18 Oct Can a Debt Collector Leave a Dunning Message on my Answering Machine?

Answering machine with debt collection message As you may know, bill collectors are subject to more regulation than actual creditors. In other words, an employee of MasterCard or Visa can call you and say certain things legally, whereas an outside bill collection agency hired by the credit card issuing bank would be in violation of the law for saying or doing the same things. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act offers a number of protections to consumers from improper acts of debt collectors. Two of the most important FDCPA prohibitions include:
  • a requirement that a debt collector identify himself and disclose to the debtor that the purpose of the communication is to collect a debt; and
  • a prohibition against communicating about the debt with third parties
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling which could have significant implications in terms of the business practices used by collection agencies. The case of Edwards v. Niagara Credit Solutions involved a situation in which a collection agency (Niagara) left a debtor (Ms. Edwards) a phone message that said simply "this is an important message for Brenda Edwards. Please return this message at 1-800-xxx-xxxx between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. eastern standard time."
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29 Sep REMINDER: New Credit Card Rules Go into Effect in 2010

New rules prohibiting unfair collection acts and practices will go into effect in 2010.  The Federal Reserve Board announced last December the approval of these new rules to better protect credit card users.  

In the meantime, credit card companies are positioning themselves to try to lessen the impact on them of the new rules.

For instance, credit card companies are taking advantage of consumers who are late with their credit card payments.  Creditors are now, without prior notice, raising the interest rate on late paying consumer’s credit card debts, by three or four, or even five times the rate it was before.

In addition, new credit card applicants are finding themselves subject to more stringent screening processes as well as a higher interest from the beginning.

The following is a synopsis of some of the new rules:

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29 Sep 11 Mistakes to make on a Credit Card, Part 2

More mistakes to make on your credit card accounts. If you haven't read Part One, go on back.
  • Foreign Charges

You've bought something on credit while on vacation in another country. In addition to the exchange rate on the date that the cahrge hits your account, creditors can add 1% to 3% (of the purchase) fee on all purchases in addition to the 1% exchange rate fee. Now that purchase just cost you as much as 4% more than you thought. What a bargain.

  • Cash advances

Take a cash advance on your card and it will likely bear a different interest rate than if you made a purchase. Mny cards will then apply your payments to the lower interest rate balances first, thus assuring that the higher rate amounts will bear interest for a longer period of time.

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28 Sep Corporate Greed! Chase pays $0.62 interest on $80,000+ savings account and charges same customer over 27% on Chase credit card!

A friend recently showed me his Chase savings account statement revealing Chase paid him a measly $0.62 interest for the month when he had over $80,000.00 in the account!  Yet Chase is charging this same customer 27.44% on his Chase credit card! To add insult to injury, my friend called Chase and...

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