Monthly Archives: April 2006

Debt Collectors Want Your Cell Phone Number

In my previous post, I discussed the annual report on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act issued by the Federal Trade Commission. As noted, the FTC receives more complaints about debt collection than for any other industry. We can expect it to get worse, however, if the collection industry gets it way on a key issue currently under review. Since sweeping changes to rules for telemarketing went into effect in 2003, debt […]

By |April 27th, 2006|Debt & Credit|2 Comments|

Debt Collection Industry Still #1 Source of Complaints at FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has released its annual report on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for 2006, which documents complaint patterns and enforcement actions by the FTC during calendar year 2005. Consistent with recent years, the latest report shows that consumers complain more about debt collection than any other industry. “Last year, consumer complaints to the Commission about third-party debt […]

By |April 24th, 2006|Debt & Credit|2 Comments|

Debt Elimination Scammers Get Bolder

In several recent articles and blog posts, I have taken a strong position against bogus “debt elimination” programs. Unfortunately, these scammers seem to be getting bolder by the day. […]

By |April 19th, 2006|Debt & Credit|0 Comments|

“Maxed Out” — An Early Look at an Important Documentary

“Maxed Out” is the name of a new documentary by James Scurlock that takes a hard look at our credit card culture. I haven’t yet viewed the film, and will post a review after I’ve had a chance to see it. For the moment, I’m basing this post on the recent Newsweek interview with Scurlock. […]

By |April 17th, 2006|Debt & Credit|0 Comments|

32% Credit Card Interest Rates — Brought to You By South Dakota and Citibank

Today (April 12, 2006) is the 25-year anniversary of Citibank’s move to South Dakota. Why should you care? Well, if you’re paying excessively high interest rates on your credit cards, you can thank South Dakota and its sweetheart deal with Citibank. […]

By |April 12th, 2006|Debt & Credit|6 Comments|

Mortgage Elimination Scammers — One Down, Dozens to Go

In recent posts I’ve discussed the debt elimination scam in the context of unsecured debt. That’s where the con artists claim you can magically erase unsecured debt (credit cards, etc.) based on the absurd “no money lent” argument. Would you believe the same scam is being perpetrated for secured debt? We’re talking home mortgages here, and yes, believe it or not, there are dozens of websites promoting this dangerous fraud. […]

By |April 10th, 2006|Debt & Credit|0 Comments|

Chinese Not Racking Up Enough Credit Card Debt

Americans have a lot to learn from the Chinese when it comes to managing credit cards. Recent articles about use of credit cards in China are actually quite amusing. It’s pretty funny to hear bank executives whining about the Chinese paying off their balances every month. Sure, people are using the credit cards for everyday purchases in increasing numbers, but they aren’t rolling over the balances from one month to the […]

Fewer Bankruptcy Filings in First Quarter of 2006 — Statistics versus Reality

OK, here’s the big news today, shouted from several breathless headlines: Bankruptcy Filings at Lowest Level in 20 Years for First Quarter of 2006! […]

Debt Settlement Front-Loaded Fees Not In Consumers’ Best Interests

While I am a big fan of debt settlement as an alternative to bankruptcy, I strongly believe that the do-it-yourself approach works better for consumers than using a professional debt settlement company. I hasten to add that I have nothing against third-party debt settlement companies. Many of them do a good job for their clients, and in fact I personally know a number of the owners and executives in this industry. Most of the […]