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New Help for Unbanked and Underbanked Americans

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Are you one of an estimated 26 million Americans who avoid bank accounts altogether because you fear banking excessive fees or are currently suffering from the very high fees others are trying to avoid? As a result, do you depend on expensive check cashing or tax refund loan services? Well, there’s suddenly hope out there for the unbanked or underbanked—especially during tax season

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has just announced a new Obama Administration pilot program that will give unbanked and underbanked Americans access to well-protected and low-cost financial accounts that are especially primed for those needing tax refunds in a timely manner.

According to a U.S. Treasury press release, “The pilot is expected to launch during next year's tax return filing season…. ‘Far too often, unbanked and underbanked Americans are forced to turn to high-cost alternative financial products – such as check-cashing and other services – that take a big bite out of the savings of those who can least afford it,’ said Michael S. Barr, Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Institutions. ‘For many individuals, a tax refund is the single largest payment that they will receive each year. That’s why tax season is a great opportunity to deliver safe, low-cost financial products to the unbanked and underbanked that will help those Americans build stronger foundations for their financial futures.’”

Beginning in early 2011, the program will target eligible taxpayers through two basic means. The first will be through a direct mail campaign targeting low and moderate-income individuals who have “received paper tax refunds in prior years or who otherwise have not provided bank account information to Treasury.” The second method will be via employer paychecks, in which the U.S. Treasury will work with private industry to specifically select employees who do not use direct deposit to receive tax refunds.

According to the U.S. Treasury this new pilot program comes just in time to help many Americans suffering from inordinately tough financial times. “The use of safe and appropriate financial services and products can help households maintain financial stability.  Unbanked and underbanked individuals often face difficulties saving and planning for their financial futures, making them more vulnerable to medical or employment emergencies and threatening their ability to invest in continuing education, purchase a home, or send their children to college. The unbanked are disproportionally low and moderate income.  According to the FDIC's 2009 National Survey, a person making $30,000 or less is more than 7 times as likely to be unbanked as someone making $50,000 or more.”

If you’re unbanked or underbanked and worried about more than where your next tax refund check will come from, bankruptcy may also be a better viable financial solution than turning to another financial institution. Many Americans pushed to their limits, and below the poverty line, by the economic downturn, and the joblessness it caused, could benefit from the dissolution of debt that bankruptcy can provide.

If you’ve been negatively impacted by the economy and are wondering how to get back on track, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you to conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future whether you’re banked, underbanked or unbanked  The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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