It's hard to imagine a friendly bill collector, especially one that has gotten fat and comfortable by charging annual interest of 18% or more for years. But worried credit card companies have become downright hospitable to struggling debtors. The big card companies are waiving fees, restructuring debt and even accepting payoffs of as little as pennies on the dollar. They're not doing this to be good guys; they are bracing for a continued wave of defaults and want to collect as much as they can right now before some other bill collector gets to you first and leaves you with empty pockets. You'll know the economy is righting itself when credit card companies stop negotiating with debtors. To monitor this industry, check out creditcard.com.
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