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By Thomas Easton and Thomas Easton,New York Bureau | July 7, 1992
NEW YORK -- Underscoring the dramatic change in attitudes only a few years can make, any significant increase in consumer installment credit would come as a major surprise to financial markets.Although a slight rise is forecast by a few economists, most predict that figures for May, which are to be announced today, will show a decline of about $500 million to $1 billion."It runs so much counter to what is thought of as American habit, to have anyone pay down debt," said Susan Hering, an economist at Salomon Brothers.
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NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2013
Volunteer lawyers will provide free legal advice to the public on June 1 in Baltimore. The Pro Bono Day will held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Maryland Legal Aid offices, 500 E. Lexington St. No appointments are necessary. The lawyers will meet one-on-one with individuals for brief consultations on a variety of issues, including housing, government benefits, expungement, bankruptcy, consumer debt, wills, divorce and child support. Individuals are asked to bring relevant documents.
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BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK | January 6, 2002
THE economy has stalled, so it must be time again to worry about consumer debt. We in the financial analysis/commentary business have done this so often over the years that many of you have probably memorized the lines. But as a courtesy to those new to this scary movie, I'll reprise the plot and update it for a 2002 audience. Recently, Americans have gone on a borrowing and spending binge like never before. (You could have said this in 1966, 1986 or 1996 and it would also have been true.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | December 13, 2012
Deatrice S. Besong says it feels like winning the lottery: Her mortgage servicer recently agreed to reduce her loan by $249,000 next year, saving her $300 a month and erasing the debt overhang that has her owing far more than her house is worth. "It's a great feeling — it's a feeling of relief," said Besong, who lives in Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County. Her principal reduction comes courtesy of the national mortgage settlement, a deal struck by state attorneys general, the federal government and the country's five largest loan servicers after allegations of widespread servicing and foreclosure misdeeds.
BUSINESS
By Maura Reynolds and Mark Medina and Maura Reynolds and Mark Medina,Los Angeles Times | December 12, 2008
WASHINGTON - The American consumer's long-running love affair with debt appears to be on the rocks. But like a lot of soured romances, the reasons are a bit murky. What's known is that the debt held by U.S. households shrank in the three months ended Sept. 30. That's the first time that has happened since the government began keeping records more than 50 years ago, the Federal Reserve said yesterday. Economists say consumers appear to be curbing their spending and displaying a healthier prudence about taking on new debt.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2011
Midland Funding LLC will drop more than 10,000 debt-collection cases against Maryland consumers under a class action settlement approved Wednesday in Baltimore federal court. The dismissed claims, mostly for unpaid credit card debt that Midland bought from creditors, total at least $10.2 million, according to a court document filed Wednesday by the plaintiffs. Consumers filed suit against Midland, a buyer and collector of debt, in September 2009, alleging "prolonged, illegal, and systematic abuse of thousands of Maryland residents.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2013
Volunteer lawyers will provide free legal advice to the public on June 1 in Baltimore. The Pro Bono Day will held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Maryland Legal Aid offices, 500 E. Lexington St. No appointments are necessary. The lawyers will meet one-on-one with individuals for brief consultations on a variety of issues, including housing, government benefits, expungement, bankruptcy, consumer debt, wills, divorce and child support. Individuals are asked to bring relevant documents.
BUSINESS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2011
About 3,500 people will have about $10 million in personal debt forgiven by a collection agency, thanks to a settlement in federal court Friday that resolved a lawsuit over the agency's right to sue debtors in Maryland. As part of the settlement in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, an average $2,800 in debt will be erased for all 3,500 plaintiffs. Each of the two lead plaintiffs will receive a $2,000 payment as well. The settlement was reached between two Frederick men who led the class action suit — Jason Hauk and Freddy Velazquez — and LVNV Funding LLC, a Greenville, S.C.-based company that buys consumer debt from companies and often sues debtors to collect payment.
BUSINESS
August 6, 1994
Crude oil prices fall sharplyCrude oil prices fell sharply yesterday on word that a jailed Nigerian politician would soon be freed.But the politician, Moshood K.O. Abiola, rejected the conditions of his release, clouding prospects for ending a month-old oil workers strike in Nigeria, the world's 10th-largest oil producer.Light sweet crude oil for September delivery settled at $19.31 a barrel, down 83 cents at the New York Mercantile Exchange.Oil workers in Nigeria went on strike July 4 to protest the imprisonment of Mr. Abiola, the apparent winner of a 1993 presidential election that was annulled by the military government.
NEWS
October 10, 2011
This poor economy has destroyed any hopes of a level playing field for blue collar, working class people like me. Only possessing a high school diploma and a skilled trade (barber), I knew that over my lifetime that I would probably not earn the same salary as my white collar counterparts. Therefore around age 20 (I am 43 now) I acquired a personal financial planner so I could at least make it to retirement age as secure as white collar individuals who earned higher wages during than their work years.
NEWS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2012
Norman Harvel is growing old under a mountain of debt. At 60, Harvel faces medical and credit card bills topping $80,000. Yet Harvel is unable to work, having been injured at a job site more a decade ago. The former building maintenance worker now lives on $904 a month in Social Security disability benefits. "I was so sick and tired of getting the bills, so I would throw them away," Harvel said from his tiny basement apartment in Dundalk. "I've had to try to tell myself that it's something I will wake up from.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | January 29, 2012
Debt buyers have sued thousands of Marylanders over the years without showing much proof that the companies owned the debt — or that the consumers owed it. But that changed this month. Under new rules, debt buyers — who purchase old consumer debt and then try to collect — must provide greater evidence of their claims when suing consumers in Maryland courts. Consumer lawyers and debt buyers say it's too early to know whether these new filing requirements will permanently reduce collection lawsuits that have inundated the courts in recent years.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | November 16, 2011
Baltimore area consumers have reduced their outstanding credit card, mortgage and student loan debt in recent months. Even so, it hasn't helped our credit scores, according to a new survey by CreditKarma.com. The site released its latest scores and debt figures for the Baltimore area and the nation. The average credit scores for Baltimore area consumers was 654 last month. That's down from 662 in August, the highest score for area consumers in the past six months. Looking back since May, the average credit card debt in October for area residents was $5,857, according to CreditKarma, compared with $6,238 six months ago. Student loan debt fell from an average of $34,961 in May to  $32,706 in October.
NEWS
October 10, 2011
This poor economy has destroyed any hopes of a level playing field for blue collar, working class people like me. Only possessing a high school diploma and a skilled trade (barber), I knew that over my lifetime that I would probably not earn the same salary as my white collar counterparts. Therefore around age 20 (I am 43 now) I acquired a personal financial planner so I could at least make it to retirement age as secure as white collar individuals who earned higher wages during than their work years.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | September 13, 2011
A Catonsville company has agreed to drop several hundred active debt-collection lawsuits against Maryland consumers and either repay or forfeit $665,000 in attorney fees and compound interest it had improperly sought, state financial regulators announced Tuesday. Sunshine Financial Group, which also will pay a $20,000 fine, did not admit wrongdoing but agreed to take no further collections actions against Maryland consumers without first getting a debt-collection license from the state.
BUSINESS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2011
About 3,500 people will have about $10 million in personal debt forgiven by a collection agency, thanks to a settlement in federal court Friday that resolved a lawsuit over the agency's right to sue debtors in Maryland. As part of the settlement in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, an average $2,800 in debt will be erased for all 3,500 plaintiffs. Each of the two lead plaintiffs will receive a $2,000 payment as well. The settlement was reached between two Frederick men who led the class action suit — Jason Hauk and Freddy Velazquez — and LVNV Funding LLC, a Greenville, S.C.-based company that buys consumer debt from companies and often sues debtors to collect payment.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | January 29, 2012
Debt buyers have sued thousands of Marylanders over the years without showing much proof that the companies owned the debt — or that the consumers owed it. But that changed this month. Under new rules, debt buyers — who purchase old consumer debt and then try to collect — must provide greater evidence of their claims when suing consumers in Maryland courts. Consumer lawyers and debt buyers say it's too early to know whether these new filing requirements will permanently reduce collection lawsuits that have inundated the courts in recent years.
NEWS
January 22, 2004
HAVING HEARD President Bush's State of the Union speech and observed Iowa's kickoff of the Democrats' primaries, it's now appropriate to ponder the latest version of an age-old political question: Are you better off than you were three years ago when Mr. Bush took office? The answer is yes if you won the recession lottery - by managing to keep your job, reasonably improve your salary, maintain your health insurance, benefit from the housing-price bubble, see your investments recover, and not add to your consumer debt.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar and Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | September 7, 2011
Maryland's highest court on Wednesday approved changes to a set of rules that require debt collectors to provide greater proof that they are entitled to sue consumers, according to a Baltimore-based legal advocacy group. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to revise three rules of the Maryland Rules of Procedure that will, in part, force companies that buy past-due consumer debts — and attempt to collect by suing — to present sufficient evidence to back up their claims, said Jonathan F. Harris, an attorney with the Public Justice Center.
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