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Uncategorized Archives - Fair Debt Collection Help

12 Feb

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There’s an App for That

February 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

Money management tools have never been more accessible than they are to current Smartphone users. With the help of these apps you not only have access to your bank accounts, but you’re able to pay your bills and track your credit cards all from the palm of your hand. Forget the pen and paper, you can literally see your personal financial overview on the same device you use to call your mom. Start with these three apps, and soon you will be on your way to a more organized financial place.

Name of App: Mint

Price: Free

Device: iPhone, Andriod & iPad

There’s no question why Mint made the Mac App Store’s Best of 2012 list. This sleek and user friendly app allows you to visualize your finances while also providing you with tools to create budgets and track your progress. What’s cool, too, is that when you are developing the budgets they are actually based on your spending and then are adjustable (no kidding yourself!). The cash versus credit extra also gives you a full picture of your credit card balances and compares it to the cash you have to pay them off.

Name of App: DailyCost

Price: $1.99

Device: Apple products only

If you want to focus more on your expenses, DailyCost is a great option. With a variety of categories, this app allows users to input all of their day-to-day expenses. Its cool features allow you to view graphs and statistics on your spending. You can also track your expenditures monthly and weekly by category, so you can see where your money is truly going.

Name of App: Check

Price: Free

Device: iPhone, Andriod & iPad

If you’re one of those who is late on their bill payments Check is the app for you. This app sets up reminders to let you know when it’s time to pay your bills and gives you the option to pay on the spot. By connecting with all of your bank accounts (don’t worry, the app is encrypted), this app allows you to schedule payments in advance right from your phone. It’s super convenient and a great way to keep your time and money management under control.

06 Feb

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What to Know About Retail Security Breaches

February 6, 2014 | By | No Comments

Neiman Marcus and Target Corp. were not the only United States retailers who were hit with security breaches during the holiday shopping season, according to a Huffington Post article published last week.

The article stated that approximately three other well-known smaller U.S. retailers experienced breaches as well, using the same techniques as the ones used against Target. An investigation discovered that approximately 110 million shoppers’ information was compromised during the Target breach and 70 million from Neiman Marcus. Information included addresses, phone numbers, names, telephone numbers, and email addresses.

As officials continue to investigate the string of breaches, shoppers are becoming more hesitant about using their credit cards. What many don’t realize, however, is that incidences of Identity Theft have been growing for years. In 2012 alone, one in every 14 Americans over the age of 16 fell victim to some form of identity theft, resulting in financial losses of $24.7 billion, according to a 2012 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics survey.

While there is no way to completely shield yourself from retail security breaches (other than completely avoiding shopping), you should be aware of some things. For one, those affected in a security breach may not realize it right away. It could be years before you notice anything out of the ordinary on your credit report, which is just another reason why you should keep a close eye on your financials.

Secondly, don’t fall for any emails requesting your financial information. During the Target breach, many received empathetic emails requesting personal information, pretending to help victims recovering from the breach. These have been characterized as phishing scams — an email scam used to obtain information that could lead to an additional case of identity theft.

For those who were victims of the Target breach, the corporation has arranged for free credit monitoring and other help to assist you in overcoming this situation.

01 Feb

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Building an Emergency Fund

February 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

You can’t always predict when an emergency will occur, but you can take steps to prepare yourself.

The first step is building an emergency fund. According to a 2011 survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 64 percent of Americans don’t have enough cash to handle a $1,000 emergency. Regardless of your financial standing, there are many ways and reasons for building an emergency fund.

To put it simply, having an emergency fund will provide you both financial and mental security through unexpected events. Examples include: automobile trouble, unexpected medical bills, legal matters, and even unanticipated bills. It’s not something typically used for a vacation or to buy groceries, but more as a security blanket for unanticipated situations.

Because an emergency fund is typically separate from your day-to-day spending accounts, you won’t even realize the money is there. If a disaster were to occur, you can access the money and alleviate any feelings of worry or stress that you may have had.

The reason why many people fail to build an emergency fund is because they don’t believe their monthly income is big enough to split up. The beauty of an emergency fund is that it isn’t something that appears right away — you must build it. Depositing small amounts out of your paycheck each month is one way to build an emergency fund that doesn’t require a huge financial sacrifice. If you continue to add to it, the account will grow larger than you would expect. Plus, you’re not inconveniencing yourself every month, either.

While there are no guidelines as to what you can and cannot spend your emergency fund on, we suggest that you use it wisely. Consider whether your financial situation is truly an emergency, and whether there are other options.

23 Jan

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Reasons to order your credit report

January 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

In today’s society, credit has too much clout not to know what your credit score is. A credit report contains information on where you live, what payment methods you use and whether you’ve been sued or filed for bankruptcy. All of this information together has a direct impact on whether you will be approved for a loan or even credit cards. If you’ve never ordered a credit report, there could be outstanding payments or incorrect information affecting your credit that you’re completely unaware of. Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t waste time when ordering your credit report:

Check for Mistakes: Make sure the information is correct, thorough and up-to-date. Even if you don’t plan on applying for a loan soon, it’s always good to double-check so you can deal with errors in advance.

Check for Identity Theft: Many don’t realize that there are plenty of ways to fall victim to identity theft. Identity theft is when another person uses your information, such as your social security number or credit card information, to commit fraud. Many times identity thieves use your information to open credit cards, and when they don’t pay the bills the delinquent account is reported to your credit report. Review your credit report carefully and pin point any irregularities– bad information could jeopardize your ability to get credit, insurance, and even a job.

Check for forgotten accounts: Remember that time you opened an account at a major department store to save 15% on the purchase? You never used the card again and eventually forgot, however the payment could still be out there. This is common and can greatly affect your credit score.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles all consumers to one free copy of their credit report per year.  In order to comply with this requirement, the three major credit reporting bureaus set up a web site: www.annualcreditreport.com.  Visit this site to find out how to get your free credit report.

21 Jan

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How do I seek correction of errors in my credit report?

January 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

If you are one of those who has found inaccurate information in your credit report, it’s important to understand that it may not be not your fault. Thanks to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), both the credit reporting company and the information provider are responsible for fixing inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. Your responsibility, however, is to reach out and work with these entities to ensure that your report is an accurate representation of your financial situation.

The first step in trying to correct errors in your credit report is to write a letter to the credit reporting company detailing the information you believe to be inaccurate. Clearly describe each item in the report you’re disputing, include the facts and details of why you’re disputing the information. Be sure to include copies of the documents that support your statements.

It’s a good idea to send your letter by certified mail, return receipt, so you can prove they received the letter. Also, make sure to keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures for your own records. Keep in mind that credit-reporting companies are required to investigate items in question within 30 days and they must forward all relevant data to the party that provided them the information. Once the provider receives notice of the dispute, it must investigate the claim and send its findings back to the credit reporting company.

If it is found that the disputed information is incorrect, the information provider must inform all three nationwide credit bureaus, so they are able to fix the information in your file. Once the investigation is finished, the credit reporting company is required to provide you with a written copy of the results and a complimentary copy of your credit report, which should reflect the changes made. It is also mandatory for the company to forward you written document that includes the name and contact information of the information provider.

19 Jan

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New Rules Could Put More Restrictions on Debt Collectors

January 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced its plans to update the rules governing how debt collectors communicate with borrowers.

In early November the Bureau reached out to both consumers and debt collection companies and asked for suggestions on how to improve their interactions with each other. The goal was for the bureau to gain a better understanding of the current problems and how to fix them.

“We want to hear how we can better protect consumers and bring greater accountability to this multibillion-dollar industry without hamstringing legitimate debt collection activities,” said the Bureau’s Director, Richard Cordray, in the New York Times article Consumer Watchdog Takes up Debt Collection.

In the article, Cordray explained that the Bureau received more complaints about debt collectors than any of the other financial products the Bureau oversees. Most of these complaints were about questionable tactics used by debt collectors to obtain payments from consumers.

The debt-collection industry has been regularly criticized for the strategies used to get consumers to pay their debts. The current law was written before the heavy use of text messaging, social media, mobile phones and email, making the language unclear as to how debt collectors can lawfully use these tools to reach debtors. The new rules will address these issues in an effort to modernize the nation’s consumer debt collection system.

If you would like to submit a suggestion regarding possible new debt collection rules, visit  Regulations.gov, or go to RegulationRoom.org, a site operated by Cornell University. The Bureau will be accepting suggestions until February of 2014.

12 Jan

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What to know when disputing items on your credit report

January 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

Your credit report is kind of like your personal identity profile. It includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy and your legal history. Sometimes, however, people may believe the information on their credit report is inaccurate. Here at The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg, LLC, our lawyers specialize in protecting people from aggressive debt collection agencies. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully identified or have questions regarding your credit report, contact us for a free case review.

Review your credit report: It’s important for you to order a copy of your current credit report and review it for any errors. You are entitled to one free copy of each of your three credit reports each year. Visit one of the following websites, or call the toll-free number to order your copy.

  • TRANSUNION

www.transunion.com

(800) 888-4213

  • EXPERIAN

www.experian.com

(888) 397-3742

  • EQUIFAX

www.equifax.com

(800) 685-1111

Dispute to the credit reporting agencies: You should i dispute all inaccuracies that appear on your credit report directly to the three credit reporting agencies previously mentioned, in addition to the company who reported the information. To take full advantage of your legal rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you must properly forward your complaint directly to these agencies.

Contents of your dispute: Make sure that your complaint is in writing, rather than online or over the phone. It’s important for you to hold on to proof of the information you provided, which is limited if you use the other communication methods. Include a substantial amount of detail regarding what you believe is inaccurate in the report, including account numbers. You should also dispute any incorrect personal information, such as the spelling of your name, date of birth, social security number, or address. Include copies of any evidence you have that supports your complaint and try to be as detailed as possible in your explanations. Also provide identifying information about yourself such as your correct address, social security number and date of birth. This will ensure that your entire dispute is reviewed and investigated.

Your dispute to the credit reporting agencies triggers a duty on their part to notify the creditor(s) of your actions and provide them with all significant information pertaining to your dispute. Both companies must then complete the entire investigation within 30 days of the date your dispute is received by the credit reporting agencies. When the investigation is completed, the agencies will send you their investigation results along with an updated copy of your credit report including any revisions they may have made.

Once you have received your investigation results, if you are not satisfied with them, do note re-dispute to the credit reporting bureaus. Instead, contact our office first at (877) 846-1209 for a free, no-obligation case review.

Please note that there are several limitation periods within which you must file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a claim or lawsuit during this time, you will not be able to seek damages. It’s important that you consider this and take action as soon as possible if there is incorrect information on your credit report.

10 Jan

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Debt Collector Complaints On The Rise

January 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

Now more than ever consumers are not just complaining about debt, but also the tactics used by debt collectors.

Debt ranked second on the list of 2013’s Top Ten Consumer Complaints, published by Forbes, which included other categories such as real estate, retail, and automobiles. The annual list was published around the same time as the Better Business Bureau released a report stating that debt collector complaints have risen 58-percent during the past decade. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the debt collection industry continues to rank high on the list of industries against which consumers log regular complaints.

Consumers reported instances of debt collectors using threats to collect money from the borrowers. According to an article published on December 3, 2013 in the Lebanon Daily News, a group of collectors actually threatened to close consumers bank accounts, and even the possibility of felony fraud charges. Other consumers were falsely told that they were going to be arrested at their place of employment if they didn’t pay up.

Some consumers actually gave in to the pressure and paid debts they didn’t owe, according to reports by the FTC.

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are outlawed from using threats or scare tactics to intimidate consumers into paying. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices while attempting to collect debt. Examples of FDCPA violations include:

-       Publicizing information about your debt to others (besides your spouse)

-       Failing to identify themselves on the phone

-       Using obscene or profane language

-       Using phone calls repeatedly to harass you

-       Using threats of violence or harm

If you are one of those who believe a debt collector has violated the law, you should contact The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg for a free case review by an experienced attorney.  If they can handle your FDPCA case, you will not be charged any attorneys fees.

20 Oct

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3 Things That Can Kill The Holiday Spirit and What We Can Help You Do About Them

October 20, 2013 | By | No Comments

stress free zone (2)

1. Annoying Calls and Letters from Debt Collectors

We buy things, we pay our bills. However, even the best of us can have a bill or two fall through the cracks. Student loans, medical bills, credit card charges for holiday gifts and travel… All of these can result in annoying calls and letters from debt collectors. Especially during the holidays, when we’re all busy trying to enjoy time with our friends and family, having a debt collector or collection agency harassing you can really put a damper on your holiday spirit.

If you are being harassed, made to feel uncomfortable, or contacted by debt collectors in any way, please call us at (877) 846-1209, or fill out our form for a free case review. We will review your situation for free. There’s no cost or obligation to you for our consultation. If the debt collector is in violation of state and/or federal laws, you could be entitled to money damages. That’s right, turn the tables and make them pay you! They also have to pay your attorneys’ fees, so there is no charge to you for our time in handling your case.

2. Driving a Lemon

The simplest way to find out if your car is a “lemon” is to call us at (877) 846-1209 and speak to one of our lemon law attorneys, or fill out our form for a free lemon case review.

You may be thinking, “I know there is a lemon law in my state, but how do I know whether it applies to my vehicle?” As is often the case with the law, there is no simple answer to that question because the laws in every state are different. While we are always willing to provide a free review of your situation to see if you might qualify, generally we are interested in reviewing vehicles which were purchased new (or used but still under the manufacturer’s warranty), and which have been repaired at least three times or have been out of service by reason of repair for 20 days or longer.

Our lawyers have successfully negotiated thousands of claims with the automotive manufacturers and their lawyers. Our experience has helped us become successful at a wide variety of different lemon law cases. Whether you have a defective car, truck, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, ATV, camper, boat or other consumer product, we’re eager to hear about your situation.

3. Traffic Tickets

Millions and millions of people across the country will receive traffic tickets this year, mostly for speeding. As many as 95% of these tickets are not contested. Traffic tickets are big business for local courts and governments. Some cities generate millions of dollars a year from traffic ticket fines. Some smaller rural towns can generate most of their operating budgets from the money they earn through traffic tickets.

Most people take the path of least resistance and just pay their fines, thinking it is not worth the trouble to contest their tickets. Before you just pay up, consider that your traffic ticket could cost you a lot more than just the fine you pay. Traffic convictions and guilty pleas can result in increases in your insurance premiums of up to 50% or more.
If you get a ticket in Ohio, we can help you negotiate a lower fine (or in some cases no fine) and fewer or no points on your driving record. If your case must go to trial, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to give you the best possible chance to beat your traffic or speeding ticket. Our firm is only able to provide this service in Ohio.

We represent consumers around the country in a variety of cases, including claims involving debt collection abuses, credit reporting violations, unsolicited telephone calls, “lemon law” and breach of warranty cases for defective vehicles and other products, consumer fraud, traffic and misdemeanor criminal defense (Ohio only), and other general litigation. Even if we cannot help you, we will make every effort to put you in contact with another attorney who can.

Please visit the following web sites for more information:

www.FairDebtCollectionHelp.com

www.LemonLawyersUSA.com

www.OhioTrafficTicketHelp.com

Or call us at either (877) 846-1209 or (877) 846-1209 to speak to one of our attorneys. We are here for you!

Photo by: Michael

13 Sep

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How to Avoid Building Up Debt

September 13, 2013 | By | No Comments

Credit card debt can quickly become overwhelming and seemingly unmanageable. Before you start to go down a path of building up credit card debt, watch for warning signs that you are headed towards debt collectors harassing you for payments. Ask yourself these simple questions about your credit card behaviors to determine if you are headed in a direction for debt.

Do you keep track of what you spend each month against what you bring in? Do you keep regular track of your budget?
Do you use your credit card to afford big ticket items that are out of your budget?
Do you have a plan for paying off your credit card balances?
Do you use your credit card to afford basic living expenses?
Are you aware of how much interest you pay each month on your credit card balance?
Do you have more than one credit card, and transfer balances to avoid higher interest rates?
If you have multiple credit cards, are you paying off your card with the highest interest rate first?

If you’ve been dealing with debt collectors because of your credit card debt, you are not alone. Call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case.