Government Debt Relief
It's fairly obvious to those living in California or any other state, when looking at recent federal government bailouts for big business, banks and Wall Street, that government debt relief has indeed been giving billions of dollars in aid.
What has not been given, however, are bailouts to those who need them most - the average consumer. Many consumers these days are looking for help in managing and paying off their credit card debts, and some of them are looking for the government to help them out. Unfortunately, the federal nor state government does not provide bailouts for consumer debts.
Despite what many perceive to be lopsided government-corporate generosity, there is good news: You have many options when it comes to finding debt relief --including debt consolidation through credit counseling, debt settlement, or even bankruptcy. For many consumers, both debt consolidation and debt settlement are viable alternatives to bankruptcy--which is often an option of last resort, and has a far more damaging and longer lasting impact on one's credit.
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Government Debt Help
It's a given that Uncle Sam and state and local governments in California and nationwide, have come-up short on debt consolidation, credit counseling, debt settlement and other forms of debt relief grant programs for needy consumers. It's important to note, however, that much has been done on other consumer-fronts. Protective measures have been created to assist consumers in the quest to attain and maintain true debt relief. In the world of credit and debt, another "given" is that it's a consumer's personal responsibility to pay off his or her debts. With that said, the credit card companies do bear a level of responsibility for what could be termed, "over-aggressive, un-relentless marketing" of so called "easy to get credit cards." It was that marketing a few years back, which helped create the raging consumer debt Americans now suffer with.
Enter the Credit Card Act of 2009. While not putting restrictions or controls on credit card company pricing, interest rate caps or fee setting, it does create some powerful debt help provisions and various protections for California and other consumers.
Signed into law by President Obama in May 2009, the Act shows that government can indeed assist and create some very positive outcomes with respect to debt relief. It's truly a front line of defense against onerous industry practices that clearly had gone too far. Things like arbitrary rate increases, lack of meaningful advance notice for rate increases, vague credit card disclosures (the so-called "fine print"), and perhaps the most onerous: the credit card company practice of Universal Default; all were contributing factors to the debt mess that swept across California and the nation.
Credit card companies are now required to give a 45-day advance notice of any rate increase. If cardholders elect to cancel the card - for any reason, they are allowed to pay off the balance at the older, existing rate. Equally important, the credit card companies can no longer retroactively increase the interest rate for a cardholder for reasons unrelated to that specific card. In the past, credit card companies could and would raise a cardholder's interest rate because of other credit-related activity, such as applying for a car loan, or being late on monthly payments with other cards.
Many California residents have been victims of Universal Default, paying for example, interest rates of 10%, only to suddenly and inexplicably have rates as high as 29% heaped upon them! Even Californians with perfect or near perfect credit histories, were getting hit by these predatory practices.
The Credit Card Act of 2009 puts an end to that and consumers are benefiting enormously. So the bottom line is that while government does not provide "direct" credit card or debt relief in the form of debt consolidation, debt management, debt settlement or other special programs to bail out consumers, its actions - such as the 2009 Congressional legislation - are helping in measurable ways.
Mortgage Debt Relief
Along with the credit card debt meltdown, the real estate market, specifically the sub-prime mortgage market ravaged California, its consumers and homeowners. The Government, specifically the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has stepped up to the plate, assisting homeowners facing foreclosure with the "FHASecure loan program." For more information on this program, click on the link below:
Federal Student Loan Consolidation
A less well known government program is helping those with a need to consolidate outstanding student loans. The program basically gives relief to debtors by allowing them to combine all federal student loans into a lower interest rate loan, making a single and arguably easier monthly payment. The program benefits only those with outstanding federal loans, not those holding privately funded loans.
State Economic Assistance
California, as many know, is in the midst of a financial crisis. The good news is that in despite of the economic realities, forms of debt relief related assistance on multiple levels are available.
The Golden State's Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) administers about twenty different programs, featuring loans and grants, aimed at the acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of affordable rental and ownership for housing.
Another viable kind of California government community assistance that may help with debt is a program operated by CalWORKS. The program helps eligible families become self-supporting through temporary cash aid, child care, and job search guidance.
California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) is a program helping eligible families become self-supporting through temporary cash aid along with assistance in finding and keeping jobs (CWES). It is California's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program, providing a number of services, including cash aid, child care, and job search guidance.
And last but not least, is the California's Energy Commission consumer assistance program, which offers help to offset escalating energy prices in the Golden State. It helps low-income consumers pay their utility bills. Three types of assistance are available to the public through this agency. All which could aid those in need of debt relief.
So it's clear that agencies, both at the Federal, State and local levels are helping consumers during these difficult times. Help is being given, depending on the individual situation, both privately and publically.
Government is doing its part.
If you're suffering from credit and other forms of unsecured debt problems or challenges and would like more information on how debt relief can benefit you , click to receive your very own free debt relief analysis and free savings estimate.
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