Kentucky Consumer Alert !!!

Posted on May 25, 2018. Filed under: Consumer Alerts | Tags: |

Federal Medicare will soon be mailing out new cards to Kentucky  recipients that will no longer have the social security number but will be replaced by a 14 digit I.D. number.  Be on the lookout for your new card.

The Kentucky Attorney General is reporting in a press release that scammers may be taking advantage of this change and calling consumers and requesting personal information over the phone.

The Attorney General says in the press release about  this scam that Medicare will never call and request this information,  so if you receive such a call, hang up and report it to law enforcement.

You can read the full press release at this link: Kentucky Attorney General Press Release

 

 

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Consumer Watchdog Agency: “Dealing With Debt Settlement Companies Can Be Risky”

Posted on June 15, 2015. Filed under: Consumer Alerts, Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney | Tags: , , , |

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the only federal agency devoted solely to watching out for and protecting the financial consumer, has serious concerns about consumers using online debt settlement companies:

“Warning: Dealing with debt settlement companies can be risky. Some debt settlement companies promise more than they can deliver. Some of your creditors may also refuse to work with the debt settlement company you choose. In many cases, the debt settlement company will be unable to settle all of your debts.”

Click the paragraph above to take you to the Agency’s website for the full article.

Warning: There could be tax consequences for debt forgiveness. If a portion of your debt is forgiven by the creditor, it could be counted as taxable income on your federal income taxes. You may want to consult a tax advisor or tax attorney to learn how forgiven debt affects your federal income tax.

Click the paragraph above about tax consequences of settling debt and to read the full article on the warnings of using debt settlement companies.

Finally, the CFPB offers some sound advice:

Also, you may want to consider consulting a bankruptcy attorney, who may be able to provide you with your options under the law. Some bankruptcy attorneys will speak to you initially free of charge.

Become an informed consumer !

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KY LEGISLATIVE ALERT !!: House Bill 470 – Non Judicial Foreclosure

Posted on February 26, 2015. Filed under: Consumer Alerts | Tags: , , , |

gavel home

House Bill 470 in the Kentucky House of Representatives provides for non judicial foreclosure. Kentucky homeowners need your help.

The bill provides for deeds of trust. The beneficiary (bank) may sell the property without filing a lawsuit. The trustee can be a licensed attorney or a financial institution. The trustee can be replaced by the unilateral decision of the beneficiary (bank). The bill provides for the trustee writing three letters to the homeowner and three attempts to contact the homeowner by phone.

No appraisal of the property is required. There is no right of redemption. The sale can be a public sale or private sale. If the sale is a public sale no advertisement of the sale or notice to the general public is required. If the homeowner feels he is aggrieved, it is up to him to file a lawsuit to stop the foreclosure.

The homeowner can not purchase the property at the sale for less than the full amount he owes including trustee fees and the cost of the sale. This bill is very harmful to the consumer. Please contact your State Representative and State Senator. You can call the Legislative Message Center at 1-800-372-7181 to express your opinion to your legislator.

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NCLC Consumer Alert: CONSUMERS AT RISK: TIPS WHEN EXPERIENCING A DATA SECURITY BREACH

Posted on January 17, 2014. Filed under: Consumer Alerts | Tags: , , , |

credit card

As a CONSUMER ALERT, we are reposting in full this press release from the National Consumer Law Center:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contacts:
NCLC: Chi Chi Wu, 617.542.8010 or
DECEMBER 19, 2013 cwu(at)nclc.org
U.S. PIRG: Ed Mierzwinski, 202.461.3821 or
edm(at)uspirg.org
Consumer Action: Ruth Susswein, 301.718.2511
ruth.susswein(at)consumer-action.org

CONSUMERS AT RISK: TIPS WHEN EXPERIENCING A DATA
SECURITY BREACH

(BOSTON) In light of the recent news about Target’s data security breach, the National
Consumer Law Center, Consumer Action, and U.S. PIRG remind consumers that:
1. Your liability for fraudulent charges is limited under federal law.
Credit Cards: Under federal law, your responsibility for unauthorized credit card charges is
limited to $50, and in some cases would be $0.
Debit Cards: Your responsibility for debit card fraud charges is a bit more:
 $50 if you notify the bank within 2 days.
 Up to $500 afterwards.
 Unlimited if you fail to report the fraud charges within 60 days after your bank statement
is sent.
 However, if the physical debit card itself is not lost or stolen, you are not liable for any
fraud charges if you report the fraud within 60 days after your bank statement is sent.
Also, since the money to pay the debit card comes directly out of your bank account, you won’t
be able to use that money until the fraud charge is reversed.
Both VISA and MasterCard have “zero liability” policies that limit your losses to $0, but these
are voluntary policies.
Finally, when you contact your credit card company, don’t pay a fee to receive a replacement
card – even during the holiday shopping season. Ask the issuer to waive the expedited fee to
send a replacement card. For more information on reporting card fraud, see
http://www.consumer-action.org/modules/articles/recognizing_credit_card_fraud_english#Topic_10
2. Check your credit report and account statements, but don’t panic.
If you are worried that a security breach has made you a target of identity theft, check your
checking account or credit card statement regularly. Also, check your credit report – it’s always a
good idea to do that regularly. But, theft of a credit card number is unlikely to lead to the thief
opening new accounts. That’s because the key piece of information needed for “new account” ID
theft – your Social Security Number – is not part of the credit card data.
3. Don’t pay for expensive credit monitoring or fraud detection services.
You can check your credit report for free once a year using http://www.annualcreditreport.com – no
need to pay for a monthly service.
As for fraud detection services, some of them have been known to do questionable things. For
example, one of these companies, LifeLock, paid $11 million to the Federal Trade Commission
in 2010 to settle charges that it used false claims to promote its identity theft protection services.
4. The strongest prevention against ID theft after a breach is a security freeze.
A security freeze prevents your credit report from being shared with potential new creditors. If your
credit files are frozen, a thief will probably not be able to get credit in your name. You have a right
to place a security freeze on your credit report under the law in most states, and freezes are available
to residents of all 50 states. For more information, see
http://www.consumeraction.org/modules/articles/security_freeze_training_manual_questions_and_answers
NCLC identity theft tips:
http://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/older_consumers/consumer_facts/cf_protect_yourself_from_ide
ntity_theft.pdf
U.S. PIRG’s identity theft tips:
http://uspirgedfund.org/issues/usf/protecting-yourself-identity-theft
In addition to the advice above, advocates questioned whether Target has been in compliance
with state laws that require consumers to be notified when there is a security breach.
###
Since 1969, the nonprofit National Consumer Law Center® (NCLC®) has used its expertise in
consumer law and energy policy to work for consumer justice and economic security for low-income and
other disadvantaged people, including older adults, in the United States. http://www.nclc.org
U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to
powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to
fully participate in our democratic society. http://www.uspirg.org
Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers since 1971. A national, nonprofit
501(c)3 organization, Consumer Action focuses on financial education that empowers low to moderate
income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in
the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change particularly
in the fields of credit, banking, housing, privacy, insurance and utilities. http://www.consumer-action.org

photo credit: 401(K) 2013 via photopin cc

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