Fannie Mae Ready to Ease Lending Guidelines

In December, Fannie Mae is going to revamp a program that allows borrowers to include income from non-borrowers living in their household to qualify for mortgage loans. The program is aimed to help lower income households who live with multiple generations of family members to use their income qualify for a loan. The program is helpful for these large families in the Chicago land area who pay expensive rent for a home in locations where a mortgage might be less burdensome. See the article here:

At Olstein Law, we work with many homeowners that qualified for mortgages and can no longer afford them. Oftentimes, a homeowner was counting on income that no longer exists. We encourage everyone to stay within their means, and make sure they have a back-up plan. Many financial advisers recommend a six-month emergency fund, to allow you to pay your mortgage during budget shortfalls. Unfortunately, for many homeowners, these emergency funds dried up. If you or someone you know is struggling to make their mortgage payments, or having other debt problems, contact Olstein Law today. We will take the time to listen to your issues, and put a comprehensive plan to resolve your financial hardship. We look forward to working with you!

Its Not Too Late to Fight the Hidden Fees!

This month Citigroup started refunding $700 million to consumers for illegal and deceptive credit card practices. Additionally, they will pay the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau $70 million as reported by the Chicago Tribune,

Unfortunately, for many consumers, this relief came too late. Due to the recent downturn in our economy, many people are struggling to pay their minimum balances on their credit cards; oftentimes, they cannot pay at all. Once a credit card company closes an account, and transfers it to a collection agency, it seems that the chance to dispute overages or hidden fees passed you by. However, if you act fast, that might not be the case. If a collection agency tries to collect an amount from you that you do not owe, or you are not legally obligated to pay, they might be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects you from unfair collection tactics.

At Olstein Law, we are here to tell you that the law is on your side. The federal government empowered consumers by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which helps consumers fight back against unfair or unruly debt collection. Mr. Olstein has helped several consumers resolve their debt issues, and will fight against unfair and undignified collection tactics. If you are a victim of unfair collection, you may be entitled to $1,000.00 plus your actual damages. Contact Mr. Olstein today, to fight back against the collectors!

Manage your medical debt before it's too late!

Oftentimes, we don’t understand our insurance coverage until we get a bill from a doctor or hospital. In a lot of situations, people with high deductibles still have medical bills to pay even though they are insured. Recently, the New York Times, outlined strategies to use when trying to settle your medical debt.

Something to keep in mind is that the Medical Bill is not set in stone, and the Hospitals will work with you to find an affordable payment plan, or they might discount your bill if you are experiencing a financial hardship. The key is to contact the Doctor or Hospital sooner rather than later. Doctors and Hospitals are more likely to offer you discounts. If your bill remains unpaid for a longtime, the health provider will often sell your bill to a third-party collector, which is less likely to settle on amicable terms. Often you could find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit to collect the medical debt. 

If you fell behind on medical bills, or other bills, and are having a hard time making payment, contact Joseph Olstein at Olstein Law today at 312-725-4132. Mr. Olstein will talk with you and help create a plan to deal with your debt. Our consultations are free, and we are here to help. 

Why is your automobile interest rate so high?


In 1975 Congress passed the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, to prevent banks from charging higher interest rates to minorities.  In the past, banks were engaged in a system called redlining.  Redlining was a system used to charge higher interest rates to minorities living in certain zip codes.  Recently, finance companies and car dealerships resumed this practice in the financing of automobiles.    

In this article,, the New York Times details the government’s investigation into car dealerships charging “dealer markups” where dealerships tack-on additional interest to a borrower’s loan.  This practice is used to charge minority borrowers higher rates than white ones with similar credit profiles. Over a year ago, Ally Financial, a company that finances car purchases, often at high interest, agreed to pay $80 million to auto buyers as part of a settlement for charging minorities higher interest rates. 

At Olstein Law, we meet with many consumers who are paying exorbitant interest rates on their automobiles and are struggling to make their monthly payments.   If you are struggling to make your automobile payments, and you have a high interest rate, there are options.  Contact Joseph Olstein at Olstein Law today, so you can discuss if you can lower your car payment, and modify your car loan.

Turn the table on debt collectors. The law is on your side!

CNN recently published an interactive web page detailing the nightmares that several consumers were suffering at the hands of debt collectors . In these profiles CNN detailed the tactics that debt collectors use to try and collect debts. This collection law firm used traumatizing letters, threatening phone calls, and high fees to try and coax payment from these consumers. These consumers refused to give-in to the debt collector’s demands and eventually showed that they paid their debts. Although they proved that they paid their debts, they already lost time, and suffered stress while fighting to show they were not indebted to these collectors.  See the post here at:

At Olstein Law, we are here to help, and to tell you that the law is on your side. The United States Government empowered consumers by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which helps consumers fight back against unfair or unruly debt collection. Mr. Olstein has helped several consumers resolve their debt issues, and will fight against unfair and undignified collection tactics. If you are a victim of unfair collection, you may be entitled to $1,000.00 plus your actual damages. Contact Mr. Olstein today, he will take the time to hear your side of the story, and help fight against the debt collectors for you!

Our Sub-prime car loan crisis. How much are you actually paying for your car?

There is a new subprime bubble in America:  The subprime car loan bubble. Similar to the mortgage crises of 2008, car lenders are making shoddy car loans to consumers with bad credit. Oftentimes, these loans come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate consumers, by charging high interest rates to those with bad credit or no credit at all. Many of these loans are very profitable for the car dealership, so Wall Street is pouring money into these markets because the high interest rates yield steady profits. Oftentimes, these loans are packaged and sold to third parties, just like mortgages were packaged and sold in 2008. This process was detailed in a recent article in the New York Times.

Subprime lenders are loosening credit standards because they know they can repossess their collateral without using the judicial process. In Illinois, a car lender can install a device that turns your car off if you miss payment. Also, a lender can repossess your automobile without going into court. Nonetheless, we need our cars so that we can get to work and earn money to meet our monthly budget. 

In a subprime car loan, you might not realize how much you are actually paying for your car. While the dealership told you that you got a good deal by paying $15,000.00 for a used car, you may not realize how much you are actually paying for your car. If you financed a car for $15,000.00 over a five year period at 19% interest, you will end up paying over $6,400.00 in interest. Moreover, if you purchased a used car, it may not be in working order by the time it is paid-off. 

At Olstein Law, we are here to help. If you are having trouble making your car payments, you might be eligible to lower your payment by filing for Bankruptcy. In a Bankruptcy, you can modify the interest rate on your loan to make the payments more affordable. Or, you might be able to get out of your loan completely. We have helped hundreds of consumers facing repossession by helping them modify their car loans. Contact Mr. Olstein today at 312-725-4132 to discuss your options. 


How far will debt collectors go?

Recently, the New York Times published an article regarding new tactics that Nursing Homes are taking to collect debts from their patients.

The article details the plight of the Palermo family.  Mrs. Palermo is 90 years old and suffering from dementia.  Her husband, who is 8 years her junior was disputing some increased charges from the nursing home, and alleging that the care she was receiving was inadequate.  Instead of resolving the discrepancy with Mr. Palermo, the nursing home filed a guardianship petition in Court to collect these debts.  In doing so, the nursing home is attempting to take control of Mrs. Palermo’s finances and pay themselves from her savings.  In other words, the nursing home is using the guardianship petition as a means of bill collection.  In many cases Nursing Homes use this tactic to scare the patient to pay their bill. 

Our senior citizen community should be treasured and treated with respect.  At Olstein Law, we know the length that some debt collectors will go to try and collect a debt from a consumer.  Oftentimes, a debt collector might pray on the vulnerability of a senior citizen in an effort to entice payment.  If you, or someone you know is being contacted by a debt collector that is using abusive tactics, call Joseph Olstein at Olstein Law today for a free consultation. 

- Mr. Olstein