Help from Chase credit card hardship program.

More consumers need help paying their past due credit card debts or monthly bills, and Chase offers a credit card hardship program that can assist. Many people do not know about this program, but below you will find some real life examples of how it has helped people. Solutions ranging from interest rate reductions to principal balances waived, extensions, and more are offered as part of the hardship program from JP Morgan Chase.

These are just a few stories. There are thousands of others who have been assisted by its hardship program. Some of the other examples of financial assistance offered by Chase may include waiving late fees and other charges. Others have benefited when the bank reduced their interest rates down to as low as zero percent for up to 60 months. They offer a variety of payment plans to customers who need help. Chase last year provided assistance and hardship programs for more than 600,000 customers, according to a statement from the bank.

Details on assistance from Chase

Chase is currently offering its customers several options to deal with a hardship. Among them they will waive over-limit and late fees, restructure credit card balances to reduce a customers interest rate, and they will also even extend customer repayment terms. Each one of these options is meant to address a specific situation.

 

 

 

Adjusting interest rates is a focus of the hardship program. This is often the most common type of assistance given. Chase is offering interest rate reductions that can last from nine to 60 months. Chase will even offer interest rates as low as 0% if someone is facing a serious financial hardship, provided they continue to make payments on their current bills.

Examples of savings

In Baltimore, one customer recently had his card terms changed on him by Chase, which basically raised his minimum monthly payment from 2 percent of the balance due to 5 percent each and every month. It was a big increase in his payments. He called Chase customer service and contested this increase. Here is what resulted.

 

 

 

 

A few weeks after the call, he received a letter from Chase. They suggested that he contact the Chase Proactive Solution Team if the terms that were changed will present a hardship for him in paying. So that advice was followed.

The customer soon thereafter called, explained his situation and how it presented him with a “hardship”, and he was then told he qualified for one of Chase’s repayment plans as well as hardship programs. The end results was that his minimum monthly payment goes back to 2 percent of the outstanding balance and they also cut his interest rate, of an already incredible 3.99 percent, that rate was cut in half!

The only thing he had to do to agree to this offer was that per the terms of the payment plan, he must close his credit card account, so he can’t use the card any more. But he can still use other cards from different issuers. He accepted the offer.

Additional examples of assistance from the Chase credit card hardship program

Example #2 is from a customer in the Seattle Washington area had a credit card from Washington Mutual, which Chase now owns. The bank then notified him that was raising the interest rate as well as the minimum monthly payment on his card. His minimum was also changed from 2 percent to 5 percent of the balance.

So this Chase customer called the bank and spoke to a customer service rep. The customer explained to the bank that he could not afford the higher monthly payment and the new bill. However, the representative from Chase said they could not help, that Chase's account agreement allows the terms of the card to be change, and that there is no way to get any assistance.

So the customer kept trying, and he asked twice to speak to a supervisor, however he was told both times that none was available. He mentioned possible bankruptcy. It did not help. He continued to plug away and asked for the loss prevention department. The rep said it didn't exist. He kept trying, and eventually he said he is “Facing a Hardship”. Hardship was the key word that finally got a result.

 

 

 

This lead to the customer getting transferred to another Chase service representative. After requesting some information, they proceeded to make him a surprising offer. While Chase would need to close the credit card account, they would enter him into the Chase credit card hardship program, which would lower the interest rate to 2 percent (yes, two!) and it would provide him five years to pay off his total balance.

A spokeswoman from Chase has said that the bank has a proactive solutions unit that is trained and whose goal is to help customers who are facing a financial hardship. She continued by saying that Chase can restructure credit card debts to reduce interest rates, offer the Chase debt management plan, extend repayment terms over nine to 60 months, waive over-limit fees and late fees, and more. It can provide this help for all customers, for both for small or large balances, of course a key factor being the nature of the customer's situation along with their ability and willingness to meet the restructured terms on their unpaid debt.

Another low income JP Morgan Chase customer, which is example #3, also received help from the bank. There were additional savings were provided to this individual who had multiple cards with both Chase as well as other banks. In this case, a family had several credit cards, all with high balances. Two of the credit cards they had open were with Chase.

They called the bank and told them they were struggling with paying their bills, as they have two high-balance credit cards with them, and they wanted to see what type of assistance they could get. One card had an interest rate at 28%, and the other card had a rate of 11%. While 11% is not bad, the other rate was very high but 28% was because they missed a payment on it. After several calls, and a few weeks, they offered the hardship program and said they could lower the interest rate from 28% down to 6%, but that would require that they close the credit card account. Not a bad deal.

A fourth example of savings was from a customer located in California. Chase put their account into what is known as their pre-litigation department and denied them any form or settlement or hardship program. After repeated phone calls by the customer, they extended the pre-litigation stay by about 15 days. This means that the bank gave them additional time to pay their balance, however the customer still did not have the ability to make payments.

As the pre-litigation period was within a few days of expiration, the customer indicated that they would need to explore filing for bankruptcy. Chase then came back about 2 days later and offered a settlement of 25% on a balance of $20,000. The key word in this example was bankruptcy.

 

 

 

 

The JP Morgan Chase credit card hardship program may also rarely reduce the balance due on the account. But this form of principal reduction is not common. In another example, a borrower who was a long term customer of the bank, faced a short term reduction in their income from a missed business deal. They called Chase multiple times, provided them with some financial data (bank statements, etc.) and eventually the hardship program reduced their principal balance by about 20%, and there was also a short term reduction in interest rates to 5%.

In order to apply for a credit card hardship program from Chase, dial the phone number on the back of your credit card. There is not one dedicated number to their hardship program or representatives. If there is any push back from the bank or they do not offer a deal, ask to speak to a supervisor. Also use key terms such as “bankruptcy” or “hardship”, as those words may get their attention and may initiate the process of getting you help with your debts from a plan.

 

By Jon McNamara

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