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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Half Million Dollars of Federal Student Loans Discharged in Bankruptcy

bankruptcy-1

So many people continue to assume student loan debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Even bankruptcy attorneys perpetuate this myth as well. In previous articles, that you can find here, I’ve shown specific examples of both federal and private students loans discharged. I’ve even pointed out broad niches of student loan debt not protected by bankruptcy, in this article. But ... Read More »

    California Fair Debt Buying Practices Act Gives Consumers Rights

    law books

    If you are being hounded by a debt collector over an old debt and you live in California, you need to pay attention to the Fair Debt Buying Practices Act. Under that new California law the buyer of old debts who is now attempting to collect on the debt has certain hurdles to jump over before you have to pay. ... Read More »

      Cell Phone Provider to Pay Millions for Throttling Data. Refunds Available.

      blank screen mobile in woman hands

      TracFone, the largest prepaid mobile provider in the U.S., has agreed to pay $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it deceived millions of consumers with hollow promises of “unlimited” data service. The FTC’s complaint against TracFone alleges that since 2009, TracFone has advertised prepaid monthly mobile plans for about $45 per month with “unlimited” data ... Read More »

        Attorney Mitchell Stein Gets 204 Months in Federal Prison. Refunds to Begin.

        time and money

        It’s hard to believe it has been nearly four years I’ve been writing about Mitchell Stein, an attorney out of California who, at the time, was involved in the mass joinder approach of selling consumers hope they could sue their mortgage company. Stein seemed to be at the forefront of the movement that was selling litigation to consumers all across ... Read More »

          Discover Bank Debt Consolidation Offer Review

          Discover Debt Consolidation Offer 2

          Is your mailbox getting stuffed with offers from creditors? Here is a recent offer from Discover Bank that appears to be a debt consolidation loan to pay off debt. In order to help people better understand the offer, I’ll break it down for you below, page by page, and point out what I think are the important points. While the ... Read More »

            Consumers in Debt Starting to Default a Bit More

            process

            Data through December 2014, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, continued to show an increase in default rates. The national composite posted a default rate of 1.11% in December, up four basis points from November 2014. The first mortgage default rate rose ... Read More »

              When I Retire Will My Social Security Be Reduced Because of Student Loans?

              calculator

              “Dear Steve, I took out Parent Plus loans for both of my children while they were in school. Each of them also have unsubsidized student loans which they are paying off. Once both children were out of college, I consolidated the Parent Plus loans into one and have been paying them regularly for the past 10 years. I am 63 ... Read More »

                Outlook Email Migration – Scam Alert

                scam email screen

                Beware of the following email being sent out that appears to come from an official government source. The email reads: “From: Cook, Bryant D Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 2:18 PM To: Cook, Bryant D Subject: Help Desk Dear Email User, Please be prepared for all systems to be offline for maintenance today. We are currently Migrating your outlook account ... Read More »

                  UK Individual Voluntary Arrangements to Set Record

                  UK IVA

                  By Andrew Smith Last year I predicted it would be a record year for IVAs. There had already been more than 40,000 Individual Voluntary Arrangements, the most-used personal insolvency procedure in England and Wales, in the first nine months of the year and here at ClearDebt we were pretty confident the total for the year would top 50,000. Well, on ... Read More »

                    Pay Off Debt A Growing Canadian and U.S. Concern

                    Pay Off Debt searches in Canada

                    According to a HuffPo article, it seems our friends in Canada are beginning to worry a bit more about their personal debt levels. Data by Google shows the search term Pay Off Debt has been trending for Canadian searchers. From the looks of the chart though it is an on again, off again interest for Canadians who have hit a ... Read More »

                      Tell Me How to Stop the Social Security Garnishment for Student Loans

                      social security card

                      “Dear Steve, My husband receives social security disability and his monthly check is being garnished for student loans. I am unemployed and my husband receives $1,013 per month in disability. Of this amount $30 is withheld for repayment of an overpayment from his initial payment from social security and $150 is being withheld for his student loans, which began in ... Read More »

                        Financial Help Services in the News But in the Wrong Way

                        BBB Financial Help Services

                        A reader sent me a story about a Ft. Lauderdale debt relief company, Financial Help Services. It appears the Bobby Blackmon company has run into what is either an issue of not paying creditors for his Debt Management Plan clients or a serious case of poorly explained client expectations with creditors. In a bizarre move, Blackmon spoke to WSVN television ... Read More »

                          Is There Any Hope for My Son to Bankrupt His Private Student Loans?

                          Decision time

                          “Dear Steve, My son has about 150,000 in private student loan debt. Which I feel is my fault as I filled out the paperwork and told him never to worry we would work it out and then the 2008 collapse. Could you recommend the best course of action for dealing with these. Filling for bankruptcy with an attorney or on ... Read More »

                            My Reaffirmed Mortgage Shows on My Credit Report as in Bankruptcy

                            credit good

                            “Dear Steve, My house was not included in my bankruptcy, but my mortgage lender is reporting it as “included in bankruptcy”. I filed bankruptcy (ch 7) in 2008. I signed a reaffirmation with my mortgage lender, but my credit reports remain messed up. 1 agency has no info of a mortgage, 1 shows my balance reducing monthly, but carries it ... Read More »

                              Fake IRS Agents Fooling People Out of Money. Hang Up.

                              man terrifying woman

                              A friend recently got a call from someone posing as an IRS agent. The “agent” gave a badge number and said she owed money. There’s only one problem, it was all a scam. The Federal Trade Commission is reporting an exploding number of complaints are pouring in about calls from fake IRS agents that want you to send them money. ... Read More »

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