Client Bulletin: New Credit Card Protections

J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization


The Federal Reserve’s new rules for credit card companies mean new credit card protections for you. Here are some key changes you should expect from your credit card company beginning on February 22, 2010.

What your credit card company has to tell you

  • When they plan to increase your rate or other fees. Your credit card company must send you a notice 45 days before they can
  • increase your interest rate;
  • change certain fees (such as annual fees, cash advance fees, and late fees) that apply to your account; or
  • make other significant changes to the terms of your card.
  • you have a variable interest rate tied to an index; if the index goes up, the company does not have to provide notice before your rate goes up;
  • your introductory rate expires and reverts to the previously disclosed “go-to” rate;
  • your rate increases because you are in a workout agreement and you haven’t made your payments as agreed.
  • How long it will take to pay off your balance. Your monthly credit card bill will include information on how long it will take you to pay off your balance if you only make minimum payments. It will also tell you how much you would need to pay each month in order to pay off your balance in three years.

Lots more, continued next month.
Special this month Poem

Mr. Black Help Us Back

To our attorney, Mr. J. Thomas Black
When we came to you it was because the bills were stacked
We wanted to get on track
And get our A-1 credit back

We have put our trust in you
Because we believe you know what to do
The road to financial freedom we don’t have a clue
We are trying to just make it through

Since that first time
We have tightened our financial line
We keep looking for a relief sign
But now our life is on decline

This is the real deal
This is such a bitter pill
We are financially standing still
Yet we still don’t have a yield

The budget is so tight
We are trying with all of our might
We don’t see the day of light
It’s like the horror of night

(My husband) is working so very hard
I am close beside him trying to do my part
This is deep down in our heart
We really do want a new start

Mr. Black can you help us out
We have lost all of our clout
We shaking with fear and doubt
This is the plea of a boy and a girl scout

It has been 3 weeks since (my husband) was paid
I am working on my writings and music as another trade
Thank God for my little pay some of our expenses it does defray
And the rest is a mystery so we just pray

We will be seeing you on tomorrow
To make more adjustments to this horror
We are so tired of feeling this sorrow
And you know there isn’t a way that we can borrow.

My home computer just died
So of course I cried
I wanted to run and hide
But (my husband) needs me to help him ride this tide

See you later Mr. Black
We just want our A-1 credit back. ■

SAVE $$$$ – Are You Eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit?

WASHINGTON – An expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) means larger families will qualify for a larger credit, offering greater relief for people who struggled through difficult financial times last year, says the Internal Revenue Service.

Eligibility for EITC depends on earned income and family size, among other tests. However, single people and childless workers also are eligible, although for smaller amounts. For tax years 2009 and 2010, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created a new category for families with three or more children and expanded the maximum benefit for this category.

To qualify for the EITC, earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) for individuals must each be less than:

  • $43,279 ($48,279 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $40,295 ($45,295 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $35,463 ($40,463 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $13,440 ($18,440 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
-Carol Burnett.
Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.
-Barack Obama

Remember, you can earn more money, but when time is spent it is gone forever.
-Zig Ziglar

ARE YOU IN CHAPTER 13 NOW? Always keep the law office updated with your current address, telephone numbers, and email address. We may need to reach you quickly. 24 hours/7 days a week, you can check on the status of your Trustee payments, how much you still owe on your case, etc., by going to to set up your user ID and password. Lose job or overtime? Expenses increase? Want to give up property to lower payments? Go to , click on Current Clients Click Here on home page, and fill out the Motion to Modify worksheet. Fax to office at 713-772-5058. We’ll review it and contact you if a change to your plan is possible.

J. Thomas Black was licensed as an attorney in Texas by the Texas Supreme Court in May, 1982. Mr. Black is Board Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.