by Leslie H. Tayne, Esq.
Founder and managing director of Tayne Law Group, P.C., one of the few New York State financial law firms dedicated to debt resolution and bankruptcy alternatives.
An award winning financial attorney, Leslie is a regularly sought out guest speaker and media expert who offers valuable insight, advice and strategies relating to various areas of debt. www.taynelaw.com.
As defined by the Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies/organizations help consumers remove negative information from their credit report. Credit repair organizations usually achieve this by sending dispute letters to credit reporting agencies to challenge the credibility of negative information reported on someone’s credit report by one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion and Equifax). If you have legitimate errors on your credit report, those errors can affect your credit and you might benefit from a credit report company correcting them.
The primary reason is that they lead to additional bank charges.
In my opinion, the only people who should use a debit card are those that have excessive amounts of cash in their checking accounts or those who will never write a check on the account that is being debited.
And here is why. Obviously, excessive cash will handle a myriad of charges without fear of overdrafts. Most people who use the debit card do not have a mechanism for adjusting their checkbook balance for each charge. Continue reading
I received the below in an email from BLOOMBERG. If a merchant wanted to add this to my bill, I would walk away from the transaction. Let’s see how much they like to lose a sale.
Starting Sunday 1/27/2013, retailers may add a surcharge of up to 4 percent of your bill if you want to pay with a credit card.
The good news is that even though it’s legal, it’s not expected to become a widespread practice. And retailers have to disclose if they’re adding a fee.
What else you need to know about this change:
I’ve been receiving email scams on a regular basis these last few weeks. See an example below. I received this one a few weeks ago. It may look like a serious inquiry but it is a scam. Continue reading
February 22, 2010 marked the day when Congress allowed credit card reform to take affect. Why they waited so long when they passed the bill over nine months earlier is a mystery to me. What is also a mystery to me is why they could not see the abuses in the credit card industry before then.
Yes, changing the interest rate without notice is an abuse. So is being able to change the rate on balances already in existence. And charging you for going over the limit when they know and you don’t is totally unfair. And interest rates of 29% are worse than the Mafia. But all of that is small potatoes.
Think about this. Why did they love that $39 late charge? If you had a minimum payment of $10 and you were one day late, they could hit you with a $39 late charge. That is an effective rate of 1,423%.
The new laws have made all of this tougher for the credit card companies. You should expect them to raise their annual fees and raise their balance transfer fees as well. If you are carrying a small business card from American Express or Visa or a personal card from any credit card company, you should expect to see the credit card companies act more like the airlines. That is, fees go up and charges for “extras” such as a meal or a blanket, that were previously free.
We have been successful in the past negotiating these fees for clients; small businesses and individuals should be able to do the same if you start to find the fees outrageous.
Let me know if you need my help.
Whose hands? The scammers.
How do they try to get there? The Internet is the first obvious way.
They are always phishing for your personal information. Through direct emails, telling you that you are a winner, or that there is a package waiting for you, or through cleverly disguised emails using a bank’s stationery or even the stationery of the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS will never contact you via email. And neither will the security department of your bank. Do not respond to these emails. Print them and forward them to the real IRS and bank involved.
What if you get a phone call at home from your bank, claiming that there is a problem with your credit card? Don’t answer any questions from that person. Hang up, get your credit card and call back the phone number on the card. Ask if there was a problem that they would have been contacting you about. If no, report the phone call. If yes, resolve the problem.
Have you encountered scammers? Share your experience with me in the comments.