LOS ANGELES, CA (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Knockout Debt (www.knockoutdebt.com) announced today that it is offering Free Debt Reduction Consultations to all consumers who may be suffering from post-holiday financial issues. Many consumers this holiday season forked out too much money on gifts for friends and family, and charged most of it to credit cards.

Now they will spend the rest of the year paying off credit cards while chastising themselves for buying more than they could afford. Budgeting is the best way to avoid the headache of holiday debt and creating a sound budget should always be an important part of one’s pre and post holiday planning. Whether it is due to a New Year’s resolution or the shock of that first credit card statement of the New Year, financial experts stress that creating a financial plan for the future is more important than ever in maintaining optimal financial health. Recent legislation will only serve to amplify this need.

In 2006, two important developments- increased credit card minimums and bankruptcy reform – will negatively affect consumers’ abilities to payoff debt. Increased credit card minimums are the result of a recently released directive from federal banking regulators. The directive pressures credit card companies to increase the minimum monthly payback rate to a level that will enable consumers to pay the full balance in a reasonable amount of time. Currently, credit card minimums are set so low that it would take a consumer nearly forty years to pay off a $10,000 debt, if only minimum payments are made.

Most consumers will see their minimum credit card payment double by the end of the year. While financial experts agree this is a sensible long-term policy, the payback hike could easily mean an extra $300 per month in credit card bills for consumers who spread debt out over several credit cards. This may become an enormous burden to many already overextended consumers.

The other noteworthy change is the bankruptcy reform laws. Effective October 17, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 makes it much more difficult for heavily indebted consumers who are unable to meet their monthly financial obligations to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under the new bankruptcy bill, consumers must file additional paperwork, present a certificate of completion from an accredited credit counseling program 180 days before filing, and complete a “Means-Test” which compares the debtor’s income to their home state’s median income. Under the new law, consumers with even the slightest ability to repay a percentage of their debt will no longer qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Debt Reduction for Heavily Indebted Consumers

As a result of these recent changes, a record number of consumers may find themselves in severe financial duress as the holiday bills begin to arrive. Consumers unable to pay their monthly expenses, who are now ineligible for liquidation of debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, still have another option: debt arbitration. With debt arbitration, consumers can reduce the overall amount owed while still avoiding bankruptcy altogether. Debt arbitration also condenses all payments into one manageable monthly payment that is controlled by the consumer. Typically consumers can find themselves free of debt in only 12-36 months, when utilizing debt arbitration services.

About Knockout Debt

Knockout Debt (www.knockoutdebt.com) is a professional debt arbitration company that specializes in helping heavily indebted consumers regain financial stability by negotiating a significant reduction of the consumer’s total principle debt. By utilizing experienced negotiators, long-standing relationships with creditors, and financial acumen, Knockout Debt designs customized debt reduction solutions that enable clients to lower their debt to income ratio without filing bankruptcy. At Knockout Debt, our debt arbitration experts will negotiate a settlement with creditors to cut the total principle balance by as much as 60 percent.

More information: http://www.knockoutdebt.com

or contact: Dan Goldberg, President, Knockout Debt, 310-903-4002, dang@knockoutdebt.com.

News issued by: Knockout Debt

# # #

Original Story ID: (1195) :: 2006-01-0118-002

Original Keywords: Knockout Debt, Dan Goldberg, Los Angeles, Debt Reduction for Heavily Indebted Consumers, professional debt arbitration company, avoiding bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Free Debt Reduction Consultations, L.A., Los Angeles Newswire, California, CA, Calif. Knockout Debt

News Source: Knockout Debt