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Baltimore Consumer Protection Law Blog

Studies explore reasons for credit card debts

Consumers in Maryland often utilize credit cards. Although these can be helpful tools to establish and uild credit, it could also be a negative tool that could put them in the hole. It is important to keep a healthy financial life, but there are events in life that might cause consumers to over use their credit cards.

The statistic from a survey conducted the National Foundation for Credit Counseling stated that three times more people were more embarrassed by their credit card balances than their weight. Another study conducted recently shows that people who have to carry forward the card balances every month often experience resentment or even rage.

Agencies to abide by laws while collecting medical debts

The majority of people living in Maryland or elsewhere in the country have probably had to visit a hospital at some stage of life. Once a person reaches the age of 18, if uninsured, the person is responsible for personal medical expenses. Following treatment, a hospital will typically itemize the bill by sending statements detailing the procedures, medications and tests that were given. If the patient does not pay the medical charges to the healthcare providers within a stipulated time, the debt may be sold to debt collectors.

There are various options to deal with medical debt. The person may pay all the medical bills, offer a settlement or seek a repayment plan. In certain cases the person may negotiate with the collection agency to reduce the amount of medical debt. This may help the person clear the debt by paying a lesser amount. The debt remains on a credit report for seven years, after which time it no longer appears.

Maryland plagued by higher than average student loan debt

The average federal student loan debt for Maryland collegians who earn a degree is almost $28,000, a figure close to the national average. Student loan debt is scaling new heights in the United States, and the federal government is trying hard to counter the increase with helpful mechanisms to cope with the debt. Recently, U.S. President Barack Obama announced plans to increase government programs offering debt relief. A limit on monthly loan payments of 10 percent of total household earnings is a part of the plan.

Maryland announces settlement in response to foreclosure abuse

Recently, the attorney general of Maryland announced a multimillion dollar state and federal agreement to help Maryland homeowners receive help with home loans and better service from SunTrust Mortgage Inc. The purpose of this $550 million settlement is to prevent, among other things, foreclosure administrative abuses by the lender. An independent federal supervisor has also been established to implement and oversee the standards of mortgage servicing agreed to in the settlement.

Hundreds of property owners in Maryland have loans that have been or are being serviced by SunTrust and nearly 1,200 lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and 2013 due in part to loan servicing abuse. Borrowers have also experienced unfair banking practices when their income proved to be inadequate to cover mortgage payments.

Debt-consolidation loans: answer to credit card debt?

Credit cards are common amongst Maryland's residents. They offer a convenient way of buying goods and getting services without having to immediately pay for them. Many people, though, rely on these cards to get by, oftentimes because of unemployment or a medical condition. As a result, these individuals accumulate credit card debt that cannot be paid off with their current income. Delinquent payments can then harm consumers' credit ratings for the future and may lead to creditor harassment and wage garnishment.

One of the solutions available to a person facing huge credit card debt is a debt-consolidation loan. This involves the debtor taking a low-interest loan to pay off their high-interest credit card debts. The amount he or she pays for this new loan will be lower than the combined amount they would pay for the smaller, higher interest credit card debts, but one needs to know all the detailed information about debt-consolidation loans before taking them.

Baltimore newspaper's parent company files for bankruptcy

For residents of Baltimore, Maryland, The Daily Record is a familiar name. Dolan Co., parent company of The Daily record, has been dealing with recent financial challenges. Substantial debt has accumulated and it looked like business bankruptcy was not far off.

Moving forward, filing for bankruptcy by Dolan Co. might have adverse effects on the future of the newspaper. While bankruptcy may, under certain circumstances, provide the debtor with a fresh start, it may also lead to the debtor losing control over their assets. Dolan Co. has chosen a bankruptcy reorganization plan, often considered a prudent option by legal experts.

Senator visits Maryland to combat foreclosure crisis

For quite some time, Maryland has been ranked near the top in terms of the number of home foreclosures. Defaulting on several mortgage payments, which may be the result of sudden unemployment or reduced income, is all that it takes to start foreclosure proceedings. These proceedings can be quite traumatic and distressful for the homeowners who now face the all-too-real possibility of losing their most valuable possession. And, as unpleasant as it may sound, filing for bankruptcy may be one of the best available options that the law provides for homeowners to keep their home.

The rising rate of foreclosures in Maryland has attracted the attention of many political leaders. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, recently paid a visit to Maryland in order to find possible solutions for this foreclosure crisis. He held a meeting with realtors, housing officials and others, who usually assist residents facing the financial challenges that can lead to foreclosure.

Maryland child's rare brain disease needs expensive treatment

When a family member suffers from some illness or injury, other members of the family usually try their utmost to ensure that individual receives the best medical care possible. However, oftentimes the rising expenses of medical care eats into the income and savings of the family, leaving them immersed in unmanageable debt.

From hospital bills to fees charged by doctors and the costs of operations and therapy, it doesn't take long for medical debt to steadily rise until it becomes insurmountable. If Maryland residents find it impossible to cope with such a situation, one option that might be available is to file for bankruptcy in order to obtain debt relief. The legal procedures and complexities involved in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can sometimes seem overwhelming, so it is usually important to get the most accurate information available about the process.

Creditors do not need additional evidence in recovery lawsuits

There are many people living in Baltimore, Maryland, who use their credit cards regularly to take care of their expenses. Yet unfortunately, not all of them perhaps make a sound plan about how to make the repayment when such credit card debt piles up. This is likely to create financial challenges for the person that may lead to delinquent payments.

Under such circumstances, the debtor may end up facing creditor harassment. One of the options available to the debtor may be filing for bankruptcy. Whether or not the debtor chooses that option, he or she may have to cope with certain legal complexities. Such may happen in the course of a litigation inside a bankruptcy court or otherwise. It is for this reason that a debtor seeking a solution to his or her problems may find it to his or her benefit to seek the advice from an expert lawyer.

Can consolidating debts provide financial relief for Marylanders?

When a Baltimore, Maryland resident must spend beyond the scope of his or her income, he or she often has to borrow money to meet his or her financial obligations. This loan debt, whether in the form of a credit card, a mortgage, or medical expense payments, needs to be settled by paying a certain amount of interest in addition to the principle. Financial challenges sometimes do not allow a debtor to adhere to a repayment plan, placing the loan in default.

If a debt is secured, such as a mortgage on property, the creditor may choose to exercise foreclosure, meaning the creditor takes possession of the mortgaged property and sells it to recover the money it loaned to the creditor. Given the frequency with which an individual incurs debt using a credit card or through high medical expenses, it may often happen that income may not be sufficient to cover the debt. In these situations, when stress is at an all-time high, a debtor needs to think of options to avoid foreclosure or default.

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