OK....my husband is not the best business person in the universe. He extends credit to his customers and then seems to endlessly cover their lack of payment with his own money (meaning money that should have gone into the family funds). But, still, I love him and have tried desperately to support him in his endeavor to build a small business. However, it became absolutely untenable when Chase Bank raised his rates to an over 27% interest rate. It was like Jonah swallowing the whale. No matter how many ways he tried to rework the credit card debt, reduce the interest, try to reel this catastrophe in, he continued to scramble to figure out a way to pay these overwhelming payments.
Chase, from India, called relentlessly, twice or more times a day. If my husband had had a serious heart condition I truly believe he would have died many times over from the emotional assault being perpetrated on him with these phone calls.
And then along came Elizabeth Warren. There is now something called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau thanks to her BOLD actions. You can actually speak to a real human being who will take all your information and listen to you as a serious consumer simply trying to do the right thing.
My husband had finally worked out a deal with Chase, in which he would pay them 4 installments of $500 each and Chase had agreed to close the debt at that point. Yes, there was still additional money owed but Chase agreed to forgive that money if these 4 payments were made. However, according to Chase, the final payment was made ONE day late (although they kept changing the dates so as to make it almost impossible to figure out what that date actually was). That was the end of the "deal".
Then a collection agency got involved. One day late (and questionable too)...and this was turned over to a collection agency? They called day after day. We had no idea what to do at this point. We simply figured that we'd have to pay the remaining amount as we were fighting Goliath.
So along comes the CFPB and my husband, with nothing left to lose, contacted them to see what could possibly be done. They knew exactly what to ask for, as far as paperwork, background information, etc. Once that was submitted my husband simply explained to the collection agency that the matter was now in the hands of the CFPB. At that point they said they would send the matter back to Chase, no more phone calls from the agency.
Today....Chase called to say that they had "reviewed the case again" and decided that the original agreement would stand. The point is that there is now a way to have a fighting chance to make a case against big banks....banks who have been predatory, able to raise rates indiscriminately, harass customers all the way from India customer call centers at all times of day and night.
We are grateful, beyond belief, for what Elizabeth Warren has done. When she sat there in DC with the biggest grin imaginable, knowing that her consumer protection bureau was a "done deal" I never really considered that it would work for a small, little business like my husband's. But today...Chase called and said they would stop all proceedings. They have accepted the original terms and we are back in good standing only because of a courageous woman named Elizabeth. Thank you Senator Warren!