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yupppie

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Re: Should I file Bankruptcy...
« Reply #80 on: August 19, 2006, 09:37:17 AM »
30% otherwise see my signa line
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leafbro

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Re: Should I file Bankruptcy...
« Reply #81 on: August 21, 2006, 07:03:10 AM »
Having too much unsecured credit card debt compromises your chances of getting a private loan.

The Count

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Re: Should I file Bankruptcy...
« Reply #82 on: August 22, 2006, 06:48:36 AM »

Then it looks like it is more feasible to default than to file bankruptcy .. loan defaults stay in your credit for 7 years, bankruptcy for only 10 years .. and move to another state if you plan to default ..


defaults do not assure you'll not be chased after to collect on the loan ... well, unless you're unemployed ... if you want to be absolutely sure creditors won't come after you and garnish your wages you've to have some kind of legal protection like bankruptcy. Legally speaking, filing for bankruptcy should normally not be a ground for discrimination on the part of an employer on their decisions to hire your or not ..
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agitator

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WARNING: CITIGROUP AND BANK OF AMERICA ARE SCUMS
« Reply #83 on: August 23, 2006, 06:31:27 AM »
Citigroup, formed by the 1998 merger of Travelers and Citicorp, is the largest U.S.-- based bank holding company. It engages in questionable high interest rate lending in low income communities across the United States, and now globally, through its CitiFinancial unit. Though its investment bank, Citigroup underwrites and trades in pools of loans issued by other predatory lenders. It has assisted Enron, WorldCom, and others; it has settled a slew of securities charges on the cheap. Citigroup finances and is involved in such environmentally destructive projects, including as a purchaser, despite contrary claims and its surreal inaccurate advertisements. Citigroup is nearly the definition of "predator."

MBNA and Bank of America (BofA) already merged. The $35 billion deal creates a combined financial giant with 20% of the U.S. credit card market. Both companies have a track record of lending practices that harm consumers. Bank of America has a strikingly disparate lending record and is extensively involved in subprime lending.  MBNA's record of mortgage lending is questionable, and has a history of spending heavily to influence federal legislation that will increase its own profits at consumers' expense.

The two companies and their employees have given federal candidates and parties nearly $22 million over the past 15 years making a merged BofA-MBNA America's top corporate contributor. BofA made more than 2.4 million in campaign contributions last year. In 2004, MBNA surpassed Enron as the single largest donor to George W. Bush.  MBNA showered millions on federal candidates (more than 1.5 million in 2004 alone) as it took a leading role lobbying for bankruptcy "reform" -- legislation passed by Congress and signed by Bush on April 20, 2005 that will make it much harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy.

mailbonding

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Re: Should I file Bankruptcy...
« Reply #84 on: August 24, 2006, 02:00:31 AM »

defaults do not assure you'll not be chased after to collect on the loan ... well, unless you're unemployed ... if you want to be absolutely sure creditors won't come after you and garnish your wages you've to have some kind of legal protection like bankruptcy. Legally speaking, filing for bankruptcy should normally not be a ground for discrimination on the part of an employer on their decisions to hire your or not ..


So basically get a job then file for bankruptcy ?

guantanamera

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Re: WARNING: CITIGROUP AND BANK OF AMERICA ARE SCUMS
« Reply #85 on: August 24, 2006, 05:17:03 AM »

Citigroup, formed by the 1998 merger of Travelers and Citicorp, is the largest U.S.-- based bank holding company. It engages in questionable high interest rate lending in low income communities across the United States, and now globally, through its CitiFinancial unit. Though its investment bank, Citigroup underwrites and trades in pools of loans issued by other predatory lenders. It has assisted Enron, WorldCom, and others; it has settled a slew of securities charges on the cheap. Citigroup finances and is involved in such environmentally destructive projects, including as a purchaser, despite contrary claims and its surreal inaccurate advertisements. Citigroup is nearly the definition of "predator."

MBNA and Bank of America (BofA) already merged. The $35 billion deal creates a combined financial giant with 20% of the U.S. credit card market. Both companies have a track record of lending practices that harm consumers. Bank of America has a strikingly disparate lending record and is extensively involved in subprime lending.  MBNA's record of mortgage lending is questionable, and has a history of spending heavily to influence federal legislation that will increase its own profits at consumers' expense.

The two companies and their employees have given federal candidates and parties nearly $22 million over the past 15 years making a merged BofA-MBNA America's top corporate contributor. BofA made more than 2.4 million in campaign contributions last year. In 2004, MBNA surpassed Enron as the single largest donor to George W. Bush.  MBNA showered millions on federal candidates (more than 1.5 million in 2004 alone) as it took a leading role lobbying for bankruptcy "reform" -- legislation passed by Congress and signed by Bush on April 20, 2005 that will make it much harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy.


If you think Citigroup and BofA are the worst, think again:

Wells Fargo sells high-cost subprime loans, and some of these loans are abusive and predatory. People get loans at closing that turn out to be very different from what they were promised. The rate is much higher than the lender led you to expect.  Or you were under the impression you were getting a fixed rate loan, and end up with a variable rate loan which can only go up from where it started! Large fees are also financed into the loan. You may have also been looking for lower payments only to find that you now have to pay your taxes and insurance on your own, outside of the loan.

Wells Fargo is best-known as one of the country's largest banks. But they also make high cost predatory loans, especially through an affiliated company called Wells Fargo Financial.

Wells Fargo's abusive lending practices include:
  • Promising low interest rates, and then charging extremely high ones, even to borrowers with good credit.
  • Misleading homeowners into refinancing out of perfectly good first mortgages and into new loans which cost the borrowers much more.
  • Financing huge - and hidden - fees into loans. Many borrowers have been charged more than 10% of what they borrowed. And then have to pay interest on this amount.
  • Trapping borrowers with prepayment penalties which require them to pay thousands of dollars more if they want to escape into a better loan.
  • Trying to escape from any legal consequences of their actions by slipping mandatory arbitration clauses into virtually of their high cost loans. These clauses are designed to make it impossible for borrowers to enforce the law by take Wells to court.

rawg

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Re:
« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2006, 01:10:07 PM »
Recent studies from Harvard and the University of North Carolina, as well as reports from other financial experts, estimate that each year more than 10 million poor and elderly Americans are being scammed out of $50 billion in exorbitant fees and unconscionably high interest rates imposed by unscrupulous lenders. Across the country, dishonest payday loan stores, rent-to-own centers, check cashing stores, sub-prime home mortgage companies and other "predatory lenders" are taking thousands of dollars out of the pockets of poor people in clear view of the law.

They are wreaking havoc on the country's working class, often driving grandmothers into foreclosure, military soldiers into debt and depression, and school teachers into personal bankruptcy. In an era in which steroid use and Terry Schiavo have taken center stage in politics and the media, it is noteworthy that no senator is threatening a filibuster, and no elected official has suggested a hunger campaign to protest the injustice of predatory lending.

From Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Camden, New Jersey, those who can least afford it are being bilked out of hundreds or thousands of dollars that could be used to send their kids and grandkids to college, pay their electricity bills, buy medicine or put food on the table. And, it is worth remembering that although many working-class Americans are getting trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and debt, these lenders are making millions upon millions. According to various studies, while most middle-class Americans borrow money at rates ranging from 5 to 15%, many poor and elderly people are being charged exorbitant fees and annualized interest rates of 50 to 100% -- or more -- when they buy televisions or homes, cash their paychecks or take out small loans.

The concept of high-interest loans is nothing new, but unscrupulous check cashing stores, payday loan facilities and rent-to-own facilities have grown dramatically over the last decade -- perhaps fourfold. And significantly, it is not just corner shops in low-income neighborhoods that specialize in this practice. Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and HSBC -- are steering minorities and others toward high-interest loans.

To be fair, the justification behind high interest rates is that some of these lenders are willing to step into situations where normal lenders fear to tread -- people with bad credit, few assets, or small incomes. So their risk should be compensated. But as the studies and other investigations show, these lenders often take advantage of the elderly and poor, for example, charging a janitor who does not have a typical bank account $90 to cash her $500 biweekly paycheck.

Over the last five years, about half the 50 states have enacted laws to try to limit some types of predatory lending, especially in home mortgages. Also, two bills to curtail the practice were floated by members of the U.S. House of Representatives this year, but nothing truly effective and comprehensive seems to have a chance of passing in the near future. In a time of economic insecurity, however, the issue is ripe for discussion and debate at a national level

l e n n y

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HSBC Predatory Lending Practices
« Reply #87 on: August 24, 2006, 09:25:56 PM »
HSBC is definitely a scam!

HSBC will be accused this week of predatory lending practices in America that target low-income customers from ethnic minorities. Fair Finance Watch, a pressure group based in New York, claims the UK-based banking group confines a disproportionate number of black Americans to high-interest, 'subprime' mortgages designed for higher-risk borrowers. The group will cite statistics showing that black borrowers are 5 times more likely than whites to be given only higher-interest mortgages by HSBC, and 2.5 times more likely to have their applications rejected. Matthew Lee of Fair Finance Watch said: 'This is indicative of predatory lending. We will be raising it with regulators.'

But an HSBC spokesman said the figures merely reflected the realities of US society, in which minorities generally have lower incomes. 'Like other banks, our lending policies are made on a credit-scoring basis. Any suggestion that ethnicity is a factor is completely wrong.' He added that most of the bank's US mortgage-lending was conducted by its Household subsidiary, which specialises in subprime lending.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,1468689,00.html

l e n n y

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Re: Should I file Bankruptcy...
« Reply #88 on: August 24, 2006, 09:35:26 PM »
In 2003 HSBC Bank bought disgraced predatory lender Household International. Household's new name is HSBC Finance Corporation. HSBC Finance Corporation's subsidiaries primarily provide middle-market consumers real estate secured loans, auto finance loans, MasterCard and Visa credit card loans, private label credit cards, personal non-credit card loans and specialty insurance products. Major brand names operated include the prime HSBC Mastercard, Union Plus and GM Card offerings, middle market Direct Merchants, HFC, and Beneficial brands, and the sub-prime Orchard Bank and Household cards. In a maze of holding companies you see all these variations that defy and confuse customers and regulators. That's the way they want it.

HSBC also stands accused of "defrauding" US military personnel, some of whom are on duty in Iraq, by overcharging them on high interest loans, according to a study from a leading US-based human rights group.



Predatory Lending Overview
_____________________________ _________________________
Some lenders target elderly homeowners who have considerable equity in their homes, and who might be more easily deceived or coerced into taking out a mortgage loan that they cannot afford to pay back.

A broker may originate a loan to a borrower knowing they do not have enough cash flow to make the monthly payments and then immediately sell the loan to a secondary market investor. When the borrower defaults, they and the funding lender are damaged -- not the broker.

Sadly, in many cases where a person with large credit card debt (i.e. unsecured), no assets beyond the equity in their home, and no cash flow to cover the minimum monthly payments, a better option for them may be to work out a payment plan with the credit card companies covered by the cash flow they do have, or even to declare bankruptcy so that they do not lose their home in a foreclosure sale.

Another far more complex, very innovative (but allegedly criminal) predatory tactic involves predators creating and exploiting conflicts of interest among the various purchasers and servicers of a pool of mortgages, through frivolous foreclosures of performing loans, and legal barratry contrary to fiduciary duty that are extremely profitable for the predators.

l e n n y

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How Predatory Lending Victims Fought Back and Won
« Reply #89 on: August 24, 2006, 09:37:32 PM »
If someone told you that a bunch of low-income people, most of them African-American or Latino, most of them women, most of them elderly, had been victimized by a predatory mortgage lender that stripped them of much of their equity or of their entire homes, you might not be surprised. But if I told you that these women and men had gotten together and after three years of work brought the nation's largest high-cost lender to its knees, forced it to sell out to a foreign company, and won back a half a billion dollars of what had been taken from them -- one of the largest consumer settlements ever -- you'd probably ask me what country this had happened in. Surely it couldn't have been in the United States of the Second Gilded Age, the land of unbridled corporate power and radical government activism on behalf of the rich and the greedy.

And yet it was. These victims of predatory lending identified the problem and named it "predatory lending" in the late 1990s, and their campaign to reform Household International (also known as Household Finance and as Beneficial) played out from 2001 to 2003, concluding with a settlement that includes a ban on badmouthing the company. That's part of why more people haven't heard about this. The families who fought back and defeated Household are barred from bragging about it or teaching the lessons they learned, because that would require recounting the damage that Household did to homes and neighborhoods. These families are members of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. I was ACORN's communications coordinator during much of the Household campaign but left before it ended. No one has asked me not to tell this story.

In low-income minority neighborhoods in the United States, what little wealth there is, is in home equity. Home equity makes up 74.9 percent of the net wealth for Hispanics in the bottom two income quintiles (0-40 percent), and 78.7 percent of the net wealth for African-Americans in the second income quintile (20-40 percent). There have been gains in minority home ownership over the past few decades, in part as a result of the work by community groups like ACORN and National People's Action to force banks to make loans in these communities. But the home ownership is fragile and not protected by additional savings. Lenders in the past decade have focused on stripping away equity, and community groups have been forced to focus on keeping out loans that are worse than no loans at all.

Most high-cost loans are refinance loans. Too often they are marketed aggressively and deceptively, including through live-checks in the mail that result in very high-cost loans that the lender will be only too happy to refinance into a new mortgage. Often these loans are made with excessive, sometimes variable, interest rates, outrageously high fees, and fees financed into the loans so that the borrower pays interest on them and often is not told about them. They are made with bogus products built in, on which the borrower also pays interest. Hidden balloon payments force repeated refinancings for additional fees each time. Mandatory arbitration clauses attempt to prevent borrowers from taking lenders to court. The practice of loaning more than the value of a home traps borrowers in loans they cannot refinance with a responsible lender. Consolidation of additional debts further decreases equity, placing the home at greater risk. Quiet omission of taxes and insurance from a mortgage that previously included those charges results in a crisis when the yearly bills arrive.

Predatory lenders turn the usual logic of lending upside down. They make their money by intentionally making loans that the borrowers will be unable to repay. They charge fees for each refinancing until finally seizing the house. Fannie Mae has estimated that as many as half of all borrowers in subprime (high-cost) loans could have qualified for a lower cost mortgage. High-cost loans are not just made to people with poor credit. They're often made, rather, to people who have poor banking services in their neighborhoods. After HSBC bought Household, it announced that 46 percent of Household's real estate-backed loans had been made to borrowers with 'A' credit. Household made no 'A' loans.

ACORN members don't take abuse of their neighborhoods lying down, and Household was a leading cause of the rows of vacant houses appearing in ACORN neighborhoods in the 1990s. ACORN launched a campaign to reform Household that included numerous strategies. One, an old ACORN stand-by, was direct action. Repeatedly, ACORN members in numerous cities around the country simultaneously protested in Household offices to demand reform. At the same time, ACORN was working to pass anti-predatory lending legislation in local and state governments and Congress. ACORN members made sure that in each case the victims testifying were victims of Household and that Household's abuses were highlighted. When ACORN released major reports on predatory lending, the examples included were always from Household.

ACORN also worked with the Coalition for Responsible Wealth to advance a shareholder resolution that would have tied Household's executives' compensation to ending its predatory lending. In 2001 Household held its shareholders meeting in an out-of-the-way suburb of Tampa, Florida. A crowd of ACORN members was there with shark suits and shark balloons to protest. The resolution won 5 percent. Over the next year, ACORN pressured state pension funds and other shareholders. Household held its 2002 meeting an hour and a half from the nearest airport in rural Kentucky. ACORN members made the trip by car from all over the country. The protest may have been the biggest thing the town of London, Ken., had seen in years. The resolution won 30 percent.

As a result of ACORN agitation, various local and state governments threatened to divest from Household. ACORN also put pressure on stores like Best Buy that used Household credit cards. At the same time, ACORN Housing Corporation was assisting many Household victims in either refinancing out of their Household loans or at least canceling some of the rip-off services built into their loans, such as credit insurance. And ACORN was getting the word out through local ethnic media to stay away from Household.

ACORN wrote up numerous accounts of Household predatory loans and took them to the attorney generals in state after state urging investigations. ACORN similarly pressured federal regulators to act. And ACORN assisted borrowers in filing a number of class-action suits against Household targeting those of its practices that were clearly illegal even under existing law. ACORN let Wall Street analysts know what Household stood to lose from these law suits, as well as from various reforms that Household periodically announced in its attempt to hold off the pressure from ACORN.

But ACORN members never let up. They protested again and again at Household offices and held press conferences in front of homes about to be lost to Household. They protested the secondary market that was putting up capital for these predatory loans. And they held a major protest at the trade group that lobbied in Washington for Household and its fellow sharks. Then, in the summer of 2002, ACORN members took the step that Household executives would bring up again and again in later negotiations. On a beautiful summer day in the unbelievably wealthy suburbs north of Chicago, victims of Household from around the country simultaneously poured out of busses by the hundreds and thousands onto the lawns of the board members and CEO of Household. They knocked on the doors and spoke to those who had hurt them from a distance. When the police made them leave, ACORN members plastered "Wanted" posters all over the neighborhood telling the board members' neighbors what crimes the Household executives were guilty of.

Through all of this, we worked the media. I kept a database of victims' stories and contact info and put them in touch with reporters whenever the reporters were willing to tell not just the victimization story but also the story of fighting back. We generated several hundred print articles and several hundred TV and radio stories about Household's predatory lending practices. We worked the small neighborhood papers, flyers in churches, posters on walls. We produced lengthy articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Forbes Magazine. We kept up an endless barrage in the trade press: the American Banker, National Mortgage News, etc. We maintained an enormous website about Household that no longer exists.

A handful of ACORN staff people with great expertise and unrelenting effort organized thousands of members to drive this campaign until Household agreed to pay victims $489 million through the 50 states attorneys general, and later agreed to pay millions more through ACORN, as well as to reform its practices.

This campaign was an example of what can be done if enough different angles are pursued at once and the company ripping you off is put on the defensive and constantly hit with the unexpected. And this campaign was a success by the one and only measure ACORN judges campaigns by: it increased the size and power of ACORN to effect future progressive change. This is good news for low-income neighborhoods, but bad news for Wells Fargo, the predatory lender who is next on ACORN's list.

David Swanson is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America and formerly Communications Coordinator at ACORN. The views expressed are his alone.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=7481