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Even the most financially responsible consumers can face setbacks. When they occur, it’s essential to understand what kind of help is available. Here are some terms you should know to help you recover from a setback.

COBRA
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows employees who lose their health insurance benefits after job loss the opportunity to continue to maintain their group health insurance. Qualified employees can maintain insurance for their entire family, but are required to pay the entire premium. Under COBRA, you are able to maintain coverage for up to 18 months after your separation from your company, although there are options for increasing that time frame. 

Deficiency balance
A deficiency balance is the difference between what a secured property is sold for and the remaining balance on the loan. This can occur when an asset, such as a home or automobile, depreciates in value well below the original purchase price.

Financial fraud
Financial fraud occurs when thieves intentionally misrepresent a victim’s information as their own, for personal gain. Identity theft is one example of financial fraud.

Fraud alert
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, you can ask that a fraud alert be added to your credit file. A fraud alert requests potential creditors to verify your identity before opening any new credit accounts in your name.

Hardship program
A hardship program from your lender allows you to re-age the account and lower your monthly payments.

Identity theft
Stealing another person’s personal information (such as account numbers) without their knowledge.

Lessor
A lessor is the owner of a property or asset who lends it to another party.

Liabilities
A liability is any amount owed from one party to another.

Premiums
Premiums are the amount of money paid for insurance of a certain value for a specified period of time.

Unemployment insurance
Unemployment insurance helps supply displaced workers with income while they are searching for a new job.

Victim statement
Victim statements can be added to your credit file. This will ask a creditor to contact you by telephone before opening any new accounts or changing existing accounts.