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I was recently forced to retire due to my job being outsourced. I contacted Washington Mutual to find out if they would be willing to close my accounts with them and defer payment and interest until 2/1/09 at which time I would be able to pay off the cards in full. They told me they did not work with consumers regarding this and gave me a number for a counseling service. This is not what I asked for. Do you know why Washington Mutual would rather have their card holders claim bankruptcy and default on their balances than work with you?

Banks have loaned way too much money to too many people in the past and now they are struggling because the economy has deteriorated and people cannot pay back everything they owe, especially with the outrageous interest rates.

Why won’t they help you?

Banks got themselves into this mess and now they don’t know how to get out of it (also why they almost went out of business before being acquired by JP Morgan Chase at the 11th hour). They are not set up to help each consumer with financial difficulties on a case by case basis. Banks are in the business of collecting regular payments and if you cannot pay many of them would rather just send you to a credit counseling agency than deal with you. It’s the way they have done it for years despite the fact that many consumers end up filing bankruptcy or using a settlement company resulting in little or no payback for the bank.

Does it make sense? No.

Are these losses built into thier business model? Yes.

For them its just a cost of being in the business they are in. But it is a good example of why the banks are requiring federal bailout money to remain in business. In my opinion their business model was doomed to fail as their greed level reached historic proportions.