As the U.S. economy deteriorates and more and more consumers either lose their jobs or their hours are cut, they will no longer have the means to keep up with all of their credit card payments. A consumer at this stage will have to make a decision as to whether or not to put food on the table, pay their mortgage to keep the roof over their head or make their credit card payments.

This has caused credit card companies to rethink their approach to collecting payments or settling the debt in full for a reduced amount. Credit card companies know that the next meltdown coming is in the credit card debt arena. So they are now quietly negotiating settlements for a reduced amount of what is owed with consumers, rather than have the debt charge off and they get nothing.

Some of these same credit card companies are also mortgage lenders and have now learned the concept, that it is better to get something now, than to risk getting nothing in the future. Most credit card companies don’t disclose this practice as they fear that they will be flooded with requests from consumers who are experiencing financial difficulties.

According to Moody’s, the charge off rate for credit cards for July was 10.52% and is expected to increase to 12% by mid 2010. You will see this rate continue to increase until unemployment rates begin to stabilize or decrease, currently we are around 10% for unemployment, a number that high hasn’t been seen in decades and its still climbing.

As the need for settlements increase, banks are trying to keep up with the demand by now training their customer service reps to negotiate settlements, rather than escalating the call to a supervisor. Some credit card companies are even getting more proactive and are reaching out to the consumer early, once they realize the consumer is having financial difficulties. The credit card companies know that once someone is unemployed their chances of repayment is next to none, so they want to step up to the plate early in hopes of recovering some of their money.

Now everyone’s situation is different, credit card companies are not revealing what the eligibility guidelines are to qualify for a settlement. But one thing for sure is, to qualify for a settlement the consumer needs to be late, but other factors to consider are income, other expenses and payment histories.

Author's Bio: 

Marlon Baugh is a nationally-known debt elimination expert. Since 2003, he has specialized in Mortgage Loans for people with Bankruptcies, Foreclosure or with other credit issues, as well as Florida Loss Mitigation and debt settlement. If you would like a Free Copy or to get instant access to the remainder of this Insider Mortgage Report, please visit or Call 954-678-5796