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Arianna Huffington offers the definitive version of a potential credit card debt tsunami:

It’s a particularly vicious economic circle: every day, Americans, faced with layoffs and tough economic times, are forced to use their credit cards to pay for essentials like food, housing, and medical care — the costs of which continue to escalate. But as their debt rises, they find it harder to keep up with their payments. When they don’t, banks, trying to offset losses in other areas, then turn around and hike interest rates and impose all manner of fees and penalties… all of which makes it even less likely consumers will be able to pay off their mounting debts.

I filed for chapter 7 in early September, right before Lehman Brothers crashed and burned and the economic meltdown began.  One of my creditors had lowered my limit, but none of them hiked my interest rates until I defaulted on my payments in the lead up to my BK filing.  Once I filed, I was under the protection of the United States Bankruptcy Court and out of my creditors’ range. 

I didn’t dodge a bullet.  I dodged a strafing. Read the rest of this entry »