As they confront unprecedented numbers of troubled customers, credit card companies are increasingly doing something they have historically scorned: settling delinquent accounts for substantially less than the amount owed.Perhaps the guy at all the sporting events with the "Hey Congress, where's my bailout?" sign will be able turn his ample creative abilities toward something more constructive.
The practice started last fall as the economy worsened. But in recent months, with unemployment topping 9 percent and more people having trouble paying their bills, experts say this approach has risen drastically.
They say many credit card issuers have revised internal guidelines to give front-line employees the power to cut deals with consumers. The workers do not even have to wait for customers to call and ask for a break.
“Now it’s the card company calling you and saying, ‘Let’s talk turkey,’ ” said David Robertson, publisher of the credit industry journal The Nilson Report.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Bail Outs Really are for Everybody
Apparently, credit card companies are in the mood to cut their losses. You could be the beneficiary.