North & Sedgwick Law - Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney
Chicago Bankruptcy Firm
Free Consultations
Main Navigation

Chicago Bankruptcy Law Blog

Illinois Bank of America credit card customers should check bills

When some consumers get credit cards, they assume that they will only use them for emergencies. What some people don't plan for is how billing practices and other charges on the credit card can add up, especially when those charges are deceptive. A recent case with Bank of America shows just how important it is to keep track of every single penny that is being charged to a credit card. Anyone in Illinois who has had a Bank of America credit card might be interested in this case.

It is estimated that Bank of America misled around 1.4 million customers about the cost of payment protection products that allow minimum payments to be suspended if the card holder suffers a severe illness or loses their job. The bank is also accused of billing customers for identity theft products prior to the customer getting them, as well as failing to provide some of the services related to fraud monitoring that consumers were paying for.

Chicago couple pays off over $127,000 of debt in under 4 years

Dealing with debt is something that can take a lot of energy. For some couples who are in debt, getting fed up with being in debt is what leads them to take steps to get out of debt. For one couple in Chicago, realizing they were tired of being in debt led them to aggressively pay off more than $127,000 in debt in almost four years.

The couple had student loans, car loans and credit card bills when they endeavored to pay off their debts. They decided to start small. They first paid off a store credit card with money they gained by adjusting the tax withholding on the husband's paycheck.

Brookstone faces bankruptcy, sells to Spencer Spirit

Brookstone, a retailer that is well known in malls all across Illinois, is facing bankruptcy. Reports indicate that the store is in debt for around $200 million. Sales have been falling steadily for some time. The recession forced people to stop buying extras or luxury goods, which is much of what the store sells.

As part of the bankruptcy process, Brookstone is projected to be sold to Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc. for around $147 million. There is still going to be an auction, so it is still possible that someone else could end up being the winning bidder. However, Spencer Spirit is the clear frontrunner at this time. If the company, which is known for selling costumes, does not prevail in the auction, it will receive $3.7 million in compensation.

Knowing the statute of limitations might help with debt relief

Getting phone calls or letters from debt collectors can sometimes lead people to do things they wouldn't normally do. For some people, wanting to get rid of debt collectors might lead them to go through a debt relief company to try to settle the debt. In the case of debt collectors or debt relief companies, false representations might actually be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

A case in the Seventh Circuit Court dealing with the debt collection letters that offer the debtor a settlement has brought a troubling practice to light. The case has to do with time-barred debts that are coming to consumers with the settlement offer.

GE Capital faces investigations over credit card debt settlements

When you have a credit card, you are bound by the conditions of the credit card. In some cases, those conditions might violate consumer finance laws. For Illinois residents with a GE credit card, learning that federal regulators are investigating the company's credit card business might prove to be very interesting.

The business is reportedly in talks with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about its debt cancellation products. The company notified the bureau about a problem that was spotted during an internal audit. The problem deals with a Spanish-language filing. A spokesperson for GE Capital says that the problem was disclosed in a prospectus.

Credit card breach affects Chicago taxi customers

For some people who have credit cards, making the monthly payments is systematic. Some people don't even think to check the statement to make sure the charges are all valid. Credit card holders or debit card holders who have used a card to make a payment for a taxi in Chicago might want to check their statement to make sure all the charges on the card are legitimate because of a string of fraudulent transactions associated with cards used to pay fares.

First American Bank in Illinois issued a statement advising people not to use cards to pay for local taxis. An apparent data breach has been noted by the bank. It has been reported to MasterCard. The bank has also reportedly attempted to deal with the payment processor for the taxi services.

Increasing savings and relieving the stress of debt

Being prepared for the future is difficult, especially for people who are in debt. In some cases, finding opportunities to save money is difficult because of debt and a limited income. While some people in that situation might not see a way to save money and get out of debt, it might be possible to do just that.

In the 2014 Annual National Survey Assessing Household Savings, Americans showed that the Great Recession is still impacting many people's financial situation. The survey showed that people with incomes of $50,000 to $100,000 were more likely to be able spend less than their income than people with an income of $25,000 to $50,000. Only 69 percent of the lower income bracket reported being able to spend less than they earn; however, 81 percent of households with an income of $75,000 to $100,000 were able to do spend less than they earn.

Some Illinois bankruptcy opinions available online

When you are in more debt than you can handle, you might decide to explore your legal options to gain a fresh financial start by seeking debt relief using one of the legal options available. You might want to know exactly what options you have, how each option will affect you and what the process is like for each option. For some Illinois residents, finding out this information might be a little easier soon.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is making opinions available online through the Federal Digital System, which has thousands of opinions available. These opinions, which include some from bankruptcy courts, appellate courts and district courts, will be searchable by text. They will be made available for free. Opinions are uploaded each night.

Credit card debt is taking over the nation

It seems that many are back to pulling out the plastic for things that might not be an emergency. During the height of the financial crisis, people curbed their use of credit cards because they feared the financial situation would eventually make its way to them, if it hadn't already. But now, according to a recent report, credit card debt is making a comeback, and Chicago residents are not immune.

Illinois has the 15th largest amount of credit card debt. The amount is well-above the national average of $4,965. Although 15th is better than first, it is still quite a bit of debt for credit cards.

Illinois reports of identity theft and data breaches rose in 2013

For Illinois residents, trying to keep control of credit card debt means keeping a vigilant watch on their credit card statements. Attorney Genera Lisa Madigan's office reported that the number of consumer complaints was down in 2013 from 2012.

Despite that decrease, the office received more complaints of data breaches and identity theft in 2013 than it did in 2012. Other categories, such as student loan debt, work-at-home-scams, and some other service-related categories also saw decreasing numbers.

North & Sedgwick Law
939 W. North Avenue
Suite 750
Chicago, Illinois 60642
Neighborhood Directions
Phone: 312-878-8429
Fax: 312-602-4945

Map + Directions
  • 2 blocks west of the North & Clybourn Red Line "L" Station
  • Parking Available