I can't recall anything ever happening like this before.
(Bloomberg) -- Sears Holdings Corp., the largest U.S. department-store chain, will let customers who lose their jobs suspend payments and keep appliances bought with store credit cards in an effort to bolster sales in the recession.
Customers who spend at least $399 on appliances and related merchandise between July 6 and Aug. 1 will have one-twelfth of the purchase price credited to their account for every month they are out of work, said Larry Costello, a company spokesman. Those who are jobless for more than a year will have the full debt forgiven, he said. The offer period may be extended, he said.
Customers who lose their jobs between 60 days and one year after having made the purchase qualify for the offer, Costello said. The program also covers delivery, service and installation costs, he said.
The debt-forgiveness trial follows offers by carmakers allowing buyers who lost their jobs to stop payments. In January, Hyundai Motor Co. began offering the option of returning vehicles and abdicating some loan payments without penalty. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. subsequently introduced similar programs.
“It is much different than the Hyundai-GM-Ford models that we’ve all seen out there, in that you keep the appliance,” Brown said. “We’re the only ones with a program of this kind in this industry.”
Citigroup Inc.’s credit-card unit is managing the program.
Considering how much money that the taxpayer has thrown at Citigroup, should we consider this some sort of rebate?