It is likely that the vast majority of Americans have not yet heard much, if anything, about an organization called Strike Debt, which is a group recently spawned from the efforts of Occupy Wall Street.
We informed readers of the double-edged sword posed by debt-relief companies in a July 9 blog entry, referencing the "empty promises" routinely made by actors in that industry and the much worse positions many debtors actually find themselves in after contracting with such entities.
Recently, it was announced that politicians in Washington D.C. have reached a debt deal. It is worth noting that if the bill containing the terms of this deal passes, it may not only impact national debt. It could also have an impact on the personal debt of some graduate students.
Even though the recession has taken its toll on Florida residents, many people have tried get their finances under control. However, it appears that women are more willing than men to seek debt relief help with their financial problems. But what causes this interesting difference?
A recent study looked at college graduate attitudes regarding debt, and found that for some younger people debt is actually looked at in a positive light. And while for now some of these people may be thinking that their student loan and credit card debt empowers them, in the future those same graduates may find themselves in tough financial situations and challenges due to that debt.
People dealing with substantial debt problems may be vulnerable to scam artists seeking to take advantage of them financially. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently shut down two such debt negotiation companies. The two companies, one of which was based partly in Florida, are accused of offering fraudulent or misleading debt relief services to consumers with high credit card interest rates.
Many legal concepts are misunderstood by the general public, but perhaps the most prevalent legal myths surround bankruptcy. How often have you heard it said that you have to lose your home and your car to get bankruptcy relief? Or that the retirement savings you worked so hard to accumulate will be wiped out by filing bankruptcy?
As the economy declined, much of the tourism in Florida went with it. Businesses and their employees who used to rely on tourists for consistent income have had to face the reality that fewer people have been visiting Florida in recent years. This put financial strain on people who were already struggling to make ends meet.
There are many reasons that people find themselves struggling with debt. For some, it is largely out of their control. Job loss and serious illnesses or injuries can leave families without much needed paychecks. But for others, simply not understanding basic financial principles can play a large role in their financial struggles.
Last week, we talked about the credit repair scams that seem to be running rampant in South Florida. Now, the Government Accountability Office has released a report about another type of "service" that might do consumers more harm than good. The GAO found that most credit card debt protection offers cost cardholders much more than they benefit them.