HSBC plans to close Household Financi...

HSBC plans to close Household Financial, Beneficial consumer lo...

There are 58 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Mar 2, 2009, titled HSBC plans to close Household Financial, Beneficial consumer lo.... In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Six years after Prospect Heights-based Household International was acquired for $14 billion, its British owners Monday said the deal, in hindsight, was a mistake and the unit will be closed.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

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Vandalia, OH

#1 Mar 3, 2009

Lethbridge, Canada

#2 Mar 3, 2009
You may think it was a rip off, but I bet that they gave you a loan when your bank wouldn't. So consider yourself lucky that you got the loan in the first place. The rate may have been high. If your credit was good enough to get a loan at the bank then why didn't you? I'm assuming that you don't have perfect credit. If that is the case then you get the interest rate that you deserve.

Greensboro, NC

#3 Mar 3, 2009
While you might not agree with the practices of the loan company, think of the 6,100 people that are now out of a job. My mom worked for Beneficial/Household for 32 years and was devasted to find out yesterday that at the end of the month she will no longer be employeed. With today's job market it is doubtful that she will find another. Just keep that in mind next time you think to leave a comment such as that.

Garden Grove, CA

#4 Mar 3, 2009
I was laid off too and this husband has already been laid off and we were barely hangin in by a string and now this happens...not fair!!!


#5 Mar 4, 2009
Sad day for all the hard working Beneficial People, Beneficial was a wonderful working place, I worked there for 14 years, I helped out thousands of people who were hard working folks, people who had bad credit but had great character and needed a buck, we gave them a buck, and we gave them the service. Sadly when Beneficial was aquired by Household Finance, the core business principle went by the wayside, instead of foucusing on what made Beneficial a great neighborhood loan shop, borrow money to take your family on vacation, take some money to get your car repaired, or borrow money to spend on Christmas, Household decided to forget that and stop the personal lending and focus on the irresponsible practices of Home equity lending, now they took that recission proof business and ran it into the ground, they forgot about the little people they helped and who made them a success, now they are out business with only them to blame, Beneficial was a great company, with a great core, who lent to people who had credit hiccups, but always treated their customer's with respect. If they were delinquent, they would call them, sometimes knock on a door, but when their customer's paid them, they would always loan them money when they needed it, take a vacation, get your car fix, buy a home, purchase a car, go christmas shopping. Yes we were expensive to borrow from, but we took a risk on you, I'm not speaking on behalf of the company, but I'm speaking on behalf of my experiences as a former employer, I'm sorry to hear 6,100 of my former colleques will lose good jobs, I'm sorry to hear that now there is not a place a person with a fix income who was a loyal customer can't borrow $1,000 this year to buy Christmas gifts for thier grandchildren because people in Chicago and London just don't understand the business, but only understand greed and they understand what greed did to them, you were sitting on a gold mine and you blew it up. Beneficial people will settle well, and so will the customers. Thanks for the Memories, when I get my Pension check from them I will always remember the good times and not this. I met some of the nicest people who needed a few bucks here and there, and the thousands of loans I closed I remember many of them with great people who always paid them back, some didn't, but most did, I hope everyone settles well. Peace People!

Chicago, IL

#6 Mar 5, 2009
I like Beneficial! Over the last few years when I was in a Bind, I could go to them for a Loan! I recently took a trip out of state! On my Trip I needed some extra Money! To my surprise, there was a Beneficial Branch in the Area where I was Vacationing! I went over there for a Loan! They were very helpful and even went next door to a local Bank to help me Cash the Loan Check! I never had a problem with Beneficial! When I missed a payment, they didn't get all Twisted Up like a Bank! In fact, they let me pass on a missed payment! My next payment was the same amount even though I had missed the previous payment! I like the fact that you could make payments at the Beneficial Branches! So now, I'll have to Mail in my payments! Good Luck to the Beneficial Employees! Thank You for your Service and Kindness!

United States

#7 Mar 6, 2009
AS a former employee that was laid off in 2007, I saw this coming shortly after I started in 03. There were many loans that were very questionable adn then when they would default, our collections departemtn would not discuss hardship programs with the customers to assist them in lowering the rate and payments, resulting in bad debt and foreclosures. They are to blame, no the borrowers!

Burlington, NC

#8 Mar 10, 2009
I am a former employee (28 years) - What a great company Beneficial was. Loved my co-workers and customers. Sure, there were some bad employees but overall the people I worked with really cared. They were dedicated, hard working and loyal. Sorry that so many good people are losing their jobs.

Rio Rancho, NM

#9 Mar 10, 2009
I began my career in finance at HFC. I was 22 and never had even heard of a mortgage. I was trained to the HFC way of business and was unaware that I was ripping people off. I was great at the job, award winning. It was only a matter of time before I figured it out. Come on, 5 plus points on a mortgage On top of the balance 8 to 12% plus interest rates on first mortgages. This is praying on the weak and it's a great thing for this company to be shut down. Let's talk Bene people stop trying to justify that you helped people. A 28% signature loan is not help, it's a scam! Be real, would you give a loan to a family member or take one yourself. America come on quit borrowing and save some money and buy the right way. Wow, to the people that made a life time career who worked at HFC Bene are some of the most scamming people I have ever come across. You know what you did was wrong. After being aware of predetory lending any ethical person should have quit. Here is an interesting fact HFC started in the back of a jewerly store in the days where they would cut off your hand if you dont pay back. You ask me and it's not a whole lot different now. Good riddens to you scamming people. Do me a favor and dont apply to the finance world. You should start working on your carma because what comes around goes around. Later scammers!

Lethbridge, Canada

#10 Mar 11, 2009
Obviously Phil has never been in a position where he needed money and could not get it. He is much too good for the rest of us. Sometimes you don't have a choice and need to borrow. HFC Bene were there. Yes the rates were high, but when the customer is considered high risk, then you have to charge the rate to protect the company. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that don't have very strong credit. You may call it predatory(this is the correct spelling you moron), but I call it helping. Otherwise those poor people could have to go without. We would always do our best to council them on improving there credit and many times clients would end up going to a bank and paying us out after we helped them rebuild there credit. So get off your high horse you asshole.

Batavia, IL

#11 Mar 11, 2009
Wait, Beneficial treated its customers with respect? Any respect that company had for me as a customer went out the door as soon as I signed on the dotted line.

One of the above posters had it right - a $5,000 "Rule of 78ths" signature loan at 27% is not help, it's predatory.(If you don't know what the Rule of 78ths is, go look it up and you'll find that it's essentially a prepayment penalty in disguise.) It was supposed to be a five-year loan, but I'm still paying on it. I have easily paid more in interest than principal. My credit scores have gone up 150 points since 2002, but the branch wouldn't even consider refinancing to a lower rate, and there was no option for a hardship plan without trashing my credit further by going into credit counseling.

I feel sorry for the people who are losing their jobs, but not for a company that has made billions by taking advantage of people and providing lousy customer service. Oh, here's part of the email I got from them today:

"Please remember that although your Beneficial branch will no longer be open for business, it is still important that you continue to make your payments on time."

Thanks for the reminder, guys, as if I needed it.

Sorry, Beneficial, but I'm not going to shed a tear for you.

Hoffman Estates, IL

#12 Mar 11, 2009
Anyone know what will Happen to our loans?

Lethbridge, Canada

#13 Mar 12, 2009
Here we go again. Tim you are obviously a customer that hasn't got a friggin clue. If you signed a 5 year loan then it will be paid off in 5 years. The only way it would take longer is if you missed payments or paid late. So why don't you tell the whole story. Also, if the rate is too high and you deserve a lower one then go to your bank get a loan and pay Bene out. But wait, you can't get a loan at the bank can you. Hmmmmm!!!! That's interesting. Probably because your credit isn't as good as you are trying to make us believe it is. So stop bitching about the high rate. You wanted the money, you signed the loan. Nobody held a gun to your head.

Rio Rancho, NM

#14 Mar 12, 2009
Well digger, I think it's funny that the only argument you could come up with is my spelling error. Also, typical HFC customer service ethics. We could have this argument all day about Predatory Lending but in the end HFC was forced to pay back something like 150 Million for what...Couldn't be for for overcharging clients. Come on quit pretending like a 28% loan helps. I bet you talk to any person that took that loan I'm sure they regret it. Any HFC Bene clients want to comment on that. Plus, where they really scam is on the mortgages. 5 points plus closing fees and a 10% rate on 298k was the last loan I closed at HFC. 14,900 in points. Oh yea, on top of the mortgage balance. Damn, that's helpful. This is the problem you have no clue on whats right and wrong. I'm not saying that people with poor credit don't need money. But, what I am saying is that they would be better off not borrowing from HFC. The problem is borrowing to get out of debt, it dosen't work. People should save for an emergency.

Lethbridge, Canada

#15 Mar 12, 2009
People should save for emergencies. Unfortunately they don't. So there is a need and HFC was filling it. Tell me one business that is not there to serve a need for someone. If you really want to talk about lending institutions ripping people off then we should be discussing the cash stores like Money Mart, etc. 28% is nothing compared to those. Now these poor customers will be forced to pay even higher rates because HFC won't be around.

Rio Rancho, NM

#16 Mar 12, 2009
I can see your point on the signature loans and the cash stores. But, your totally avoiding the mortgage loans, the true money maker for HFC. Remember, HFC only has the signature loans as offers to ultimatley get the client to take out a mortgage. Upselling from the signature loan to an equity loan to a first or a second mortgage. It was a really easy and brillant marketing strategy. Send a 10k check to a customer that already has thousands in revolving debt. They know they have debt becasue they probably financed furniture for them first. The AE calls and says hi wouldnt you like to reduce your interest rate from 28% to 17.99. The customer replys, Yes. Ok, all we need to do is access some of your equity in your property and just like that you have a lower rate. But now, you have also consolidated other credit debt without cloisng down the credit accounts. With this type of borrower it only puts them deaper into debt. By now the client is royaly in a bad position and the AE calls again and says how about combining your 1st mtg and your equity loan and whatever other debt in to one loan. I know what your going to say it's not your fault if they recharge the credit cards. Well, they do. Almost all of the time. It's not just HFC that did this but HFC was the company that charged Predatory fees and rates. After the law suit I do admit they disclosed it better and thats about it. Digger, the financial system is broken and we just can't have Predatory lenders anymore. I do agree the check and tile companies are the only place left for a unsecured loan and they are worse then HFC. I don't know how many borrowers that I have seen that place the blame on mortgage debt when they have a thousand dollar car payment. I'm sorry a blue collar worker dosent need a 50 thousand dollar vehicle and shouldn't have access to more credit then they can pay back.

Since: Sep 08

Mount Gilead, OH

#17 Mar 17, 2009
Saw this coming from a mile away. When Beneficial/HFC closed several branches in 2007 I knew this was the end of subprime financial institutes. I can't believe HSBC hung on this long. Subprime mortgages are going to be extinct in the U.S. If your credit sucks don't plan on ever getting a mortgage. I know some people can't help it but it's about time people are punished for not paying their bills.

Since: Sep 08

Mount Gilead, OH

#18 Mar 17, 2009
JIM wrote:
If you would have paid your bills on time maybe a respectable bank would have loaned you money at a lower rate. People get loans at Beneficial because it's their last option. You're just bitter. Now see who will loan you money. Good Luck!

United States

#19 Mar 19, 2009
Digger wrote:
You may think it was a rip off, but I bet that they gave you a loan when your bank wouldn't. So consider yourself lucky that you got the loan in the first place. The rate may have been high. If your credit was good enough to get a loan at the bank then why didn't you? I'm assuming that you don't have perfect credit. If that is the case then you get the interest rate that you deserve.
sounds like you still have your job there

Since: Sep 08

Mount Gilead, OH

#20 Mar 19, 2009
brown wrote:
<quoted text> sounds like you still have your job there
Beneficial/HFC has closed and eliminated all employees.

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