but you may just find yourself in bankruptcy as a result of this. It sounds like you are stretched so thin right now that in order to make the payment you are having to go without food.
Maybe the time has come for you to find a local bankruptcy attorney you like, make an appointment, and go in and talk with them to learn about what bankruptcy would mean for you. And oh yes, bankruptcy is your legal right.
Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.
P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.