Discover Financial 2Q net income falls, revenue up

Posted by administrator | 24/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Discover Financial 2Q net income falls, revenue up
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

(06-19) 14:12 PDT LOS ANGELES, (AP) —

Despite concerns about the economy, Discover’s customers are using their cards more often and paying their bills on time at record rates.

The company’s profit fell 10 percent in its March-May quarter, as the credit card issuer freed up less money from reserves set aside to cover customers’ unpaid bills than a year earlier as its loans increased.

But credit conditions are improving. Late payment rates and customers’ loan defaults dropped sharply, reaching historic lows. Discover’s management expects that charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, will modestly increase over the next 12 months as the company widens its pool of borrowers.

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Discover Financial Services said sales volume on its namesake cards rose 5 percent during the March-to-May period to $ 26.1 billion, reflecting more card use by customers, as total retail sales rose 5.7 percent in the same period according to government figures. Credit card balances also grew nearly 4 percent to…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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Texas jury convicts Calif. man in credit card scam
News from San Jose Mercury News:

FORT WORTH, Texas — A California man was convicted in Texas for participating in a multistate theft ring that planted illegal devices at gas stations, enabling the group to steal 38,000 debit and credit card numbers and then siphon $ 100,000 from bank accounts.

Aleksandr Goukasian, 52, of Los Angeles, faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced at a later date. He was convicted Friday of four counts of unlawful possession of an electronic intercept device and one count each of unlawful use of electronic communications, engaging in organized criminal activity and fraudulently possessing or using identifying information.

Prosecutors in Fort Worth showed evidence that Goukasian’s theft ring planted skimmers — homemade electronic devices that intercept credit card information — inside gas pumps in Mojave, Las Vegas, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston over a few months in 2010. Goukasian recoded gift cards with those numbers and used the gift cards to withdraw money at ATMs from hundreds of customers’ accounts, prosecutors said.

After Goukasian was arrested in a Fort Worth suburb, 13 skimmers with the same unique markings were discovered throughout North Texas.

His trial started June 12 but was delayed Tuesday when Goukasian did not show up for court. Officials found him nearly unconscious in his home, and he w…………… continues on San Jose Mercury News

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Money Watch: 401(k) a bad option to pay off credit card debt
News from USA TODAY:

Money Watch, a personal finance column that runs every Saturday, features a financial planner from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisorsanswering reader questions about saving, protecting and growing your money. To submit a question, e-mail USA TODAY personal finance reporter Christine Dugas at: cdugas@usatoday.com.

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Q: I am 27, married and about to have my first child. I have $ 10,000 sitting in a 401(k) plan at a previous job. I owe $ 20,000 in credit card debt, with a 9.5% interest rate that is killing me. Should I take out some or all of my 401(k) saving to pay off my debt?

continues on USA TODAY

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Man charged with using fraudulent credit card in DeKalb
News from Dekalb Daily Chronicle:

SYCAMORE – Bond was set at $ 50,000 Friday for a man charged with unlawfully using a credit card who has previously been convicted of forgery.

Anton L. Woods, 38, of the 6600 block of South Maryland Avenue in Chicago, was charged with Class 3 felony unlawful use of a credit card, punishable by up to five years in prison, and unlawful use of a credit card and sale of credit or debit card, both Class 4 felonies punishable by up to three years in prison.

Woods appeared in court Friday via closed-circuit TV from the DeKalb County Jail.

DeKalb police received a report early Thursday of a suspicious person at the Road Ranger gas station on North Annie Glidden Road, according to court documents.

The clerk told police Woods commonly comes into the store and attempts to make a purchase using numerous credit cards, presenting cards until one works, according to court documents.

About 2:40 a.m. Thursday, Woods tried paying for soda and cigarettes with two different cards that were declined; after the clerk manually entered the second card’s information it was accepted, according to court documents.

Police stopped Woods as he left the store and he discarded two Visa cards. Though one card had Woods’ name on it, Visa informed police the card was not issued to him, according to court documents.

Woods told police he…………… continues on Dekalb Daily Chronicle

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Home Loan Modifications Cut Credit Risk, TransUnion Says
News from Businessweek:

Delinquent U.S. homeowners who received a loan modification have a better record of repaying auto and credit-card debt than troubled borrowers who received no mortgage help, TransUnion Corp. (TRUN) (TRUN) said.

Homeowners whose payments were reduced had a 6.1 percent delinquency rate on auto loans compared with an 11 percent rate for borrowers who didn’t get a mortgage modification, according to a study by the Chicago-based credit-rating company. The delinquency rate on credit-card payments was 14 percent for homeowners with a modification, compared with 17 percent for those who didn’t get assistance.

The difference shows how modifications, while failing to prevent a majority of seriously delinquent borrowers from defaulting again, can help consumers become better risks for other lenders, said Charlie Wise, TransUnion’s director of research and consulting.

“Very clearly, it’s a driver of improved performance,” Wise said during an interview in Beverly Hills, California. “This is what allows you to turn the credit spigot back on.”

About 3.9 million delinquent homeowners received loan modifications from January 2009 through April of this year, according to a Ju…………… continues on Businessweek

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Consumer-debt bonds remain safe haven amid euro crisis

Posted by administrator | 22/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Consumer-debt bonds remain safe haven amid euro crisis
News from Reuters:

Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:15pm EDT

NEW YORK, June 22 (IFR) – Issuance of bonds backed by US consumer debt payments such as auto loans, student loans and credit card debt has reached its highest level since the onset of the financial crisis.

The rebound reflects the expectation that these securities remain a safe-haven option for investors seeking cover from the flare-up in the eurozone and other bouts of macro-economic turbulence.

Year-to-date volume of US asset-backed securities (ABS) is up nearly 60% at US$ 93bn versus the comparable point last year. Total 2011 ABS volume was about US$ 128bn, versus US$ 135bn in 2010.

By comparison, however, total ABS issuance, including lower credit quality mortgage ABS, hit a record of US$ 1.25trn in 2006, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

But asset-backed securitization, which is largely driven by consumer demand and the usage of credit, has recently held its own as an efficient and low-cost funding mechanism for issuers in the post-crisis world, and in…………… continues on Reuters

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Charge off rates driven down by more hiring
News from Debtmerica Relief:

Delinquent and defaulted credit card debt has been on the decline for some time now, and new data suggests that instances of both are tied very closely to unemployment rates.

As the effects of the recession slip away and employers continue to expand their hiring practices, it’s expected that consumers will make more on-time payments into their various credit card debts, according to new data from the Mercator Advisory Group. When the recession began, instances of both charge offs and early-stage delinquency spiked at the same times unemployment did, and since it ended, both have moved slowly downward.

Now, both of these financial concerns are standing at or near all-time lows for all of the nation’s largest lenders, the report said. However, some experts note that even if unemployment continues to fall from its somewhat elevated state, there must be a logical bottoming-out in charge offs and del…………… continues on Debtmerica Relief

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Should you ditch your credit cards?

Posted by administrator | 22/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Should you ditch your credit cards?
News from CBS News:

(MoneyWatch) Some 50 million U.S. households have credit card debt, according to CreditCards.com. About two-thirds of Americans own a credit card, and about half of these folks carry a balance. But consumers’ reliance on credit cards appears to be at a turning point. Some reports suggest that more people are steadily paying down their debts or are even deciding to forgo credit cards altogether. Despite the existence new consumer protections for credit-card users, distrust of card issuers and their gimmicks also remains high. Then there’s the other reason — after a confidence-shaking recession, many people are wary of taking on debt.

For those who are determined to avoid using credit cards, the other payment options include using debit cards, checks, and cash. The number of consumers swiping a debit card to pay for purchases increased over the past two years as a result of the sluggish economy. Almost half of consumers surveyed said they believed debit cards helped control their spending.

It’s hard to argue with someone who decides to put aside their cred…………… continues on CBS News

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Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q

Posted by administrator | 21/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q
News from Sacramento Bee:

Despite concerns about the economy, Discover’s customers are using their cards more often and paying their bills on time at record rates.

The company’s profit fell 10 percent in its March-May quarter, as the credit card issuer freed up less money from reserves set aside to cover customers’ unpaid bills than a year earlier as its loans increased.

But credit conditions are improving. Late payment rates and customers’ loan defaults dropped sharply, reaching historic lows. Discover’s management expects that charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, will modestly increase over the next 12 months as the company widens its pool of borrowers.

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Discover Financial Services said sales volume on its namesake cards rose 5 percent during the March-to-May period to $ 26.1 billion, reflecting more card use by customers, as total retail sales rose 5.7 percent in the same period according to government figures. Credit card balances also grew nearly 4 percent to $ 46……………. continues on Sacramento Bee

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Wiggins will apply for credit card for employee travel
News from The Republic:

WIGGINS, Miss. — The Wiggins Board of Aldermen has voted to have the city apply for a credit card for city employees’ use for approved travel expenses.

Alderman Gene Alexander tells The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/NRKbIz ) using a city credit card would make it more convenient for city employees to book hotel rooms when attending out-of-area conferences, classes or other events.

Alexander introduced the motion on Tuesday.

Currently, employees use personal credit cards for travel expenses and are reimbursed by the city.

Alexander said the perks offered by some credit cards, such as cash back on certain purchases, could be an advantage to the city.

___

Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com


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Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q

Posted by administrator | 20/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q
News from Boston.com:

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Discover Financial Services said sales volume on its namesake cards rose 5 percent during the March-to-May period to $ 26.1 billion, reflecting more card use by customers, as total retail sales rose 5.7 percent in the same period according to government figures. Credit card balances also grew nearly 4 percent to $ 46.6 billion, while transactions processed by Discover-owned networks increased 5 percent.

Mark Graf, Discover’s chief financial officer, said in an interview that the growth in credit card sales during the quarter underscores that the company’s core customer has some degree of comfort with spending.

“We feel as though there is, let’s just say, improved confidence more broadly, as exhibited by their willingness to pull their cards out of their wallet,’’ Graf said.

But the rate of consumer spending has stagnated from month to month this spring, while job growth has slowed since the start of the year. Economists worry that consumer spending may further weaken if hiring and pay doe…………… continues on Boston.com

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Discover profit falls as card use rises
News from CBS News:

(AP) LOS ANGELES – Despite concerns about the economy, Discover’s (DFS) customers are using their cards more often and paying their bills on time at record rates.

The company’s profit fell 10 percent in its March-May quarter, as the credit card issuer freed up less money from reserves set aside to cover customers’ unpaid bills than a year earlier as its loans increased.

But credit conditions are improving. Late payment rates and customers’ loan defaults dropped sharply, reaching historic lows. Discover’s management expects that charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, will modestly increase over the next 12 months as the company widens its pool of borrowers.

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Watch: Data security breach hits Discover
Government launches credit card complaint database

Discove…………… continues on CBS News

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Should a Judgment-Proof Debtor Pay Card Debt Anyway?

Posted by administrator | 20/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Should a Judgment-Proof Debtor Pay Card Debt Anyway?
News from Fox Business:

Dear Credit Care,

My father is 91 years old and has no assets of any kind other than some furniture and clothing. My mother is 88, blind, and in an advanced state of dementia. They live on Social Security and a small military pension. But they have two credit cards, both of which maxed out sometime ago and on which he has been faithfully paying the minimum payments for several years. One card has an interest rate of 11.9% and the other a rate of 17.9%. What will happen if he just stops paying on these? He does not care about his credit rating, since he does not want to borrow any more. 

-Donna

Dear Donna,

Your father is in a situation known as “judgment proof.” This simply means that because he has no real property or assets and his only income is from Social Security benefits and a military pension, your father’s creditors would likely have no legal recourse to collect a debt from him. So, if he decided to stop making payments on his unsecured credit card debt, he would probably not suffer any financial consequences.

His Social Security benefits and military pension would be exempt from wage garnishment and as long as his benefits are directly deposited into his bank…………… continues on Fox Business

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5 Smart Strategies for Managing Your Debt
News from TIME:

Consumers have been good about paying down their debt. But they stink at managing what debt remains. Here are five ways to keep control.

Americans are working hard to reduce individual debt burdens. In some cases, unfortunately, we are simply swapping one liability for another, data from the Federal Reserve show—cutting, say, credit card debt while adding education debt. Still, overall our burden is in decline. Consumers have cut debt by $ 100 billion in less than a year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

That’s undeniably positive for the personal balance sheets of millions of households. But too often families that cut debt feel they’ve done enough. It’s equally im…………… continues on TIME

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Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q

Posted by administrator | 20/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q
News from Boston.com:

LOS ANGELES—Despite concerns about the economy, Discover’s customers are using their cards more often and paying their bills on time at record rates.

The company’s profit fell 10 percent in its March-May quarter, as the credit card issuer freed up less money from reserves set aside to cover customers’ unpaid bills than a year earlier as its loans increased.

But credit conditions are improving. Late payment rates and customers’ loan defaults dropped sharply, reaching historic lows. Discover’s management expects that charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, will modestly increase over the next 12 months as the company widens its pool of borrowers.

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Discover Financial Services said sales volume on its namesake c…………… continues on Boston.com

… Read the full article
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Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q
News from The Associated Press:

Discover says credit card use rose in 2Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite concerns about the economy, Discover’s customers are using their cards more often and paying their bills on time at record rates.

The company’s profit fell 10 percent in its March-May quarter, as the credit card issuer freed up less money from reserves set aside to cover customers’ unpaid bills than a year earlier as its loans increased.

But credit conditions are improving. Late payment rates and customers’ loan defaults dropped sharply, reaching historic lows. Discover’s management expects that charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, will modestly increase over the next 12 months as the company widens its pool of borrowers.

The economic shakeout of the last few years has left credit cards in the hands of more affluent consumers who are better able to pay their bills in full each month, while those with lower credit scores and presumably less ability to pay are now less likely to use credit. Tighter underwriting standards also have pushed loss rates lower.

Discover Financial Services said sales volume on its namesake cards rose 5 percent during the March-to-May period to $ 26.1 billion, reflecting more card use by customers, as total retail sa…………… continues on The Associated Press

… Read the full article


Government launches credit card complaint database

Posted by administrator | 19/06/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Government launches credit card complaint database
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

(06-18) 21:07 PDT NEW YORK, (AP) —

The government is launching an online database of complaints about credit cards.

The public can see what types of complaints people have filed against any bank that issues credit cards. They can also search complaints by ZIP code and see how banks responded. The database does not include personal information.

The database goes live Tuesday. It will be maintained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was set up after the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers from loans and cards with hidden fees or other traps.

The CFPB is the first agency to set up a public website to track complaints about consumer financial products. The agency will use the database to track complaints and identify potential problems in the marketplace, such as a new card that carries hidden or poorly disclosed fees. It also wants consumers to use the information to research financial products they might use.

“Each and every time we hear from American consumers about their troublesome transactions with financial products, it gives us important insight,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said.

Also Tuesday, the agency released some details on thousands of complaints it has fielded about credit cards, home mortgages, student loans and other bank products. Among the findings:

_ The age…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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Palm Beach shopping spree with stolen credit card lands woman in …
News from Palm Beach Post:

After stealing a California woman’s identity, a 23-year-old woman went on a shopping spree on Worth Avenue, picking up items at Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Saks 5th Avenue, according to a Palm Beach Police report.

Millicent Crossley, of California, was arrested Sunday and faces charges of fraudulent use of personal identity information, credit card forgery, organized scheme to defraud and grand theft. She is being held in lieu of $ 35,000 bail, records show.

The shopping spree dates back to January 2011. Palm Beach Police officers were called to the Louis Vuitton store on Worth Avenue after they had a customer use a fake credit card, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Employees told the officers that a man and two women — one who was later identified as Crossley — came into the store with the hopes of purchasing a luggage bag, a toiletry pouch and a brown belt. The items cost a total of $ 2,835.50.

Crossley gave the employee a Mastercard that had the name Mary Conrad on it. She also provided a California driver license with Conrad’s name on it. All was caught on video surveillance.

After unsuccessfully swiping the credit card three times, the employee typed the card numbers into the system. Th…………… continues on Palm Beach Post

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