In an article featured in Baltimore Business Journal, CDRI Chairman Tomas Gordon discusses launching a trade association to advocate for companies that are following “the spirit” of federal laws and regulations aimed at protecting consumers.
In an Op-Ed featured in Morning Consult, CDRI Chairman Tomas Gordon discusses the impacts of COVID-19 on consumer debt, and the role debt settlement will play in assisting consumers during these challenging and uncertain times.
A top Marine Corps leader at Camp Lejeune asked state lawmakers Wednesday to crack down on the debt settlement industry in North Carolina by passing a bill that stalled last month in the Senate.
The push wasn’t enough. Lawmakers adjourned Wednesday afternoon without the Senate taking the measure up despite widespread support in the N.C. House. They’ll return in early September.
Camp Lejeune Chief of Staff Nicholas E. Davis had told legislators that Marines and their families would benefit “greatly” from the bill, which would protect them “from the abusive practices of debt settlement companies.”
“Some of these abusive practices fail to reduce debt obligations and leave borrowers in worse conditions with loans in default, tax bills and creditor lawsuits and judgments,” Davis wrote, in a letter dated Wednesday. “In some cases, these companies steer victims into high-cost debt consolidation loans.”
Davis asked them to pass House Bill 1067 without the amendments sought by the industry. Industry lobbyists say the bill as is would put these companies out of business in North Carolina.
By Travis Fain, WRAL statehouse reporter
Nearly half, 47 percent, of U.S. adults, or about 120 million people, currently have credit card debt, up from 43 percent reported in early March, according to a new report from CreditCards.com.
The sudden spike in credit card debt coincides with states issuing stay-at-home orders that have forced millions of businesses to shutter. Alarmingly, 23% of credit card debtors have added to their credit card debt as a direct result of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Ted Rossman, an analyst at CreditCards.com, said millennials are suffering financial hardship more the previous generations for two reasons. The sudden and unprecedented spike in unemployment has forced 30 million people to apply for unemployment. This, coupled with millions of younger Americans already living on just enough to get by, has forced many to turn to credit cards to afford basic necessities. “Unlike the previous recessions, 08 and the Dot Com crash, unemployment happened so suddenly that people were forced to rely on their credit cards.”
Schwab’s 2019 Modern Wealth Report revealed that only 39% of millennials (ages 23 to 38) said they have enough saved to support themselves for at least three months if something unexpected happens. Furthermore, 36% of respondents told Schwab that they don’t have any money set aside for an unexpected expense.
While not everyone is actually getting ill from COVID-19, we are all feeling the far-reaching effects of the virus. The pandemic is especially wreaking havoc on Americans’ financial health. Before the virus reached the US, many were already experiencing financial challenges. A study in 2019 revealed that almost half of respondents — 45% — said they have $0 in a savings account. Another 24% said they have less than $1,000 in savings. The top reason respondents gave for not having enough savings was because they were living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly 33% said this obstacle was keeping them from saving, and about 20% said a high cost of living prevented them from saving more.
Add to this of course, the massive collective credit card debt Americans have incurred. According to the Federal Reserve, total credit card debt has risen year after year, and surpassed $1 trillion in 2019.
Not enough savings, not enough income and already trying to manage high credit cards bills. Then COVID-19 enters the picture. In six weeks, close to 30 million jobs are lost. That’s 30 million people, who based on the overall statistics probably didn’t have a large emergency savings fund and already had accumulated credit card debt. With no income and no cash savings, where else can they turn but to credit cards.