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Chase Improves Credit Counseling Benefits

June 23rd, 2009 by Kenneth Long

Chase has had many changes in 2009, some of which have angered certain cardholders that may have been carrying low interest balances for at least 2 years. One change that has been very good for consumers has been the improvement in benefits that Chase is providing through debt management programs. In fact, their benefits are now among some of the best available through credit counseling.

Chase is providing very good benefits to its cardholders that take the step of getting out of debt by completing credit counseling and enrolling in a debt management program. Its almost as if Chase is giving an ultimatum for cardholders that may be overextended on their credit accounts.

Cardholders with good credit may opt to pay off the accounts quickly or transfer the balances to another lender to avoid the 5% minimum payment requirements. However, those with lower credit scores and those who are having trouble making all of their monthly minimum payments may need to seek credit counseling.

What Chase is Providing

These are the main benefits that Chase is currently  providing to eligible cardholders through a debt management program:

  • Lower Monthly Payment: Chase can lower the required monthly minimum payment from 5% down to 2.2% of the balance, which can reduce the minimum payment by more than half. In addition, Chase allows credit counselors the flexibility of making further cuts in the monthly minimum payment through a process known as call to action. This places additional discretion at the hands of a credit counselor that is trying to help a distressed cardholder balance their budget. A call to action label on an account can lower the minimum payment further. A standard call to action may allow for an even lower minimum payment of 2% of the balance. If the client has endured a hardship and is on the brink of financial ruin, then a hardship call to action may lower the minimum payment to as low as 1.75% of the balance.
  • Lower Interest Rates: Chase is reducing interest rates on most accounts to as low as 7% APR through debt management. This may save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year while repaying the debt. Depending on the level of hardship, a client may be eligible for further reductions in their rates based on the call to action guidelines.
  • Reage: Clients that have fallen behind would not have to catch the account up before receiving benefits. This would also help the client avoid fees, which Chase usually agrees to waive through a debt management program.

The higher minimum payments that Chase has imposed on certain accounts has certainly put some clients at risk of financial problems. However, these clients may get relief by taking action right away. Either they need to repay it quickly on their own, transfer the balance to avoid the higher minimum payments or get help through credit counseling.

Chase has indeed lost popularity points based on their changes to cardholder agreements. Those clients that are seeking credit counseling are finding though that the benefits have actually improved for Chase accounts.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 11:52 am and is filed under Credit Cards, Credit Cards: Chase, Debt Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

62 responses about “Chase Improves Credit Counseling Benefits”

  1. Annette said:

    Chase’s ‘debt management’ plan is a covert operation to increase the low APR rates on the accounts that they have raised the minimum payment of 2% to 5%.

    I’ve managed my debt well, have A+ credit rating, a paid off car and 60% equity in my home. They have single handily put me and 100’s of thousands of their loyal and in-good-standing customers in a unanticipated predicament of increased debt load. Chase Bank has acted in a manner of greed and disregard for their customers and this ‘debt management’ plan is a smoke screen for their unscrupulous behavior.

    Until yesterday, I have never blogged. It is nice to have a vehicle to share with many others the discontent I feel towards JP Morgan Chase. This may be the case of big-guy crushing the little-guy. I still have a choice to never patronize this company and I believe others will do the same. Together we can be big enough to make a difference. I hope the government will not help JP Morgan Chase in the future, they are not too big to fail — they have failed us.

    I wish for every one who has been effected by Chase’s decision to increase the minimum payment of 2% to 5% the best of luck.

  2. "Chase Hiked My Minimum Payment To 5 Percent!" [Minimum Payments] said:

    […] debt management program. The credit counseling website Vision Credit says that Chase in particular has become very responsive to requests for payment reductions for customers who are in debt management programs—in fact, Chase now gives some credit […]

  3. Tracey said:

    Chase is targeting people with excellent credit, large balences, and low interest rates. The reason we have great credit is because we manage our money well and take advantage of great offers. I bought my car with a 3.9 offer from Chase, I then took full advantage of the rebates and made out very well… until now! Now, I have to scrable to come up with $1400 for my new minimum payment. I want to keep my excellent credit and I think that’s why Chase has targeted all of us. Good luck to everyone that has to face this increase.

  4. Lynn Shumway said:

    Oh Chase has lost all my business today. After over 10 years of never paying them late on anything, they decide to jack up my minimum payment 150% on a low interest balance I’ve carried for less than a year. I would love nothing more than to see Chase bank topple, and whoever the idiots are who implemented this policy boiled in oil. And what’s sad, is I’m lucky, I can pay off the balance–many, many people don’t have that luxury.

  5. Dorothy said:

    Chase decided after offering me a great low rate of 3.99% and transferring my balances, now instead of the 2%, which is about $210, will now be 5% at around $560. This is more than my car payment or my second mortgage! This should be considered a breach of contract. Now many Americans like me will have no choice but to file bankruptcy or work through a debt program. I pay my bills on time, all of the time. I do pay minimal unless I am blessed with some extra cash, but I have never been late, not even one time. My prayers go out to anyone who is facing any sort of financial burden that is out of their control. It is great the card will be paid off in about two years, that is a plus, but first I must figure where I am going to come up with that kind of money.

  6. Ruined said:

    My wife had her hours cut. I took on a second job. We were proud that were working hard to keep our heads above water after medical bills almost sank us. We moved a large balance to Chase for their touted “Lifetime Low Interest.” It helped.
    We’ve never missed a payment, never been late and were making progress.
    We have a 3 year old and are on a tight budget.
    Our minimum payment just went from $200 to $500 a month. Instantly. We simply don’t have that money. We would have in a year or so as our hard work paid off, but we won’t now.
    Everything has changed now. We can expect a huge hike in interest and fees as we can’t pay this, and of course, the other credit card we have will immediately hike our rates when this affects our credit.
    It is almost as if they want thousands of people to default or declare bankruptcy.
    It’s disgusting that this is legal in our country. It feels like bait and switch.
    It’s amazing that the people at the helm of Chase can’t see how this is going to further hurt our economy. Of course the hurt to their customers who took their low rate offer and have been paying a fixed amount on time for the last year is of no concern.
    Apparently, not getting paid is better than being paid in full following their original terms.
    Working hard and trying to be a good guy, you really do finish last.

  7. Despair said:

    So Chase offered me a low interest check I used it to pay off all my little cards. I have never been late and now they have raised my minimum payment from 2% to 5%. This means my minimum payment will now be more than my mortgage and I just do not have an extra $700 a month to make it. Thanks Chase I guess I will go stand in line for an extra job that is not available and will eventually file bankruptcy. Or maybe thats what they want everyone to default or not be able to make the minimum so that they can charge higher interest and late fees.

  8. Cindy said:

    I just got hit with the same bad news – my payment goes from $400 a month to $1900!! No way to handle that. When I called CHASE, they said there were no options available. So, I will probably use CCCS because they advised me today they have an automatic 0% negotiated on all CHASE accounts in their debt management plan. I hope this helps others. They will have your debt paid off in 4 years. I hate CHASE & will never deal with them again!

  9. Gary said:

    I consolidated about 20K in debt a few yeas ago with a 3.9% rate from Chase. Rate good unless you paid late.

    Never was late, now they want 5% or about 700 month.

    I have asked everyone in my firm to cancel their Chase Cards. Im reaching out to thousands of people. F*** chase and everyother screwed up bank in America.

    Its time for a civil war

  10. Steve said:

    I can echo everyone’s sentiment here. Chase lured us in with the lifetime low rate. We never were late, always paid a bit more than the minimum and now will not be able to handle the 5%. But consider: if Chase gets away with this, and there is no reason to believe they won’t, what about the other banks? Can they be far behind?

    We are so screwed. What happened?

    The banks got a trillion dollars. What did they do with it? Devise a think tank to figure out a way to pay it back on the backs of their best customers? It didn’t take them long to realize that the govn’t will never let them fail no matter how stupid or immoral their policies are. They were already quite evil.

    This is the end of the American Dream for those of us who were just making it.

    It’s time to take shelter from the coming storm. If the gentleman above has his way, there will be casualties, and very soon.

    What will happen next? And how much worse can this get? Sadly, we’re about to find out.

  11. Terry said:

    I just received the small flyer today. I have two credit cards with Chase that total about $20,000. So now my minimum monthly payment will go from $400 to $1,000. I have excellent credit, but I do not have that kind of extra cash ($600). I contacted Chase and they told me to transfer the balance to another credit card. Jaimie Dimon is the CEO. I’m sure he will reduce it back to 2%. He will do the “right thing” — right Jaime, right?

  12. Lew said:

    I would suggest that everyone affected by Chases
    shenanigans go to Senator Bernie Sanders web site
    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/
    Click on credit card rip-offs and tell him your story. Congress were the ones who passed the destructive bankruptcy bill in 05 so credit card companies can screw us. Its up to Congress to fix it!

  13. JONATHAN CLARK said:

    Perfect credit, never a late payment, 25k at 3.99% (school loan) and now the monthly payment is raised 150%. I have no recourse except chapter 13 so good luck squeezing blood from a turnip.

    Besides Chase Cup @ NASCAR I can’t find much more to boycott. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Class action would be welcome……..

  14. Dmitry said:

    This cannot be legal. I have tight budget, but managed it well by the published rule of the game: no late payments. If someone in Chase “screwed up” and sent low-APR offers [I got 3.99%] “until balance paid off” couple years ago, put thousands of families who played by rules into bankruptcy is simply not wise plan. Chase will lose more in goodwill. I still have two credit cards and auto load with Chase, but I’m no longer its loyal customer. Never again.

    I hope Congress, Cuomo, and class-action lawyers will be able to stop this madness before August 1st.

  15. Gerry said:

    The same has happened to me. I can’t sleep.
    My monthly payment will go from $650 ro $1575.
    There are some excellent suggestions here about
    the credit counseling services offered. I live in Florida. I plan to write my congressman
    about this. This is not an ethical Bank. I will come to the right decision to handle this. I guess for about two years to come I will need to work at least two jobs at least.

    what is going on? Can somebody tell me.

  16. k myers said:

    I too had the lifetime 4.9% offer consolidated credit cards and was making head way trying to pay them off….to go from 2-5% on a 17k loan wld take my payment from 365 a month to over 900
    a month…I have never been late — contacted a cccs and was advised to try an make payemnt arrangements thru Chase…was transferred to the hardshipline — was not a hardship until Chase has placed me there…1 and half hours no answer…just held on …guess I’ll try another day – but cccs did not offer any better rate ???

    Any suggestions…what happens if you default on one credit card and the rest remain in good standing….it may come down to seeing if they will take a settlement offer and I’l lrob my retirement acct…I’m soo angry.
    Has Chase settled with anyone with a 740 credit score for a lower balance due..never been late with them or anyone…Any chance of a settlement or do I have to run the account into the ground and not pay before they would given me a settlement offer?

  17. Sue S. said:

    I called Chase today and was informed there were no other options with Chase. Chase suggest I call a credit counselor and they could help. I asked for a hardship line and she said there is nothing further Chase could do. I said please if I could have 6 months at 2%. Answer: No. I asked if she had been receiving many calls about this and she said YES. I told her through tears. Please let managment know I am disgusted with the way they are screwing with us. So many people are in such a bad way and you are burying the people who are trying to pay their bills.

  18. Ken said:

    Bottom line is that Chase found a way to get out of the deals they offered people they just a few months ago baited as “preferred customers”. They really couldn’t care less about people, just want more money at any expense. Legally they may be right, but morally they have hit bottom. We should have expected this when the Feds made new rules that looked good at the time, but gave the industry many months to gouge their customers before the rules go into effect.

  19. Thomas E. S said:

    I received the letter yesterday from Chase. My monthly payment also went up 150%. Can’t do it. My wife and I are both working two jobs, have four children, two of them in college and we are already struggling. Having to come up with an additional $400.00 per month is impossible.

    I called Chae and they said there was nothing they could do. They never did suggest cc. The guy on the phone did say that they had sent out hundreds of thousands of those letters to customers. I knew then that there would be many of us are in the same boat. What has happened to making a deal and sticking by that agreement? I guess the banks don’t have to follow the same rules as the rest of us peons.

    How is it that we have been forced to bail them out, and then they get to bleed us again? I hope we all get through this, but it is looking pretty dismal for many.
    A previouse post said the American dream is gone. I have to agree. There is no way most of us average folks can pull out of this financial crisis. I will be working until I am at least 70 years old now, unless they fire me and take my health insurance away…..

    Shame on you Chase. You are the devil, and have hurt many people…the same as our buddy Bernie Madof did. You should go to prison for 15o years too. I will NEVER do business with you again, and I hope those who read this are angry enough to follow suit.

  20. duffman said:

    Corporate States of America…..
    We the peons just can’t get ahead, I have never been late, they have made money off me in terms of my interest on my high baleance transfer. This is so clear that they are screwing as many people for as long as they can. I called customer service, of course it was in India, why would they hire one of us for this job when they can pay someone over there $100 a week. It never ends, the rich find new ways to squeeze the middle class into the poor.

    Shame on Chase, shame on Washington, shame on Obama/Bush or who ever sits in that house.

  21. KW said:

    Chase did it to me too. $20,000, 2% of the balance to 5%. Good credit, payments on time. Great. Oh, but they did allow me to switch to a variable 7%(till April next year, then who knows what rate).Obama, let’s see if you are a REAL president for the people. These people are criminals. Obviously the Senate and Congress are a bunch of stooges for the super rich. Unbeleavable screwing of the American people.

  22. CMW said:

    My mother and I have several credit card accounts with Chase and received notice that the minimum payment on these account are going to be increase from 2% to 5%. We share a house hold together and there is no way either of us can afford the increases on our payments.

    My mom lives on social security benefits and a small pension and I myself work for a company that has been hit hard by the economic and has forced us to take pay cuts.

    I am very upset as this change in your policy which may lead us to file for bankruptcy. This is just killing my mother who has been distraught since we receive these account change notices from Chase.

    I have tried to call and speak to customer service representative, but have not been able to resolve this issue.

    I don’t know how we are going to get through this.

  23. Robert said:

    I too am a victim of the Chase “bait and switch”. With two credit card accounts @ approx $40,000 and blended rate of around 5%, I have never been late like so many of you. Ironically, I used the low balance offer to take out a higher interest car loan with Chase…along with some other debt. They seemed to like the payments that they were getting as more balance transfer checks kept coming in higher increments for 4.99%….5.99% and 6.99%. It is THEIR fault if they don’t feel they were getting paid fast enough. Recently, they jacked up my purchase APR and whacked my available credit down to $27,000. I didn’t care and continued to make the required payments. I simply cannot go from $850 a month to $2,000 beginning in August. Wishing we and the govt could squeeze them for 2 1/2 times their TARP payment. A class action lawsuit has to come quickly as we are all only weeks away. Shame on you Jamie Demon…oops…did I misspell that? Guess not..

  24. Sam said:

    I sincerely apologize for the length of my comments, but I have some things to say that I haven’t seen on here yet…

    Have you noticed how none of the news outlets have run with this awful story of switching the minimum from 2% to 5%? They’ve run small pieces of it but haven’t really exploded it like it needs to be exploded – this is a huge story that affects the financial lives of one million people who have never even thought about filing for bankruptcy. Is this complacency due to Chase contributing advertising dollars to these businesses?

    I’ve also written the BBB, the OCC, the FTC, the President, my Congressman, my Senators, Congresswoman Maloney, and Senator Schumer.

    I do not want to settle with the devil yet – I still want to fight, even though there is no way I can survive more than a month or two of payments.

    Carter Franke FIRST testified he had a great relationship with ALL his customers and that he would allow a customer to opt out if they would prefer to keep their original terms in tact. He gave this testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on January 25, 2007. He lied.

    Less than 14 months later, he testified in front of the House Committee on Financial Services regarding the credit card reform bill (HR 5244). Franke said, “The bill requires a bank to follow payment terms which cost a great deal to implement – costs that will be passed on to consumers – and will virtually end competitive efforts to win business through low or zero interest offers. At Chase, our experience is that consumers appreciate these offers and take advantage of them. Many have become our long-term, valued customers…We believe that especially in times of economic uncertainty, our customers appreciate knowing that whatever financial strain they might face, we won’t add to it, as long as they remain in good standing with us.”

    Then Franke THREATENED the House Committee like a mafia boss:
    “We also very strongly believe the context in which HR 5244 is being put forward argues for considerable restraint on this legislation. In this uncertain economy, with credit markets already much tighter than they have been in many years, prudence would seem to dictate extreme caution with legislation that has the potential to further restrict consumers’ access to credit…THERE IS CLEAR INDICATION THAT RESTRICTING CREDIT CARDS [with this legislation] WOULD LIKELY HAVE PAINFUL CONSEQUENCES FOR CONSUMERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES – AND EVENTUALLY FOR THE U.S. ECONOMY.”

    Franke followed through on his promise to make sure he made it painful for all his customers with low interest rate offers that had become long-term, valued customers.

  25. Michael said:

    This is happening to me too. No point in reiterating what’s already been said. It is a truly unbelievable that Chase can get away with this.

  26. lynda said:

    Chase has done the same thing to me, raised my minimum payment from 2% to 5%.From $220 to $550 a month. They did not give me very much notice to plan for the increase. I can’t afford $300 a month extra. I called Chase to close account and continue payments at 2% minimum. They said I could close the account but the payments would still be the 5%.I told them I couldn’t afford that and that I was thinking bankruptcy.They refered me to credit counseling.
    I then decided to call my other credit card companies and see if the could help lower my interest to them for about 6 months, by then my payments to Chase would be easier to manage. I called Sears, they lowered my interest rate 5% for the life of the account.
    Called Bank Of America, the representitve said they had been given the heads up and she would see what she could do. Because of my good payment history and length of dealings with them (20 years) She transfered what I owed with them to an account for 3.99% for 10 months. This gives me breathing room, It will be rough but I think I can now manage the credit card payments to Chase.
    I think what Chase is doing might not be illegal, but it is immoral. They are making it rough or impossible for people who are trying to do the right thing by paying their bills. They are forcing them to default or to get further in debt by paying more interest, or by going bankrupt.

    I have emailed the Glenn Beck show, I also intend to email my elected representatives and anyone else who I think will listen. I feel like we are all being ignored by our elected representatives and main stream media. I am not looking for a handout, or free ride. If so I would go bankrupt. I am not like Chase, taking my money (government bailout) then turning around and shafting someone else. Chase is like the borrower in the Bible who had his debts forgiven, then didn’t forgive others.
    I want everyone to know what Chase is doing,I want to hurt Chase in the pocket book like they are doing to me.

  27. Gary Ullom said:

    Ok, enough sniveling gang. Now it time to declare WAR on Chase and every bank that has tried or is screwing the public NOW!! You don’t want to do credit counselling. This is another money making scheme. Can’t yyou see that? Credit cousellors don’t work for nothing. Chase is paying them. It’s like starting a new business on the side. WE WON’T HAVE IT!. For those of us who cannot afford these rediculous new terms we must default. And don’t let these slime balls use FICO SCORE as a weapon. If we all default and file bankruptcy, these weasels will not get a dime. For those of us who have the luxury of transferring balances to other accounts to avoid these payment terms; here’s what you do to make Chase Bank pay dearly for this crap.. Transfer all but $600.00 as then your minimum payment will be 30.00 for the life of the balance at the original rate. Then just make the minimum payment. And opt out of online emailed statements and make them send you paper statements.Paper is recycled and this will increase their operating costs. We need to make Chase Bank’s last dying days a living hell like they have made our lives the same. MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS AND LET THE WAR ON BANKS BEGIN!!!!

  28. gerry said:

    Does anybody know what effect missing one or two payment to chase will have on your credit report, the ding that you take, will it be the same kind of ding to your credit report that you get by using credit counseling. Please explain this if anyone can.

    I know if you have a good credit rating the credit counseling people will not be able to do anything for you until you are late 30-60 day. Does the amount of money you owe chase make any difference, or is the same no matter whan you owe. Lets start a discussion, lets
    send a message to whoever is monetering this site. Together we can help each other find some answers.

  29. gerry said:

    Lets all realize something here. Chase has profilled all of us in this situation. They
    know that we are good managers of our debt.
    They think they know us well and what kind of behavior and reactions that they will get.

    They have made a HUGH error. There profilling
    won’t work anymore. Can anyone go on and explain more about the art of profilling and how to combat it?

  30. Kenneth Long said:

    Dear Gerry:

    Missing one payment will be immediately detrimental to your credit scores, but will not have as big an impact as it once did on your Equifax and TransUnion scores. Experian is not committing to FICO 08 changes and therefore your Experian/Fair Isaac Risk score would be affected in a more negative manner. All credit scores will plummet and suffer for several years if you miss 2 payments (60 day delinquency).

    As far as credit counseling is concerned, it appears that you have confused the troubled industry of debt settlement with legitimate credit counseling. Credit counseling does not affect your score directly, while missing a payment does. Any legitimate credit counseling organization will emphasize the importance of never missing a payment, whereas a debt settlement company will tell you to stop making your payments altogether.

    I hope this is helpful information.

  31. gerry said:

    Please pass this on to Mr. Franke;

    “There is only one boss. The customer.
    And hecan fire everybody in the company from the Chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
    Sam Walton (1918-1992)
    fouder of Wal-Mart

  32. gerry said:

    This question is for Mr. Long;

    Thank you for the advice. I have a question
    that I hope you can help me with .

    I have decided to opt-out , to reject the new terms that Chase is imposing. Even though they are officialy not giving me that option, do you think it is worth a try? If I am unable to do this are you able to do this for me through CCCS? I most likely will send them a Certified
    letter, return receipt requested. You have my email. I hope to hear from you. Waiting for your reply.

    Thank You,
    Gerry

  33. Kenneth Long said:

    Dear Gerry:

    I have no documentation of a cardholder opting out when no option was given. Every change in terms prior to the higher minimum payment requirement included an opt out provision. This is truly an anomaly, and I know of no other card issuer that has repeated Chase’s move. It “may” be possible to opt out and close the account, thereby allowing you to repay the debt given the terms in place prior to the increased minimum payment requirement was imposed. There is little risk with this approach. Keep in mind that you MUST make all required minimum payments as dictated by the card issuer in order to avoid negative credit reporting. Chase may still require the 5% payment, even if you opt out.

    CCCS can help with getting you back on track if you qualify for benefits and include all of your credit card accounts. This generally requires that you are either at a break-even each month, or that you have either a moderate budget deficit or minimal surplus. In other words, the program available through CCCS is not effective for those clearly facing an imminent bankruptcy filing, nor is it a good option for someone with the ability to double up on payments on a regular basis.

    I hope this helps.
    Ken

  34. Susan said:

    They are respecting SOME but NOT ALL opt out requests.

    I have two accounts with them. They allowed me to opt out of the 2% 5% increase on one of the two accounts and not on the other.

    Go figure. I think it is purely random and depends on which supervisor receives your opt out letter.

  35. Chris said:

    I had been putting of dealing with this, but Chase actually called me to remind me of the upcoming change in minimum payment. I told the customer service person that obviously I was not happy about the change. She asked me if it would create a hardship, I answered “yes”, and she said she could refer me to a special department that had a special offer. I took her up on the offer, and she transferred me. The new person I talked to asked some questions about my income and expenses, which I answered. She confirmed the offer: close my account and convert it to a 5yr installment loan with the same minimum payment and same interest rate. I was pretty excited about this offer! I gave her the details about my income and expenses. Fortunately I’m not dealing with medical expenses or job loss, but the big jump would have been pretty difficult. She confirmed that I was eligible and the terms: 2% interest for 5 years, no pre-payment penalty. Now this is the funny thing: my existing loan was actually fixed at 3.99%, so she was offering me a 50% reduction in my interest rate! I kept my mouth shut and accepted the offer. HOpefully there will be no surprises when I get the details in the mail, but so far it looks like I get a happy ending here. I’m not sure how to interpret my experience with Chase versus others on this forum. Maybe Chase has had a change of heart due to all the bad publicity? Maybe senior management of JPMorgan Chase caught wind of what the credit card unit was doing and put a stop to it? Maybe they just really need to convert revolving debt to fixed dept due to arcane Wall St priorities? Maybe my situation qualifies my for better terms than some others? Maybe I just fell into a trap? Don’t know, I just hope this offer is real and that others will be able to take advantage of it. Thanks to this and other forums for all the info! Good luck all!

  36. Susan said:

    Please post and let us know how the “hardship” agreement works out for you. A lot of us are thinking about applying for it but we are suspicious that it is some new trick by Chase.

  37. gerry said:

    FYI:

    The numbers for the Chase Proactive Solutions
    are 1-800-404-6220 and 1-877-890-2941.

  38. MIke said:

    So, I too consolidated a couple debts on a 3.9 percent for life deal and set up auto withdrawl from my bank account so I would never be late. This months statement shows that they will be withdrawing over 500 dollars compared to 190. What a shock. I called and they mentioned the so called “hardship” agreement as an option but, when asked, admitted that it would negatively impact my credit score. They also offerred to transfer to a higher interest rate account with a temporary apr of 7% for one year then 14% after that. What a bunch of theives!

    They sought me out. They offerred me the account and interest rate. They made the promises… they lied. How can this be legal?

  39. Gary said:

    At last, a “favor” from Chase

    I have about 16K at 3.99% with Chase. Like many of you the monthly went up to about $900/. Mo and there was no way to pay. After many bad encounters with customer service—which you folks here have described so well, I was considered for a “hardship” refinance at 6% with 2% monthly payoff. They would call me back. Never did. Many sleepless nights worrying about August 15 payment of $900, default and credit ruin.

    On 7/28, I received a letter saying they noticed my account was removed or never set up on the reduced payment program and I needed to re-enroll and they must receive a payment of 280.00 within 25 days of the date of letter and a phone number to call.

    I was told that I had been qualified for their “Debt Liquidation Program” which in my case was a fixed payment of 280/mo with 2% interest for 60 mo. This is Chase and I had plenty of reason to be suspicious. I asked if they could send in writing the terms. The reply was “only after you make the first payment” I guess this enrolls you.

    I made the payment and indeed received a letter. Fixed payment of $280 with fixed 2% interest—this is half of the interest I was paying on my original “life of the loan” account. No late fees, default only after 2 consecutive payments missed. In all my searching to pay off Chase, I could not come even close to a deal like this.

    Perhaps I had things going for me—fixed income, long time Chase customer, never late, etc. Perhaps they thought this was the only way they were going to get their money from me!

    So it has turned out near best possible for me, won’t be doing any more business with Chase…I suspect within a year they will be making me “special offers”

    I hope things work out for you all.

  40. MJ said:

    Anyone want to revisit this after reading, carefully, the terms of their “hardship” agreements?

    I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that you did NOT get a 2% APR interest rate – you may have gotten a minimum payment of 2%, but I’m guessing you signed away your formerly fixed 3.99-6.99% rates for a new fixed 7.9%.

    Don’t confuse minimum payment % with APR %.

    Chase… it’s not just a name, it’s what they do to their customers.

  41. Gary said:

    MJ—

    I know my experience with Chase and their “Debt Liquidation Program” sounds way too good to be true. But it is. The monthly payment is fixed at $280 for 60 months (not 2% of balance, actually less, but percentage will rise as debt is paid down). The APR is a fixed 2% for the life (60 months) of the loan. Of course I must make payments on time. I have these terms in writing from Chase with my name and account number. The correct balance, payment and APR also appear on the Chase website.

    It appears that Chris (#35) has an identical offer.

    I am only relating what has happened to me; I wish the best for all that have been involved with Chase. Even with this DLP plan, this is the last business I will ever do with them.

  42. Bryan said:

    For people that have been hit by JP Morgan Chase aka “The Devil”, please send your complaints to BBB and your local congressman. Obama will do nothing for us if he does not see all our complaints.

    For those that have excellent to average credit, I recommend going to http://www.lendingclub.com/ and try to get a Debt Consolidation loan from them to pay off your Chase account. If successful, you can kiss Chase “The Devil” goodbye.

    I have a $25,000 credit balance with Chase. I was paying $750 per month; now they want me to pay $1250 per month. I never missed a payment with them and only did the balance transfer because they offered 3.99% for the life of the balance.

    Guess we all got screwed by Chase “The Devil”. It’s time to close all our accounts and go somewhere else. I hope they fall and rot in hell. Why do they get to have a bailout when we don’t have a chance in hell to get a personal bailout from them?

    Good luck to all the unfortunate customers of JP Morgan Chase “The Devil”.

    United we stand; divided we fall. Let’s join together and get rid of “The Devil.”

    -Bryan

  43. Jen313 said:

    I, too, called the Hardship Department of Chase. We qualified for 6% APR for 60 months (had the 2.99% & 3.99% “life of the loan” APRs previously), with the monthly payment slightly less than 2%, so less than what we were paying, but obviously now at a higher APR…still better than the initial 7.99% for 2 years they offered.

    That’s AWESOME that a couple of you got 2% APR! I’m assuming it has to do with your answers to their income/expenses questions. My husband never brings home the same amount each week (his hours are different every week), but I told them that he averages $3,000/month. After adding up all the expenses she asked about (mortgage, car payment, other credit cards), she determined that we had $1,500 leftover a month. (Of course, food, utilities, health insurance, gas, etc., weren’t added into the equation.) Just wondering what kind of figures the other posters gave who are now also on the debt liquidation plan and how they affected their APRs.

    I was kind of waiting it out like some of you, trying to find the best thing to do for our situation. I just got on this plan yesterday and will be making the first automatic payment on September 1st. However, since it will be the lower DLP amount and not the 5% mininum, the rep told me that it would be considered late and that I’d get a late fee, but that I could call next month and have it removed.

    Mind you, I’ve never made a late payment before all of this, but she told me that it wouldn’t appear on my credit report (maybe because we closed the accounts?), that only Chase would know and the account would be up-to-date in a few months. I’m hoping this is the case, but not holding my breath. I wrote down all of this info and took her name, so we’ll have to see what happens.

    I think that was a good choice for us if it actually pans out, as we really don’t have any other options, but make sure you look at ALL of YOUR options first.

  44. Elizabeth said:

    I need to thank this website, Mr. Long, and everyone who has left a comment on this page. I too was hit with an increase to 5% by Chase and had been told I could get back to the 2% if I would agree to a 7% interest rate, fixed till 8/10 and thereafter adjustable at whatever the current APR was. I told them that was unacceptable and hung up. I was overwhelmed with not knowing what to do so I did a google search to find out if others were in my boat. I landed here, read all the comments, felt suddenly informed and empowered and called Chase again. This time I knew, TY everyone, to ask for someone in their Debt Liquidation Program. I dropped the term “hardship” and answered their questions about income, etc. Within ten minutes I was offered a new deal: a 5yr fixed rate obligation at 6% interest. The monthly payment was a couple of dollars short of what I’ve been paying. It sounded good but I told them I had to think on it and would call back. The next night I called back and told them I needed to know if they could do better. I said that while it was near what my old payment had been, I was looking forward to that payment continuing to be reduced over time as things were difficult for me month to month (all true). They then offered me a new program: 5yr fixed obligation at 0% interest!!! They needed two days to get approval for it but the gal I spoke to sounded confident. It’s two days later and I just got off the phone with Chase. I now have a 5yr fixed rate obligation at 0% interest, $85 monthly payment, AND I got to pick the payment due date. The new payment is $167 a month less than the new one would have been, and $20 less than I’d been paying. And with no interest.
    And I have every single one of you to thank!! I am truly in your debt…er, well.. lets just say GRATEFUL.
    Thank you again Mr. Long.
    And keep fighting folks! They WILL work with you and in the end and if you dont settle!

  45. Linda Stewart said:

    I am just not buying this for some reason. Only time will tell if this was really just another dirty trick. Why would they go through all of this b.s. Why not simply put your payments back at 2% like they were before. If they can’t afford to allow you to keep the interest rates they promised (2.99 to 4.99) then how on earth can they afford to go even lower than that and give you a 2% or even a 0% rate? Someone suggested that maybe they are starting a sideline business as a credit counseling service/debt management company. Sure sounds like it. None of us were “hardship” cases – THEY created the hardship and now they are pretending to “rescue” us? Come on…there is also no need for them to inquire about our other credit card accounts and bills when only THEY are the problem because they deliberately made the payments unaffordable. How do you know they won’t “share” your personal information and scare the other credit card companies into closing your accounts? It is way to early to tell what the final results will be and how this will impact your credit score. It might not show up right away. Going to Chase for “help” when they were the ones trying to ruin you financially? Something just isn’t right here.

  46. Linda Stewart said:

    Oh,and one more thing. In reference to the above quote “its almost as if Chase is giving an ultimatum to it’s cardholders who may have overextended themselves in debt” – isn’t this a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black? Didn’t they just get a ton of bailout money themselves? And does it look like they are making good business decisions lately? None of this “hardship department” or CCS/debt mgmt crap would be necessary if they hadn’t raised the minimum payment to such a ridiculous amount. They aren’t giving any “benefits” to anyone but themselves. They know that if people don’t have enough money to cover their bills most likely THEY will be the one not paid because its the biggest bill. So if they can get them into credit counseling or whatever the heck it is it guarantees that we pay everyone else but them. They get “their” share and force the other ones to get less now. So don’t try to make it sound like they are doing something “good”. It’s all to protect THEM. Most of the people in this program are paying higher interest than before and even though the payment might be 2% again it will not go down as the balance goes down. Chase gets away with their “breach of contract” and still gets all their money.

  47. Linda Stewart said:

    (Typo above) I meant to say, it guarantees that we CAN’T pay everyone else but them.(CCS takes the decision of who to pay and how much out of your hands – all to protect CHASE. And the other credit card companies who did nothing wrong will now get less than they were getting before. None of us were behind in our payments but yet we are forced to let a CC agency take over ALL our accounts just because Chase raised their payment? This is CRAZY.

    (This is the only option some of us were given. Not everyone was offered a special deal just for the Chase account.)

  48. Jake said:

    Today, I was approved for the Chase Debt Liquidation program. I had over a 8000 dollar balance at a fixed 3.9%APR for the life of the balance. With the new 5% payment increase, my payments became out of reach. They offered to drop the amount due back to the 2% but the new terms would be 7.9%APR for only 2 years. I told the Chase representative that neither of these options work for me, primarily because I could not afford the new payment and secondly I was not willing to accept the new terms. After talking to the first person, they transferred me and I had to start over. The second woman I spoke with “Beverley” ask me questions, mostly financial. I was kind of confused to why she was asking me so many personal questions. Come to find out the Debt liquidation program is like a new loan that I had to apply for. It closes out my current account and puts me on a 5 year payment plan at 2%APR. Which can be paid off sooner. I see other people have been approved between 0% and 6%APR. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely please with the outcome. I think chase really helped me out to keep my debt manageable and my credit is still in excellent standing. So I hope this helps other people in the same situation. Don’t sweat it and make the phone call.! Good luck!

  49. Linda Stewart said:

    When you go through a debt liquidation plan or credit counseling it does get reported that you are in “financial counseling”. People are acting so “grateful” to Chase and seem to be forgetting that they are the ones who raised the payment to 5% and then forced them into this. None of this would be necessary if Chase hadn’t demanded a ridiculous payment knowing they could scare people into accepting different terms. Their strategy has obviously worked. The hardship department is not there to help us. It is there to help Chase. Wait a few months and then check your credit report. Chances are it will no longer be “excellent”. Chase is on a mission to ruin our credit ratings either by causing us to default or by forcing us into a program that will look like we can’t manage our own finances

  50. Elizabeth said:

    With all due respect Linda, you’re wrong. The only thing that will show on the credit report is that we the accounts were closed. Nothing else. And I’m not sure about anyone else but am I all over grateful to Chase? No. I’m grateful for those on websites like this who are willing to share what they had to do to get their situation back within reach. Chase is playing games, and for some it’s what I told them was “credit card blackmail” (do this or else pay that). I think they’re being sneaky and unethical in the first place. Nevertheless I also think they know when they dont want to push their luck. They dont want us to default. That doesnt help them. What they want is for us to take the “deal” they offer when we first call in. For me that was a higher interest rate introductory period turned to variable. And that’s why they’re doing this– because the majority of people will either: take the new deal and believe them when they say “it’s the best offer we have” or else they will find a way to make the new payment. They stand to make a FORTUNE off of either of those two scenarios. You asked why they dont just put us back to our original rates then and my understanding is that by banking regulations they can’t once they’ve said there is only one other option. Doing so falls into some legal regulatory catch of some kind that then makes the original act of raising and offering illegal. This way it’s within the guidelines of what’s legal. They can, however, as is evidenced by this whole thing, make another new offer if it creates “hardship”.

  51. Elizabeth said:

    PS: Chase didnt ask me for any detailed personal information, they didnt even ask for permission to view my credit report. They only asked for numbers– how much income do I net monthly, how much is my car payment, and my mortgage and do I have any other monthly credit card bills and how much are they. They didnt ask me for a social, an employer to verify income, what the credit card was, or who my mortgage holder was etc. They only wanted numbers. They heard nothing from me that would be of any interest to anyone else so there’s absolutely nothing they’d share that would do any good to anyone. And I note, they did not verify the numbers I gave them.

  52. Linda Stewart said:

    My experience with Chase was different than yours. They made no mention of the 7.99 rate or the debt liquidation program. They told me that it was not negotiable but offered the number of the credit counseling agency only after my THIRD phone call and told me I would have to close my account (which does lower your credit score). I called the number and they wanted to charge me $20-50 per month to “negotiate” for a higher rate of interest than I’m paying now. Also they required that I close ALL my credit card accounts, which was CRAZY. The problem was Chase raising the payment to an amount that is unaffordable, my other accounts should not be involved. I called Chase a fourth time and mentioned that I did not do the “skip a payment” and asked if there was any way I could do it this month instead. Of course the answer was no. I was forced to give them my last dime and now I won’t be able to pay my other bills this month or any other month because the payment they are demanding exceeds my monthly income right now. They have left me no choice but bankruptcy. Somehow they have managed to get out of the deal they offered us and people are actually grateful to them for “helping” them come up with another option. Sorry, but I have absolutely nothing good to say about them.

  53. Linda Stewart said:

    I was wondering if, since you erased my last post and would not print the previous one because I “already said that” if you would just erase all of my posts on here. It is my fault because somehow I got linked to this site and it is a credit counseling service,not what I thought it was.

  54. Lew said:

    There are several options for the almost 1 million customers that Chase has screwed. First, contact Chase just so you can hear the “that’s too bad” speech. Then file a complaint here
    http://www.helpwithmybank.gov/…..index.html
    It will get Chase attention! Also file a complaint with your states Attorneys General and Federal Attorneys General. Also, more than two dozen federal class action lawsuits were filed against Chase in courts throughout the country, and recently, they were all consolidated and transferred to Judge Chesney of the Northern District of California. We should know by Dec if its going to trial.
    Chase is doing this to get rid of customers that carry a low interest balance or a large balance. They can get away with it as long as people are sheep.
    This is what you get with a government controlled by corporate money. Like FDR said, a government by organized money is just as dangerous as a government by organized mob.

  55. Sue said:

    I, too, had my payment raised from $271 to $681 without notice. When I called I talked with a customer service rep with a heavy accent, and after about 15 minutes, where I received the offer for a higher rate (mine was 4.99 for the life of the loan), I told the lady she must be an idiot if she didn’t understand the burden Chase put on me. I asked to speak to her supervisor, and she transfered to me a recording that said, “you have been abusive with a Chase/JP Morgan representative, and you can no longer call Chase/JP Morgan. You must now put all correspondence in writing. Well, I was beside myself. I wrote to the CEO and the head of Credit Card Service, and then wrote to Customer service and told them that I wanted a transcript of the call, my phone privileges reinstated, and I wanted someone to explain to me how they could do this? In response, I spoke to someone in the Card Services Executive Office who offered me the (BLP Balance liquidation Program) 2% fixed APR, all overlimit fees and late fees suppressed; my account will be closed at my request, and my fixed monthly payment is now $228 for five years. I was concerned that my credit rating would be effective, and I was assured that it would not be. While I think that Chase targeted a certain group of portfolios, I don’t think they “saved me,” but if my credit rating is not effected, then I came out ahead because my rate before was 4.99 for the life of the loan, and my payment is now $50 less a month…so it worked out ok, as long as there is no adverse effect to my rating. Of course, it closes out my revolving credit with Chase, which is what I think their goal is — to have fewer revolving accounts on their books. And I think that is the ultimate goal, since the targeted people who had low interest rates to begin with. I haven’t complained to anyone else — and they did reinstate my phone privilege, although I have no need to call them at this point. I appreciate this site and I feel better knowing that most everyone agrees that by doing this BLP program, we are not adversely effected. I would appreciate any other input anyone has.

  56. Linda said:

    LEW: Thanks so much for the link and the helpful info! I’ve been reading the blogs on other websites and I’m hearing a different story about what happens after people are into the BLP program. But everyone seems to be taking Chase at their word (even though they should know by now that their word means nothing) that their credit rating won’t be adversely affected. One lady wrote in that her credit score went from 780 to 657 after closing her account with Chase and enrolling in the program. Another said her credit report revealed she was in a liquidation program because she was unable to pay the minimum payment. I’m hearing a lot of different stories on different websites so it’s hard to know what to believe. I guess time will tell. I also checked some “financial advice” websites including bankrate.com and they say that when an account is closed (and it doesn’t matter who closed it) your credit rating takes a hit of about 50 points just for that alone. Which does sound like what that one lady said happened to her. I also read on one of those other blogs that Discover was going to raise their minimum payment. I called them today to find out if it was true. Sure enough, its going to take effect in January (I have 2 accounts with them with high balances too although not as high as Chase). They said it would “help” us to pay down our debt faster. I said “no it won’t. and we have ALWAYS had the option to pay more than the minimum anyway.” Then she said something about it being due to “federal regulations”. Sure enough, there is something about them either having to offer a 5 year payment plan or else an increase in the minimum payment to “not more than double”.
    Between the increases in minimum payments and the interest being jacked up as high as they can get it (which also makes the payments higher) there won’t be any such thing as good credit anymore. It’s only going to get worse so I guess the DLP probably IS the best option after all because the only other option we are going to have thanks to the “regulators” is a doubled minimum payment! I wish all of you the best possible outcome no matter which wonderful option (from Chase) you chose.

  57. Wiese said:

    I closed both Chase cards and got on BLP – both are 6% – Payments stayed the same. I’m unemployed a year now. Maxed them paying for car repairs, a high deductible health insurance with no RX coverage, and food and gas – just basic minimum. Now, I’m starting my 2nd ext of unemployment and will get about $100. a mo less – I’ve nothing else to cut – all I can do is use my checking account overdraft protection that I thankfully still have since 1984. At least I got 100. from Chase by opening a new checking account (with only $100. overdraft), so I got the $100. then closed the account. As Americans who got fleeced, we need to start getting on the local news and getting our voices heard bigtime – carry a sign on your car, hold one up on a main intersection – get others to join you. It’s time to be vocal and visible!!!

  58. Linda said:

    I just wanted to let people know that if you are truly in a “hardship” situation and have little to no income temporarily there is NO help for you from Chase or ANY of the other credit card companies. This means that if you get into a car accident, are going through chemo, have just had surgery and need time to recover, or simply lose your job – all that is going to happen is that your credit will be ruined and other credit cards you have from other companies (that you may not even be using) will get closed or your credit limit cut to nothing (thanks to universal default still being in effect because of the idiots who voted against the credit card laws going into effect in December instead of February.)

    I went into “default” (and stopped borrowing from Peter to pay Paul) when Chase raised my payments from $358 to $950 per month (higher than my monthly income) and Searscard raised my interest rate so high (for no reason) that not only were the payments higher but it was “all interest” meaning that they have made it impossible to ever pay off. GE moneybank has closed my store accounts that I wasn’t even using and was never late,etc. on and lowered my paypal limit to $100. They did not ask any questions as to what was going on they just took punitive action regardless of the fact you are not in default with any of their accounts. I realize this is about Chase card but this is the fallout from them increasing their minimum payments. You only qualify for the hardship program if you have a good income. If not, NONE of the credit card companies will accept a smaller payment or consider freezing your payments temporarily while you have no income. They will just tattle on you to the credit bureau and make it completely impossible to survive because all your other accounts have been cut off and you have no way to survive a temporary situation.

  59. John said:

    I can’t say enough good things about Chase. I was 7 months late on several accounts with them and I finally decided to call them about their Balance Liquidation Program or BLP.

    To my surprise they lowered my interest rates to zero percent. Yes,0.00%. Waived my late and over the limit fees, and took off thousands in past due interest from each account.

    This lowered all of payments. In some cases by more than half. I just received a letter from Chase that I now qualified for their re-age program and my account would be brought current.

    All I can say is thanks Chase.

  60. Linda said:

    Sorry, but this made me laugh. If you were 7 months late they would have been calling you constantly. They would not have waited for you to finally decide to call them about their BLP. I’m 7 months late as of right now and the problem was that they raised their minimum payment from $350 to $950 and during all these months have refused to lower it back to what it was before. Their excuse is that I don’t make enough money to qualify for their hardship program.(If I qualified for their hardship plan I would not be in a hardship situation anyway.)However, they still insist on my paying at least the new minimum payment of over $900 per month. Apparently I “qualify” for that amount with my low income but I don’t qualify to make the same payments I did for the past decade before they raised it so drastically. What kind of asinine logic is that? My account will charge off tomorrow. So they have accomplished their purpose. They will be able to get their tax break on my defaulted account, qualify for even more bailout money and still be able to continue collections plus add high interest,late fees and attorney fees. Like you, all I can say is thanks Chase..

  61. Gerry said:

    Just a Question for Mr. Long,

    I have heard that accounts that are charged off by the banks are insured. Can you tell me how that works? Insured by who? It sounds like the banks do not lose much when an account is written of.

    Thanks

  62. Linda said:

    I’d like to know the answer to that too. Why are they allowed to call it a bad debt after only 6 months and charge it off, yet still have the right to continue collections and add 30% interest? That gives them NO incentive to work with you during the 6 month period. They refused a lower payment amount but now that my credit is destroyed and it is charged off,suddenly they can reduce my payments? Why is this legal? I feel like calling the IRS and letting them know the “circumstances” of my default and that the reason was them raising the minimum payment so drastically and telling me it was not negotiable (even though I never missed or was late on a payment to anyone).

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