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Orlando Bankruptcy Law Blog

Which cities in the country have the most credit card debt?

Many Florida residents and others throughout the nation are struggling with all types of debt. Trying to make ends meet is often a challenge in a difficult economy. Credit card debt is frequently an issue for consumers, with the total for the country topping $1 trillion in 2017. While credit card problems can occur anywhere, a recent study was conducted by an online financial website that revealed which cities had the highest levels of credit card debt.

The survey ranked the 25 most populous cities in the country. Florida had three areas listed in the rankings. Residents in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area had an average credit card balance of over $6,600. Tampa-St. Petersburg was on the list with a average balance just over $6,200. The area of Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne showed average balances of almost $6,000.

Servicing company in lawsuit over loan modification practices

Loan servicers in Florida and elsewhere around the country handle many activities in the mortgage lending process. Since many lenders do not service the loans they make, servicers often collect the principal, interest and escrow payments from those who have obtained a mortgage loan. While many servicing companies are reputable and are even sponsored by government agencies, others have questionable practices. A homeowner in another state recently complained that his servicer violated several statutes during his loan modification process.

The complaint stated that the man had requested modifications to his loan from a bank that was providing loan servicing. However, the company started the foreclosure process just a month after the request for modification had been submitted. The man argues that the company failed to review his request and take action in an appropriate amount of time. He contends that the servicer violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Make a plan to reduce credit card debt

The Federal Reserve recently released statistics that reflect an increase in confidence regarding the economy. That is good news for Florida residents and others around the country. With greater confidence, many consumers are more willing to spend money. However, this may create problems for some if credit cards are used to make purchases. If balances are not paid in full, credit card debt can quickly become a burden.

Reports show that the national credit card debt now exceeds $1 trillion, which is a record level for the country. The latest numbers show that overall consumer borrowing had the largest monthly increase in over two years. While the increases are positive for the economy, experts worry that many may overextend themselves. With interest rates at high levels, there is concern than consumers will be unable to break the cycle of credit card debt.

How to avoid home foreclosure

Despite positive indicators in the economy, there are many homeowners in Florida and around the nation still struggling to pay their mortgages every month. Some fall behind in payments due to loss of job, medical emergencies or other unforeseen difficulties. Regardless of the reason, facing home foreclosure and the potential loss of a home is a frightening prospect. However, since the foreclosure process does not happen immediately, there are some actions to take that could provide protection.

Foreclosures occur when a homeowner has been unable to pay the lender the amount stipulated in the mortgage note. The lender may begin the process to take back the house and try to recoup the money. Of course, the first step to stop this process would be to make the loan current. This typically involves making any past due payments, though a lender may have the right to demand the entire mortgage balance once a default occurs.

Wage garnishment issues remain after issue with credit card debt

Many Florida residents and others throughout the country have difficulties paying their credit card balances each month. Unfortunately, some cardholders find themselves in situations where they are unable to make their payments at all. A collection agency may get involved, and a consumer may face wage garnishment in efforts to satisfy the payments. A woman in another state is striving to get garnishment stopped now that a debt she owed has been paid in full.

The woman shared that she formerly owed money to a credit card company in 2017. The company told the woman she must pay $1,400 through wage garnishment. She agreed to the conditions and went further to say that having the payments routinely come out of her earnings was a workable solution to paying off the debt. She was happy to have the debt paid off by September, and the payroll deductions for garnishment payments stopped.

Good strategy for getting credit card debt under control

Building a good credit history is the goal of many Florida residents and other consumers around the country. Most believe that an effective way to achieve good credit is to not incur any credit card debt by paying balances in full each month. Some people may go so far as to pay for any purchases immediately after they are made, thereby never even having a balance. This practice, however, may not result in an improvement to one's credit score, according to financial experts.

Making payments in full after every transaction gives the appearance of a zero balance to the credit bureaus. Therefore, it appears as though someone has no credit activity. So, while a consumer may assume it's a good practice, it is actually doing nothing to build a good credit history.

Can a Chapter 13 bankruptcy help with your financial problems?

If you are considering bankruptcy, you have two types of filings available: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Each has its pros and cons, as well as specific eligibility requirements.

Whether a Chapter 13 will effectively solve your issues can depend on several factors, including your income, the type of debt you have and your financial priorities. Speaking with a qualified lawyer can give you more information about potential solutions for the financial issues you face.

Home foreclosure rates decreasing in Florida and nationwide

There have many positive financial improvements in the country following the mortgage crisis. Among them, home foreclosure numbers decreased significantly nationwide over the past year. Florida saw a 45 percent drop in foreclosures filed from 2016 to 2017. However, the state still ranks among the top states in the country for foreclosure rates.

Overall, the country saw foreclosures drop to the lowest numbers since 2005, with a 27 percent drop from the past year. From its highest level during the mortgage crisis, the filings have decreased 76 percent. Houses with foreclosures represented only .51 percent of all units last year, compared to 2.23 percent of all units during the crisis.

Ways to reduce credit card debt

Many Florida residents and those elsewhere around the country take time to assess their finances at the beginning of a new year. Consumers may have overspent during the holidays and are now taking stock of their situations. According to a personal finance website, many people in the nation are dealing with the burden of credit card debt.

Recent statistics show that roughly 125 million people carry balances on their credit cards. In fact, the total debt exceeds $525 billion. Financial advisors fear that many consumers facing the high cost of carrying unpaid balances on their cards as well as racking up heavy interest. Whether the balances have come as a result of an emergency or overspending, experts recommend developing a strategy to reduce credit card debt a quickly as possible.

Company took advantage of those seeking loan modification

Many Florida residents and others around the nation were looking for financial relief during the most recent mortgage crisis. Many homeowners hoped to execute a loan modification to ease their financial stress while remaining in their homes. However, a company based in another state took advantage of homeowners in need during this time. The owners of the company were recently indicted for fraudulent mortgage activities.

The three men actually named their company HAMP Services, seemingly tying it to the nation's Home Affordable Modification Program. The company claimed it could help homeowners get a loan modification for their mortgages with low interest rates. Apparently, homeowners were required to submit three trial payments before the modification would take place.

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