Credit Cards VS Debit Cards

In this real example I going to teach you a valuable lesson by exposing a jewelry store in Altamonte Springs Florida that ripped me off and teach you how to prevent yourself from making the same costly mistake I made.

The lesson here is going to compare a purchase made with a credit card versus a purchase  made with a debit card to show you how important it is to use a credit card to protect yourself from fraud with tangible purchases or services.

Example: Using a Credit Card

You go to fast fix jewelers in Altamonte Springs Florida and pay them with your credit card to repair your wrist watches then you pick up your wrist watches and find they are completely inoperable – non working condition and the repairs you paid for were never made. Now let’s say you ask for a refund of your money and are told to come back there different occasions only to be told you have to come back again and again because the owner “Farooq Muradali” is not present and you are given the run-around.  In this example if you had paid for such fraudulent services with a credit card you could get a refund from your credit card company by disputing and refusing to pay your credit card company because fast fix jewelers in Altamonte Springs Florida ripped you off and defrauded you out of money.

VS

Example: Using a Debit Card

You go to fast fix jewelers in Altamonte Springs Florida and pay them with your bank debit card to repair your wrist watches then you pick up your wrist watches and find they are completely inoperable – non working condition and the repairs you paid for were never made. Now let’s say after you bring your watches back a second time to be left with Fast Fix Jewelers in Altamonte Springs and the services you paid for were still not performed correctly you ask for a refund of your money and are told to come back three different occasions only to be told nobody can help you  because the owner “Farooq Muradali” is not present and you are given the run-around.  In this example you are not protected and are left ripped off with no recourse for a refund which is a true story and this example is to warn consumers to use a credit card for tangible purchases or services so unethical business owners like “Farooq Muradali” – Fast Fix Jewelers in Altamonte Springs located in the Altamonte Mall don’t get away with defrauding you out of  money.

 


 

Wells Fargo Bank sends thousands of bank statements to wrong banking customers

In Orlando Florida alone nearly 4,000 Wells Fargo banking customers not to mention the  thousands of banking customers in Florida and  all over the United States including Chicago Illinois, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Washing DC, New York City and  in every state in the United States.

If you are a Wells Fargo customer you better take a close look at your most bank statement. Government officials along with Wells Fargo officials stated on October 21, 2011 that there is a good chance your statement could contain someone else’s bank account information instead of your own.

Wells Fargo is blaming this serious financial security problem on a computer glitch that they are responsible for. Wells Fargo officials stated this computer glitch causes some of their bank account holder’s personal information to wind up on other people bank statements.

This serious security flaw has affected tens of thousands of banking customers nationwide and so far the highest reported number for any state is South Carolina which had well over 30,000 Wells Fargo banking customers personal information compromised.

On the back of their bank statements, the banking customers are finding other people’s bank statements including personal information such as another customer’s name, address and account numbers and banking activity.

Fortunately no social security numbers are posted on these bank statements.

Security experts warned all Wells Fargo banking customers to be caution and on alert and if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable to contact their local Wells Fargo branch – bank to ask about their security policies.

Wells Fargo executives traded this security problem to a faulty print server located in North Carolina. This specialized computer network system and printer we taken offline immediately after they discovered the computer glitch.

In a good faith effort to protect their bank account holders Wells Fargo said they will offer everyone who received one of these incorrect bank statements 12 months of free identity theft protection.

 

 

How getting your credit repaired and having good a credit score benefits you

If you have bad credit or don’t have the credit score you really want then this article is for you.  Repairing your bad credit and improving your credit score is a smart move especially if you really care about yourself and your future.  Some of the many positive benefits to having a good credit score are:

Lower interest rates on loans, mortgages, automobile loans, credit cards, discounts on insurance not to mention being favored over someone with bad credit when applying for a new job. Having good credit is very important and really affects everything in your adult life. Landlords don’t like to rent to people that have bad credit and companies don’t like to hire people that have poor credit for obvious reasons. They prefer to trust someone that has demonstrated he or she is financially responsible.

As you can see repairing your bad credit and maintaining a good credit score is very important.

Repairing your credit

In order to effectively repair your credit and avoid getting  ripped off you really should have a basic understanding of credit. Every single adult in the united states has a credit score and every bodies credit score is different and will remain different because everybody has their own unique financial situation.  Essentially every financial activity in your life gets posted on your credit report. When you go to a bank and apply for a loan or a credit card this information is recorded onto your credit report. When you pay your bills early or on time this information is recorded onto your credit report. When you neglect to pay your bills or are late paying a bill this information is also recorded onto your credit report.

The first step to repairing your credit is getting an up to date copy of your complete credit report so you can see if there are any inaccuracies on your credit report or to determine if you have excellent credit, good credit, bad credit and so forth. You need to know where you stand and if you have excellent credit then congratulations and keep up the good work. If you have poor credit then after looking at your credit report you should have a good understanding to why you have bad credit. Maybe it is your fault and maybe it isn’t your fault, what matters now is you know you need to repair the damage.  When you find something that is incorrect on your credit report you dispute it. If you see you have late payments on your credit report you do the right thing and contact those creditors and talk to them about getting your bills caught up and into good standing.

 

How good credit can benefit you.

Having and maintaining good credit is beneficial for you in many ways. First of all, if you have good or excellent credit you will or should be easily approved for a credit card, automobile loan, mortgage or other type of loan should you need to borrow money from a bank, lender or other financial institution. In addition to getting approved for a loan you will benefit by having lower interest rates and lower insurance policy rates. This all adds up to you being responsible, getting what you want in life including a good job and having a good financial reputation which will greatly benefit you and save you money.

This is a lot and I mean a LOT of information on the internet about credit repair, credit, financial information and more and there is also a lot of garbage out there. One of the few websites we know of that has a lot of useful information that you can use to educate yourself as a consumer is a website called Debt Consolidation Care and their website is http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com

 

3 Facts about the Fair Credit Reporting Act Every Consumer Should Know

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act:

#1 Consumers Are Entitled To A Free Copy Of Their Credit Report: If a consumer has ever been denied credit, insurance or employment within the last 60 days, it will show up on this credit report. If their application for credit, insurance or employment is denied because of information supplied by a collection agency or any other organization that reports you to the credit bureaus. In this instance the company that denied you credit must provide you with written details as to why they denied you and the credit bureaus must provide you with the address and phone number of the organization that reported negatively on your credit report which must be available to you upon written request.

#2 Consumers Can Dispute Inaccurate Items On Their Credit report For FREE: Consumers should inquire with the credit  reporting agencies and this should be done in written form and should be sent to three credit bureaus via certified mail or UPS with a tracking number to prove your dispute letter was delivered.

#3 Clearly Identify Each Item In Your Report That You Dispute: Consumers should explain why they dispute the credit repair information and request a credit repair investigation. If the new credit repair investigation reveals an error, they may ask that a corrected credit repair version of the report be sent to anyone who received their credit repair report within the past six months. Job applicants can have corrected credit repair reports sent to anyone who received a report for employment purposes during the past two years.

 

When the credit repair investigation is complete, the credit bureaus must give the consumer the written credit repair results and a free copy of the credit repair report if the dispute results in a change. When a credit repair agency removes or changes an item, then the responsible credit bureau cannot reuse the contested information back in a consumer’s record unless the agency validates its authenticity. The credit agency issues consumers a statement including the provider’s name.

Consumers should also contact the credit information provider in writing by certified mail which is usually the collection agency that reported the item to the credit bureaus so they can dispute an item in writing. The address to the said collection agency or reporting agency can be found on your credit report.

If the collection agency or reporting company reports an item to any credit bureau, it must include a notice of your credit dispute. In addition, if the credit dispute is correct and the information on the credit report is inaccurate, then the information provider may not use it again.

If the investigation does not resolve a consumer’s dispute, they should have the credit bureau include their version of the written dispute in the file and in future credit reports. Remember, there is no charge for an investigation into a complaint of an inaccuracy on your credit report.

 

The truth about Credit Repair Scams

The Truth About Credit Repair And Credit Repair Scams
Erasing bad credit information is impossible if the information is true and accurate. A bad credit repair company that claims otherwise is outright lying and misleading. However, this does not mean that there are no options available to consumers. If you discover something incorrect on your credit report the first thing you should do before you consider hiring a credit repair company is contact the collection agency or agencies in writing along with the three credit bureaus and dispute any erroneous credit information on your credit report. This process is completely free and does not require anything more than knowing how to contact the three credit agencies “Equifax” “Experian” and “Trans Union” and sending them a written dispute letter. If you are unsure of how to do this correctly then you may want find out how to do this by reading more of the Fair Credit Blog which is chocked full of real and useful information. If you are uncomfortable in doing this yourself from scratch then your next alternative is to purchase a Do It Yourself Credit Cleanup Kit from the Fair Credit Blog Store which includes everything you need to dispute credit inaccuracies the correct way with easy to follow step by step guided instructions. We take pride in helping people and are working hard on building our Do It Yourself Credit Cleanup Kit so consumers can easily repair their own credit without the worry of getting ripped off by another credit repair company. As of right now we are still working very hard at putting together the easiest best do it yourself credit repair kits anywhere and hope to have this available and for sale sometime in 2012.

If you still feel uncomfortable in using our  do it yourself credit repair kit then your last alternative is to hire a Fair Credit Attorney which is an attorney or law firm that solely specializes in credit repair and fair credit reporting.

Credit Repair Scams and how to avoid getting ripped off

How do you avoid getting ripped off by a credit repair scam?

Introduction to Credit Repair and Credit Repair Scams
It’s impossible to turn on the TV, open a newspaper or listen to the radio without coming across an ad for a credit repair rip off and other credit repair scams. These credit repair rip offs or credit repair scams make a variety of impossible sounding claims, all of which promise consumers a quick credit repair. A credit repair scam or credit repair rip off claims include outlandish results for credit repair, including new credit identities, bankruptcy erasure, and even debt forgiveness. The best course of action is to just ignore these credit repair ripoff or credit repair scam services that are flooded all over the internet. Although the claims and promises these credit repair companies promise  sound appealing you need to educate yourself and avoid the bad credit repair companies like the plague. Bogus credit repair is simply not worth the time and money period unless of course you like throwing your money out the window. The only surefire solution to credit repair requires time, a serious commitment and a personal debt repayment plan without the involvement of a shady or sketchy credit repair company.

How the Credit Repair Companies Operate and Ripoff Consumers
Everyday, across the country, disreputable credit repair companies prey on consumers who have poor credit history. These credit repair companies will promise customers that, for a fee, they can improve the customer’s credit rating to the point where they will be able to take out loans. The harsh reality is that these credit repair companies and their credit repair promises are completely empty and usually fraudulent. Only a few credit repair companies out of the thousands out there are legitimate and this is why you must be careful.  Most of these credit repair companies charge customer’s exorbitant amounts of money and some even charge customers on a monthly reoccurring basis to prolong the credit repair scam. The sad truth is finding a legitimate credit repair company is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The honest credit repair companies will really help you resolve your credit problems while the bad credit repair companies will take your money and leave you frustrated.

When dealing with a credit repair company there are a few warning signs that can tip customers off that they are dealing with a credit repair rip-off or credit repair scam. The first major warning sign is when a credit company wants a customer to pay a monthly fee for credit repair services. The next warning sign to be wary of is when these credit repair companies do not inform their customers of their legal rights regarding credit repair. Another sign that customers are dealing with a bad credit repair company is when the credit repair company or mortgage broker suggest or tell you that you should not contact a credit bureau directly. Finally, the biggest and most dangerous warning sign that customers are dealing with a bad credit repair company or mortgage broker is that they suggest the customer try to re-invent a new credit report using a false identity.

When dealing with any credit repair company or mortgage broker most of which by the way are unethical con artists you must be cautious otherwise you could get yourself in serious legal trouble. I have seen credit repair companies and crooked mortgage brokers ask their customers to apply for credit using false information to obtain a loan or to re-establish credit and this kind of fraudulent activity will get you charged and likely prosecuted for mail or wire fraud and a laundry list of other felonies that will land you in prison. Applying for credit by providing false information is a serious federal crime and using the Email, snail mail, telephone or fax to apply for credit with false information carries a steep federal penalty.

Additionally, many credit repair companies and mortgage brokers will suggest you make a false statement on a loan application or a credit application, which by the way is also a serious crime. These shady characters do not care about you and are out to make a quick buck at your expense. Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act is a list of the rules and laws that credit repair companies must follow however this does not guarantee a credit repair company will follow the strict rules set forth by the federal government.

 

How to maintain good credit?

As you might already know it can be hard work to obtain a high credit score. It does not happen overnight. Establishing good credit then maintaining your good credit history does require a commitment to excellence on your part. You must continue to pay your bills early or on time each and every month including your credit cards, your loans, automobile loans, medical bills and any other debt you may have. Making your payments on time is imperative and demonstrates you care about your financial reputation and are reliable and trustworthy. Your credit history will affect important areas of your life such as renting a home or an apartment or purchasing a home along with getting insurance or even getting a job. The better your credit score and the longer you maintain a good credit history will benefit you by having lower interest rates on your credit cards, loans, mortgage, and so forth.

Don’t just squeeze by and live paycheck to paycheck.

Plan for emergencies ahead of time and build your saving account to cover at least 6 months of bills in case something bad happens like you lose your job or your car breaks down or another emergency that may arise. By having extra money saved up you will be able to continue to pay your bills early or on time should an emergency arise and this is what really matters when it comes to maintaining good credit. The truth is creditors do not care about your personal problems and certainly do not care about you. Regardless if you are sick, in the hospital or jobless lenders will report you to a collection agency or the credit bureaus “Experian, Transunion and Equifax” for being late on your payments and this negative history will remain on your credit score for 7 years just for being late by 30 days. This may seem harsh and it is but this is the truth and this is how it works.

What if you don’t have established credit or good credit?

If you do not already have credit established or do not already have a good credit score then there is no better time to grab the bull by the horns and start building or rebuilding your credit then right now.
Generally speaking it takes 3 or more years to establish your credit history with enough financial information about you for a lender to make a risk based decision to determine whether or not you can be trusted to pay your bills on time or repay a loan or a debt. If you are rebuilding your credit and you do not yet qualify for a traditional credit card then the next option you have is to obtain a “secured credit card” which is a special credit card you deposit money in a special account and that amount becomes your personal credit limit and because you are using your own money there is no financial risk to a credit card company. While you are also re-establishing your credit it is important you pay off all of your debts and make wise financial decisions to be responsible and trustworthy. All of this takes time but in the end it is worth the effort and hard work.

Your Credit Score and Divorce

It goes without saying that a going through a divorce can be a very stressful experience. Aside from the emotional aspect of divorces, which can take a toll on all parties involved, the financial component can only exacerbate an already unpleasing situation. No matter, if a divorce is amicable and is not meant to be calamitous, there is an interest for both parties to protect and safe-guard their personal financial futures once the divorce has been finalized. However, quite often, individuals who are going through a divorce are somewhat unsure what decisions need to be made in order to secure their financial interests going forward. Maintaining the same standard of living such as good credit and an exemplary credit score are the benchmark of a successful divorce.

According to divorcerate.org, a website that lists statistics from various foundations and organizations, cites that in the United States alone, between 40 to 50 percent of all marriages will end in divorce. The website goes on to estimate that second and third marriages have an even lower success rate, in that more than 60% of those marriages will end in dissolution.

The real challenge in a divorce proceeding is trying to separate the once combined finances of each individual. This is especially important if each person wants to maintain their financial integrity in terms of meeting any current obligations and any future goals. In order to facilitate that process, a new class of financial advisor was born called a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst or CDFA. This financial professional advises his or her client on what would be the best course of action to take during a transitory period like divorce.

Essentially, a CDFA is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst or certified financial planner. However, in order to assist in provide legal and financial advice to individuals going through a divorce and to have the title CDFA, these persons must obtain additional certification. It is important for all individuals who are going through a divorce to seek some type of financial advisor in order to determine how to minimize any financial damage, such as having to go through credit repair with a spouse you are divorcing. Most experts suggest that a CDFA is most appropriate for couples that have a combined net worth of at least $250,000. Needless to say, there is much more at stake when you are in a higher tax bracket.

Depending on the level of experience a CDFA has, will dictate the fees he or she will assess. Most charge by the hour but you may be able to find a few that charge a fixed rate. As with anything, in order to maximize your dollars, it is best to shop around. Be wary of the CDFA that will handle your case for free because the caveat usually is you must buy some other financial product from them or they may want you to retain their services in the future in some type of advisory capacity. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for so choose wisely when selecting a CDFA.

Orlando Family Attorney Kenneth Morse located in Orlando Florida, who has been practicing family law in Orlando and Central Florida for over 35 years says modern divorces are more complex today. He attributes his success to the fact that many people are so consumed with the emotional aspect of divorce that they neglect or do not have the focus to deal with the financial issues. He says that divorces are rather complex and it is much more than splitting assets down the middle, especially when there are legal ramifications like taxes at stake.

Noah Rosenfarb, a CDFA and managing director of Freedom Divorce Advisors in New Jersey, advises that an attorney may be necessary during a divorce, especially if both parties are cannot settle their differences amicably and have to go through litigation and the court system but an attorney is primarily skilled and trained to give legal advice, not financial or even tax advice.

The most experienced divorce attorneys will usually agree that all parties directly involved in divorce should assess several key financial areas before entering into any formal divorce proceedings no matter if it is arbitration, collaboration, or litigation. In doing so, both individuals will understand any advantages or even liabilities. This information is vital in helping each person be able to negotiate a favorable settlement.

First check your credit report. This is critically important because it will let you know what your credit score is as well as if there are any outstanding debts that are in your name or perhaps more importantly, if there is anything that you are unaware of. You definitely want to make sure that whatever is in your report is accurate, and if you have good credit, that your good credit will follow you once you leave the marriage. Additionally, you will want to know if your spouse opened any lines of credit in your name that may impact your good credit and your credit score . Failure to do so could make you legally liable for those debts he/she incurred in your name and if the debts are egregious you may have to seek out credit repair options.

Finding out what your credit score is can also alert you to know whether or not your spouse has impacted your credit score adversely so that your good credit has been tarnished and you will have to seek out credit repair . A credit repair service can be a costly and time consuming task that can impede your divorce . You will then see bills begin to mount because most credit repair services assess fees in order to turnaround a poor credit score and get you back on the road to good credit . Credit repair agencies work with creditors in order to either help you budget your finances so that you are able to pay off your creditors or these credit repair agencies will work a deal out so that you only have to pay a percentage of the outstanding debt. If this is joint debt, this is something that both parties have to sign off on in order to validate it.

It goes without saying that if your credit score and good credit is impacted, it will be difficult to maintain your current standard of living once you have officially divorced. Good credit takes years to build and can be destroyed with a few missed payments. This is why finding out your credit score during a divorce is so critical. A poor credit score because of indiscretions that occurred during the marriage can make an already unpleasant situation like a divorce even more unpleasant and in some instances can turn what could have been an amicable divorce proceeding into a something rather painful and grievous. No one wants to start over again with not-so good credit. Of course, good credit can afford newly single individuals the ability to start over without struggling as much. A poor credit score would make it that much more difficult and having to go through credit repair with a person you are divorcing can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Having to spend your new life fixing your credit through credit repair can be unsettling. This is why it is important to look at your credit score before negotiations so your can mitigate things like credit repair due to a poor credit score.

 

Ten of the most Outrageous Bank Fees

Nowadays banks place ridiculous restrictions on their customers and nickel and dime consumers to death with service fees, hidden banking fees and interest rates. Banks are looking for new ways to nickel and dime their customers any way they can.

The banks are eager to suck pennies from your pocket and take every penny they can because to it all adds up to millions of dollars of revenue for them.

#1 Forgetting to update your new address with your bank.
Banks will now charge you a FEE if your bank statement gets sent to your old address.

#2 Cashing in coins from the pocket change you have saved at home.
Many banks and some supermarkets have special change counting machines that will count your coins and will allow you to redeem your change for cash but this service is not free. There is a fee for this.

#3 Visiting and actually talking to a human bank teller inside your bank.
Can you believe that some banks charge their customers a FEE for the privilege of being able to access and actually sit down and speak to a bank teller when you need to make a transaction or ask questions about your bank account or accounts. BELIEVE IT.

#4 Losing your bank / debit card.
When you looser misplace your bank debit card, you are not only putting yourself at risk with thieves but you are also going to have to pay your bank for a replacement debit card.

#5 Getting an old fashioned and traditional bank statement.
If you are not comfortable with online banking then too bad because banks nowadays are charging you the consumer to send you old fashioned paper bank statements which use to be standard and free.

#6 Requesting old bank statements. If you contact your bank to obtain records and verify a charge or a deposit you can count on that not being free and you will pay a FEE.

#7 Receiving funds – money.
Redeeming credit card and debit card Rewards Points. Yes they are your points and you earned them but guess what? Banks charge you to redeem those points.

#8 Closing your bank account. Sure you can always just say enough is enough and close your bank account and walk away but as Jim Nabors who played Gomer Pyle USMC use to say SURPRISE SUPRISE SUPRISE your bank is going to charge you a fee to do that.

#9 On our list of outrageous bank fees has been brought to you by Bank Of America.
Bank of America recently announced that in 2012 they are going to start charging their valued customers $5 per month just to use their own debit cards!

Don Lapre Commited Suicide in Federal Prison

Donald Lapre or better known Don Lapre was found dead in his prison cell in Florence Arizona on Sunday October 2nd 2011 at approximately 8:30am.   For those of you who do not know or remember who this TV informational con artist was be sure and watch the short video clip below. Maybe it will refresh your memory and bring you back to 2003 or so.

The TV infomercial pitchman was accused of defrauding more than 225,000 people out of more than 50 million dollars. Don Lapre was 47 years old when committed suicide.

Don Lapre was known as the “King of Infomercials” was locked up in prison awaiting his trial which was scheduled for sometime in October of 2012. Don Lapre was indicted on 41 felonies stemming from a nationwide scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of people out of money by conning them into buying what he called the world’s greatest vitamin in the world.

Don Lapre was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, transactional money laundering and other felony crimes.

Federal authorities stated this con artist was able to get investors to buy into his worthless internet based businesses that sold bogus vitamins from April of 2003 until October of 2007.

The federal grand jury indictment which was made public in June 2011 did reveal that 226,794 people had signed up for Dons infomercial scheme and lost over 52 million dollars!

This goes to show you that those get rich schemes are exactly that, schemes.

Here is the video of one of Don Lapre’s late night infomercials.