Get Debt Relief without a Government Grant or Assistance?
Many residents in Virginia, as well as in other states, are struggling with credit card debts and unsecured debt and are looking for proven ways to get much needed relief - maybe even considering the government as a source for debt relief. Some have turned to the government for help - under the assumption that the government would offer a bailout - for consumers - similar to what Wall Street and the banking industry received.
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If you are in a similar situation where you have questions about government-funded debt relief for consumers, it is important to understand that there is no such thing available. Simply put, neither the federal nor state government offers any kind of debt relief bailout for consumers.
Fortunately, for consumers searching for debt relief, help is available in the form of debt consolidation through credit counseling, debt settlement, or even bankruptcy.
Debt consolidation, or a debt management plan (DMP), typically involves combining, or "consolidating," your high-interest credit card and unsecured debts (such as medical bills, department store charges, and some utilities) into a single, more manageable, and more structured monthly payment plan made to a credit counseling agency.
On the other hand, debt settlement is a debt solution whereby consumers hope to negotiate, or settle, with creditors for a lower amount than what they owe. These days, both methods have become popular alternatives to bankruptcy, which has a more seriousd and longer lasting impact on your personal credit.
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Government Debt Help
As mentioned previously, the government does not provide any kind of consumer debt relief for credit card or unsecured debts. However, where the government has offered its assistance is in the form of consumer rights protection and information, particularly, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009.
Signed by President Obama, the Credit Card Act of 2009 (See Fact Sheet Reforms to Protect American Credit Card Holders) aims at ending the days of unfair and arbitrary rate hikes, and hidden fees. It mandates that credit card companies provide consumers a 45-day notice of any impending rate increase. It also mandates that if a cardholder decides to cancel his or her credit card, that cardholder should be allowed to pay off existing debt at the older and lower interest rate, regardless of the credit card rate increase.
In addition, the Credit CARD Act of 2009 bans credit card companies from retroactively increasing rates on a cardholder's balance in good standing for reasons (such as applying for new credit or buying a new car) that are unrelated to the card holder's payment history with that particular card.
In the state of Virginia, government-funded programs such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) are in place to help eligible residents meet their basic needs, whether it's through cash assistance or state tax credits for nonprofit agencies that assist needy families.
The bottom line is, if you are struggling with credit card and unsecured debts, or going through tough financial times, you can typically get help through a government-assisted program or find relief from debt through debt consolidation or even debt settlement.
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