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Just finished the Texas list, Mandi! We are in the middle of a heat wave with a seven year old. We don't as a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned how likely they are to go bust , but there is a risk any company can struggle and it's rarely made public until it's too late see the Section 75 guide for protection tips. Expand the full mis-sold unemployment cover briefing. Of course, it is still only at consultation stage - despite clear plans to go ahead - so is still subject to change.
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There is a maximum monthly allotment based on the size of the household. That number will then be subtracted from the maximum monthly allotment. The remaining amount is the total monthly allotment you will receive based on your application. This amount may change if your income or household size changes. SNAP benefits are a specific money amount provided to recipients each month to go towards nutritional foods.
Recipients are provided with an electronic benefits transfer EBT card, and money is added to the card each month. You can check your balance by phone, and any unused funds at the end of the month remain on the card to be used to following month. Once allocated, benefits will not expire. Benefits cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, medicine, hot food, food meant to be eaten in the store, or any non-food items.
What food items can be purchased with food stamps? Eligible Items include foods for the household to eat: Our guide to which food products you cannot purchase with food stamps is here. The answer is yes, BAH income is typically counted towards your gross income when determining if you are eligible for food stamps.
As such, your GI Bill benefits do contribute to your income, even though that income is temporary and not taxed. Receiving BAH does not stop you from being eligible for food stamps outright, it is just included in the income calculation.
SNAP is the largest domestic program available to nutritional assistance, and it is available for low-income individuals and families that meet the eligibility requirements. The federal food and nutrition service works with a wide range of other organizations including state agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood organizations to provide SNAP recipients with nutrition assistance and information.
The local agencies provide aid for people while they are going through the application process, and once people are approved, these agencies help them to access their benefits. The goal of this program is to provide monetary assistance with food while the members of the household are actively looking for work or working in positions that do not pay enough to cover food and living costs.
That number is then subtracted from the maximum allotment allowed based on the size of the household. The following table, shows the maximum monthly allotment allowed based on the size of the household. Benefits are provided starting the day your application is submitted, so once you are approved, you will received the total amount you would have received from day one.
As long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements for SNAP, there is no limit to how long you can receive benefits. If you do not use your total benefit allotment within a month, the remaining balance will roll over to the next month. At no point will you lose money that has already been transferred to your EBT card. SNAP is designed to provide food assistance, so most food and beverage purchases are acceptable. SNAP can be used to purchase breads, cereals, fruits and veggies, meats, and dairy products.
SNAP cannot be used to pay for any type of alcohol or tobacco products, vitamins and medicines, hot foods, and foods that will be eaten in the store. The last two items include things like sandwich shops or pizza stands within stores, coffee shops, and fast food or restaurants. There are several options for applying. Only one member of the households needs to apply for the total household, but everyone living in the household needs to be included on the application along with their income.
Most states provide an online application to start the process. If your state does not provide an online application or you do not have access to a computer, you can go to your local state or county office to apply. As part of the application process, you will need to go to your local state or county office for a face-to-face interview.
If you are not able to go to the local office or apply online, you can designate an authorized representative. This is someone you give authority to represent you. You have to designate the person in writing to be official. This person can be a friend or relative. The entire process generally involves filling out an application, going in for a face-to-face interview, and providing verifications for needed information such as income, residency, and expenses. If because of age or disability, an applicant is unable to go to the office and cannot appoint a representative, the interview may be waived at the discretion of the local office.
However, if the interview is waived, the applicant will have to have a phone interview or consent to a home visit instead. When determining eligibility, you need to provide information on all members of the household. A household, for this situation, is defined as all individuals that live together and purchase and prepare meals together. I encourage people to make those calls rather than pick up those calls from Discover.
Your mindset is often better that way. Here is more on the topic: Discover sues to collect more than most banks. Your risk of being sued for collection by Discover will typically begin once they charge off the account. You can often settle before that happens. I do see better settlement outcomes when you work things out directly with the bank as opposed to waiting for an attorney to contact you. In other words, Discover lawsuits can be negotiated, but at a premium.
If settlement is your goal, your next step is to pull the money together and then hurry up and wait until the optimal time to negotiate the best settlement arrives. I have learned that this resets the process another certain amount of days. Should I resist this request or is this a necessary and legitimate request?
I have seen them request that payment, and they do follow through with the letter and the settlement. If you are nervous about it record the call, and tell them why; because they are not willing to send the letter without the payment.
I have an old delinquent account with the Discover Bank since March of My delinquent debt is more than4 years old, and the statute of limitation SOL is expired. The SOL in my state Maryland is 3 years. But, concerns I have is that if I call, my telephone conversation recorded by the Discover resets the time filing a suit and the phone recording can be used against me in the court.
Please share your opinions on my concerns. Talk to an experienced Maryland debt collection defense attorney about whether your phone call with Discover would potentially reset the SOL to sue. How long until you have the ability to pay the 30 percent?
We are trying to purchase a car. According to the myfico simulator if i were to payoff or pay down the DC I would be hitting the mark. My goal is to one day hit and remain there. Credit scores do not always immediately improve when the account is settled and brought to zero.
But your DTI is indeed going to improve right away. I am desperately trying to fix my credit score. Discover card still owns this account. Discover does not do Pay for delete, at least that is what i was told by both collectors and Discover. My question to you is should I take the settlement? Will this improve my credit score when I settle for less? Or should be patient and wait until it drops off credit report,.
Discover will not do pay for delete. You could not offer them 10 times what you owe and get that out of them. Settling the account and getting the credit report to show you owe zero and a resolved Discover collection account is what you can expect. Whether or not this settlement with Discover will improve your credit immediately will vary from one person to the next. It will improve your options with certain loans, like a refi or new home loan.
I have been current with Discover Card, but my interest rate is so high. I read a lot of articles, that they will give me a chance if I got late in payment, so I did. They called me last night, and I asked if they can drop the interest, and I am still willing to pay the balance, until paid in full.
They only offer 9. They are very pushy, and I spoke to the manager, and it is saying, same thing like the representative I spoke to. She told me, she will send my account to their lawyer. I said, then, I will have a better deal when your lawyer gets it. What is my best option? In , I asked them to enroll me in hardship because my husband has no jobs for 2 years. Then, they only lower the rate to Now, they told me, try the 6 months, and we will figure out the best for you after this.
I said no, because you already did it to me in Please let me know, what am I supposed to do next? How long have you had this account?
Do you have other credit card balances besides this one, and if so, what do they all add up to? They sent me a motion for summary judgment. As for a day to show cause, all of this information was left blank. They also provided over a pages of statement printouts with an affidavit from someone they claim is the litigation support specialist.. Monday, February 29th, I received the motion for summary judgment paperwork again, but this time it had a hearing date of March 30th on it.
They sent the same printouts again with it and affidavit with no original copy of the signed contract or proof they own the debt. Discover has charge off on my credit report at this time. Discover is who your account was with and who owns the account now.
They have not sold unpaid debt for many years. Now that you have engaged in defending the court case, it is not all that common to win and get a dismissal when sued by your original creditor. If your goal is avoiding a Discover judgment, you stand a better shot of negotiating a settlement if you can afford one. Yes I can raise half or a little more of what I am being sued for. If an agreement is met, I know the amount should be given but what else?
Should it include credit reporting request such as paid in full or paid as agreed? Should a request to dismiss the motion for summary judgment dismissed with prejudice after payment? It is not a bad idea to talk this over with an experienced debt defense attorney.
Post a reply with your state and I will email you contact that offer no cost initial consults. You should not send a dime without the negotiated agreement in writing. Discover has to update current and correct information to your credit reports.
If you settle the debt they are good about sending those updates. It can take 60 days. It will show settled for less usually, but as a resolved collection, which you can then begin to bounce back from. Discover will not agree to remove the credit reporting,and the law firm suing is not in a position to agree to that for them.
This letter is not a threat of suit and should not be considered a threat of suit. So how am I to take this?! I havent made a payment on this card since last summer due to unemployment, illness, and family issues.
I have explained to DC that I have no means to make payment and I am actually filing for disability. They are also helping me with my utility bills but absolutely will not pay anything towards the DC balance. Should I consider filing Chapter 7? I hate to do it and the guilt of not discharging DC is weighing heavily on me but I dont see any other way out of this mess. How soon can I expect to be sued? This letter is ambiguous to me.
If the Discover balance Zwicker is now collecting is the only reason you would file bankruptcy, than I do not like that option. The debt is too small if you consider:. Settling with Zwicker for roughly half would mean coming up with about 4k. Look to raise money as quickly as you can in order to settle.
Even if your sued and judgment entered, it appears there is little they can do to collect, given your disability status. I cannot say how long it will be before Zwicker sues. I would suggest that it is more likely now that Zwicker has your file. Payments have been made on time, every month since. I have money order receipts and bank statements all showing I made the payments. Will I have to pay the whole amount? How do I respond to them?
If it were me I would respond to the Florida attorney letter with a dispute letter of my own. I would point out in the dispute that the debt they are attempting to collect is not valid. Include a copy of the settlement agreement and list out all payment transaction dates. I would state plainly that any further collection efforts will result in your consulting with your own fair debt attorney, and your filing a debt collection complaint against the law firm and their client with the CFPB.
You could also call Discover and verify all of the facts of your settlement and see what they have to say. If you were my customer, and this happened, that is what I would do. This would give Discover the chance to pull the account back and could be the cleanest resolution to the mistake that was made in the first place.
Thank you for your response. When I look up the case in the civil court, I only find the original date not anything in Augusy Perhaps I misunderstood you. That was how I read your original comment. Stipulation was made in front of a judge to make monthly payments until paid off, then 8 months later they said I defaulted on the agreement and court enforced the full amount I never received any paperwork on this plus interest. However, I always paid, on time and have the bank statements to prove it.
Give me a call tomorrow to talk about your situation at , option 2 rings to me. My first inclination is to file a complaint if you can show ALL payments made timely with no default. I have filed a complaint with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau www. Will update status as soon as I receive response from the company, should be less than 15 days according to CFPB. They stated they contacted Discover who also agreed to put it back on original settlement amount. On my complaint I included copies of bank statements for the month in question as well as the following month.
That is great JH! Post an update with any new developments. And if you later find yourself in a position to offer a lump sump settlement for less than the balance still owed, it is often an option.
I had been researching online among the various forums and was planning to send a form letter to Discover requesting a settlement. I was first in hardship programs and did my best to keep up, but eventually, there was just no money to pay.
I believe this means the SOL will run out in March They may have written me off by now… I read an analogy somewhere forget if it was on your site where sending letters to creditors is like hitting a sleeping rhinoceros on the head. I could pay this in full. I read that creditors monitor your reports for changes like this.
I want to resolve these accounts and now have access to some funds to do so, but I worry it will backfire. My priority is to avoid a judgement on my credit report and being on the hook for 16K if they get a judgement.
Or should I contact Cavalry instead? I would look to make contact only if you have the ability to resolve the account.
How a collector will look at your ability to pay is favorable to getting the best deal. There are instances where a written hardship letter is still useful in negotiating a debt for less, but that is often when there is verbal negotiations and the written hardship explanation is requested as part of building out your file on the creditor or debt collectors side.
I am doing that on a second mortgage settlement right now much more common in secured loan transactions. There is also the element that a written offer can reset the SOL to sue, where a verbal one will not in many states. I do think your approach should change given that Cavalry is involved in your Discover account. Call me this morning for a consult to go over some things at , then choose option 2 which rings to me. Thanks so much for your thoughts, I really appreciate it. You can reach me through that hot line number as late as 9 pm eastern most weekdays.
You can also email me direct to coordinate a time to speak. My email address is the one you get comment notification emails from. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated and I thank you! You will want to act quickly and be convincing with your hardship and inability to pay. The other accounts being in collection will help in this regard. Only focus on information about how little money you have to work with; do not make enough at your job to pay all your bills; and the only reason you have the money you do to offer is going to be because of a friendly loan.
You may be able to negotiate that but may need to have a little more cash than that. Thanks for your reply Michael. I would totally take it otherwise. I want to call and see if they will take a payment plan or extension on that amount… what do you think? You can often settle Chase credit card debts with collectors like Nationwide, and get time to pay.
I would try to swing the payoff in a few months if you get them to agree. I have a page up dedicated to settling Chase debt. That notice about tax implication when more than dollars is being cancelled or forgiven in a settlement is a standard disclosure. I use it in customer forms too. If you are insolvent it will be a nonissue. In terms of debt priority right now, it is settling with Discover, and not defaulting on federal loans…because from what I understand, the government will be much harder to work with!
You have payment options with federally backed student loans. Check out that site for every option available. If I were prioritizing debts to resolve based on the little information I have to go on with your situation, I would deal with the Discover account before Chase.
Discover does indeed sue just outside of charge off more so than Chase at least currently. And Chase is with a contingency debt collector, where Discover may be going directly to an instate attorney next. I have an attorney flat-rate one-time fee who is representing me trying to settle a closed outstanding debt with Discover Card that has been turned over to another law office.
They refuse to go lower on a lump sum payment. I was a Discover card member for over 12 years and good paying one. They will not take payments over time on the 7K. They go up thousands for payments. Can you tell me how to get a better deal with my Discover collection debt? What would you suggest I do? Are you unable to round up the money needed? Have you been sued? Who is the law firm hired by Discover? It is a struggle to make the 7K one-time payment.
I have not been sued and I am trying to prevent any lawsuits. I am not wanting to give out any information online about my lawyer or the law firm collecting for Discover. I was a good paying customer to Discover for 12 years! Thought they would take that into consideration.
When accounts default it is mostly about policies and procedures from that point. You become a loss statistic. This is not specific to Discover, it applies to nearly all credit card issuers. I am disputing with Discover. The original charge was fraud? I was intoxicated and conned by con artist, vacation house seller. Discover investigated and refunded money to me without any notice they might take the money back… A month later, they take money back by saying they received my signed contract intoxicsted and conned from merchant.
Basically, they did not investigate and just waited the contract paper. Either way, once they told me they completed investigation and refund money. And they did not tell me anything about further outcome.. I did receive the bank web message stating the above and I trusted them so I did not save the message.
After this issue rose, I asked them to give me the message, they denied. Do you think I have s case?? The temporary credit Discover gave you is standard procedure. The investigation ended when they got the wet ink contract back. I do not think you have much of a case here.
I have worked on files with banks where the consumer signed for goods in similar situations and the outcome is often not favorable, even when scammed and the scam is outed. Thank you for your reply. I wish you could tell me optimistically too.
I understood it is a standard procedure now, but what I cannot understand still is that they send me a message which stated they completed investigation and found in my favor. Nothing else was stated and a month later they charged it back to me…. When I asked them about it, they lied by saying they notify me of the future outcome change. When I requested for the message they had sent me to prove they lied, they denied.
I know it is my fault to be conned, but I just cannot stand their dishonesty…. I had a judgement levied against me from discover card from I pulled my free credit repo0rt and it says the amount is I was incarcerated in until a year ago. I would like to settle with these guys but I am afraid to initiate the dialogue. I have heard discover is very difficult to deal with.
And I do not want to be called into court because that would be a violation of federal probation. I am working but getting a job as a felon is a challenge and I would be afraid to lose my job if they moved to garnish wages another condition of probation. Is it wise to use my incarceration as a negotiation tool? I spoke with a bankruptcy attorney and he said I already make too much money to claim bankruptcy and again I am pretty much not a big fan of going to court these days.
Should I bite the bullet and just call? Or let it ride, although that seems like a terrible idea since the limits in Massachusetts are 20 years. Can I negotiate just off the settlement or are they going to say I owe with lawyer fees and interest? As for other debts i owe to capital one which is in the hands of an attorney in MA. Older than 7 years. A repo with a balance of and i believe that is it. Settling for 3k is possible, but might be a bit optimistic if you are dealing with the attorney for Discover.
Sometimes debts that are really old even judgment debts get grabbed back by Discover. When you are able to work with the recovery department at Discover on really old debts like this, you may find getting a deal you can afford a bit more likely. I have used incarceration of someone I am negotiating for as narrative for the inability to pay, and as a talking point for settlements.
If you are comfortable talking about it, I would not hesitate. I spoke at length with Michael yesterday regarding my Discover card judgement.
First and foremost he is a wealth of knowledge and he definitely has our best interests at heart. So if anyone is apprehensive or skeptical or anxious or nervous…..
With that said he asked me to find out the attorney who is currently handling the judgement. I accomplished this by 1. So now that I have the attorney info I will provide it to Michael. He will then be able to provide me their historical settling percentages if he has dealt with them before. My 22 year old son had a Discover card which he got while in college.
Last year he became ill and had to withdraw from college; this also meant he was unable to work. He did not take any calls from Discover as they came to me on our home phone and he has not lived home. I recently received a call on my phone from a law office saying that if I was not ——, do not listen to the message as it is confidential. A letter from that law office also came in the mail, but I have not yet been able to contact my son that the letter came.
Should I return the letter unopened or wait for my son to get home next month to read the letter? Is there a way he can settle for partial payment now that Discover has sold off the account? Discover has not been selling off unpaid credit card debts for some time now. But you can settle the debt regardless of that. I would be proactive in this case if it were me.
I would call my son, tell him about the letter, let him know I am opening it, and discuss his options with him. Can you help him settle the debt? Hi Michael, Terrific site, Wonderful information. Had a large balance transfer about 9 months ago. I owe to citi and to US Bank and working to settle those. Should I just pay off my other two accounts w funds I have?
Discover, like all banks regulated by the OCC, cannot offer settlement payment terms that extend beyond 94 days on pre-charge-off debt. Once Discover charges off your account, which will be in the next 2 to 3 months, there is a chance they would approve longer repayment terms. That can happen direct with Discover, or through one of the debt collectors they use. Discover does place accounts with collection attorneys. Is there no way for you to raise the additional funds you need?
How will you raise the money you need if you settle with Discover and US bank early on? I occasionally see Discover get closer to the percentage you need them to be.
You have to really go for it with your negotiations and be consistent. You also typically need a sincere, and even documented hardship. Hi Michael, I did my settlement today with the Discover Card attorney, but I have court tomorrow for this case with Discover.
Do I need to be present in the court if its already done the settlement with Discover? Please let me know. I would show up if it were me. I would want to make sure that the case does not progress any further by mistake, and settling the day before court is cutting it close.
In short I was sued by Discover 8 years ago and still paying. They Lawyers that originally did the suing on behalf of Discover, have handed over my case to new Lawyers as of mid last year. I did this and stayed up to date.. I did receive notice that I would be dealing with new lawyers in the middle of last year, however did not give it much thought because I was paid through the year with the original lawyers.
I heard from them again only through papers being served for non payment. The gave a case number and address in which I sent the dollars too. The girl I got this time really had her panties in a bunch and was extremely rude and mean to me..
I understand I got myself into trouble and I needed to fix this and had been doing it for the last 8 yrs, some how this girl just viewed me as a totally loser and made sure I knew what she thought by the way I was treated.
What I did get from her is that my was received and cashed. But it meant nothing other then just for that month. Then she told me if the courts told 25 month then its 25 month, not I was so upset at how this girl made me feel I just hung up with her.
Knowing I still needed to resolve this and not wanting to go to court. The thing is now they say I have to pay a month or lowest settlement is Do I call and see if they will except the 4k? First, what is the name of the new debt collection law firm, and what is the name of the collector who was demeaning?
What is the current balance still owed? Do you have any other unresolved bills out there besides this one with Discover? You might be able to get them down a hundred or three more dollars.
If you can raise the money, you could look to negotiate some middle ground. If you cannot get this resolved, and do not defend the lawsuit, you will likely end up with a judgment. You can negotiate judgments too, but look to avoid that if possible, but I know it is not always an option. Disputing and requesting validation from Discover, or the attorney suing you, is not an option… at least not in the traditional sense most people write about online.
That process is something you do before being sued. Once sued you have to do everything in a much more formalized way. Your balance is too small to make sense of hiring an attorney, but you should talk to one.
If your income is low enough to qualify for low income legal aid, look an office near you. Some colleges with law programs offer clinics on this sort of thing run by students and professors. NOLO Press puts out a good book on defending yourself in court. It has not been sold to an outside party and Discover continues to report the charge off monthly. I am trying to obtain a Parent Plus Loan for a child in college and this old debt is affecting the approval. I was told to contact Discover and request a settlement.
With this debt being so old and the SOL has passed, what amount should I request to Discover as a settlement offer? Thank you for your help. I rarely see Discover accounts settle for less than 40 percent. I have also seen some accounts that are too old to sue for collection be flagged for not so great offers. Post an update if you are unable to get to at least 50 percent. When you call Discover, you may learn that your account is with a debt collection agency, which can mean you will be settling with the collector, and not Discover bank directly.
Be sure to get the deal you negotiate in writing. Thanks for your help and advise. They will be sending me the offer letter via email within a few days and said once they receive payment they will send me another letter that the account had been settled and closed.
It is slated to come off my credit report in October of this year but I would still like to settle it and be done with it. What would be my best way to approach them? Thanks for any help. What state are you in James?
I want to determine you cannot be sued legitimately due to state laws that limit that. I can offer better feedback to you once you post that information. They cannot sue legitimately at this point. That usually means you are in a better position to negotiate the lowest settlement possible. Discover does not often go below 40 percent, but I have seen a few less than that. How much money can you pull together to offer as a settlement? What goal are you looking to accomplish by settling this late in the collection cycle, and with the Discover account soon being taken off your credit reports?
Should I just wait for it to fall off my report and hope nothing comes of it? The debt never truly disappears. Even after you can no longer legitimately be sued in New Mexico, and the Discover card charge off is removed from your credit reports, the debt can still be collected. But you can put a stop to collection calls and letters should you choose to at that point.
I understand wanting to resolve the debt for the simple fact its out there. Contact Discover and find out if they have the account placed with an outside agency for collection. Post the name of that company if so. If Discover has your account internally, let them know you are aware you cannot be sued, and the account is set to fall off your credit in a couple months. You want to do the right thing, and resolve the debt with them, and can pull together xxxx amount, but no more.
You actually could lower your credit scores with a recent settlement on a stale old collection account like this. That would likely change again when Discover falls off your reports later this year, but still….
Given how old the account is, you have a shot at settling with debt collector for Discover at closer to the 20 percent mark. But your questions is about what is most realistic, any that would be the 40 to 50 percent mark. There can be concerns about calling creditors and debt collectors to resolve debts that have passed your states SOL to sue. There are some states where you can conceivably reset the SOL verbally. New Mexico is not one of them, but if you are concerned about it, contact a consumer law attorney in NM with debt defense experience.
That will set your mind at ease. Dear Micheal, Thanks for your prompt response. I have a few questions based on your reply. Does this mean that it will not be on my credit history starting ? Would I still have to pay them after ?? Dear Michael , I had a discover card with a total balance now according to them of I have been living in India for the past 5 years and was not even aware of this card.
I just happen to notice this when I randomly checked my credit report. This debt is still owned by discover and they have filed a lawsuit against me using a attorney from the weltman weingburg and Reis in Columbus Ohio. I would like to settle this debt as might someday move back and would need a good credit.
As of now they really have no choice but to settle. Is should I call discover or the attorneys?? And how much would be a good amount to settle for?? But you are in a different position — with your being out of country — and no way to enforce payment.