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Freedom Debt Relief - Debit Card Safety Tips

Freedom Debt Relief - Debit Card Safety Tips

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Published by justinnarin8682
In recent years, debit cards have become
the preferred payment method among consumers. Since 2006, the Federal Reserve Board reports that the amount of debit card transactions were more than $1 trillion, surpassing credit card transactions by $2 billion.
As a debt settlement client, you may feel that
debit cards are convenient and better to use than
credit cards because you do not acquire debt.
Although these statements may be correct, below
are some safety tips that may help you avoid
problems associated with debit cards.
In recent years, debit cards have become
the preferred payment method among consumers. Since 2006, the Federal Reserve Board reports that the amount of debit card transactions were more than $1 trillion, surpassing credit card transactions by $2 billion.
As a debt settlement client, you may feel that
debit cards are convenient and better to use than
credit cards because you do not acquire debt.
Although these statements may be correct, below
are some safety tips that may help you avoid
problems associated with debit cards.

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Published by: justinnarin8682 on Feb 27, 2009
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06/16/2009

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 Volume 4 #2
Debit Card Safety Tips FDR Client Reminders Common Questions About Debt Collection Spare Change Inspiring Thoughts Sales Tactics to Tempt You to Spend More 
1-800-655-6303
 Welcome to the Freedom Debt Relief monthly newsletter! As part of ourongoing goal to enhance our services, we will be sending you a monthly newsletter filled with interesting articles and helpful financial tips andadvice. We hope you enjoy this issue, and that you find the enclosedinformation helpful as you continue on the road to financial freedom.
I
n recent years, debit cards have becomethe preferred payment method amongconsumers. Since 2006, the FederalReserve Board reports that the amount of debitcard transactions were more than $1 trillion,surpassing credit card transactions by $2 billion. As a debt settlement client, you may feel thatdebit cards are convenient and better to use thancredit cards because you do not acquire debt. Although these statements may be correct, below are some safety tips that may help you avoidproblems associated with debit cards.
 Act fast if your card is lost orstolen.
As soon as you discover yourdebit card is lost or stolen, notify yourbank immediately. Te Electronic Fundransfer Act (EFA) states that if youreport it missing before any fraudulentcharges occur, you are not responsiblefor the charges. If you report the loss within two business days, you are only responsible for $50 of unauthorizeduse. Waiting longer than two days couldmake you liable for up to $500 forcharges made without your permission.If you do not report unauthorized useduring the first sixty days, you may not have any recourse and would be responsible for all thecharges.
Remember that your debit card islinked to your money.
Be cautious aboutusing your debit card to make purchases onlineand over the phone. If you never receive whatyou ordered or the merchandise arrives damaged,you may be able to dispute it, but while theissue is being resolved, you may not be able tohave your cash refunded right away. Bankrate.com, a comprehensive financial informationsite, recommends using a credit card for majorpurchases* and debit cards for items such asgroceries and other small miscellaneous expenses.In case there is ever a problem, consumers havethe Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) to assist them with credit card disputes. Tis federal law may allow credit card holders to withhold paymentand the maximum liability for unauthorized useis $50.
Overdrafts can be costly.
Because debitcards are so convenient and linked to yourchecking account, it is very easy to overdraw yourchecking account if you miscalculate. Accordingto the Center for Responsible Lending, anonprofit research organization, debit card POS(point of sale) overdrafts cost consumers $2.17 infees for every dollar borrowed. A common reason for debit card overdrafts isthe fact that some business establishments canput “holds” on your debit card. Tis practice iscommon in the hospitality and travel industry and it means that merchants can place a holdon more money than you expect until the billis paid in full. Hotels and car rental stores areexamples of the businesses that may place a holdon your funds. In this situation, it may be bestto use a credit card.* Although businessesstill place holds on credit cards, atleast it is not freezing actual fundsin your checking account. Inany case, recording debit cardtransactions and keeping track of your checking accountbalance will help you detect aproblem as soon as possible.
Be safe when using  your debit card
.Whenpaying with your debit card,it is best not to leave it outof your sight. Accordingto Cardweb.com, anonline source for credit card research, a largepercentage of card theft occurs at restaurants.Te practice of handing a payment card to aserver to pay your restaurant bill may soon bean outdated procedure as some establishmentsare implementing “pay at the table” technology.Patrons may soon be able to swipe their cardand complete the transaction using an electronicdevice.Since many debit cards also have AMprivileges, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) also warns customers to be careful of which AMthat they use. According to the BBB, consumersshould be particularly careful using stand-aloneor mini AM’s at convenience stores. Electronicdevices, known as skimmers, have beenfraudulently used in some AM’s to steal debitcard information. It may be best to mostly use AMs that bear your bank’s name.
*Disclaimer 
: As a debt settlement client, youmay have limited access to credit cards at this time. Using credit wisely upon completion of your  program is one step towards achieving financial  freedom.
Debit CardSafety Tips
Be careful about disclosing your debitcard number over the phone.
Cut up or shred old debit cards.
Memorize your PIN. Do not carry it inyour purse or wallet.
Carefully check the amount of AMor debit card transactions before youenter a PIN or sign the receipt.
Check your bank balance often todetect any discrepancies.
More Debit & ATM Tips
Tips were provided by an FTC Fact Sheet.For more helpful consumer information, visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm
 
Tax Debt?
If you owe money tothe IRS and would like informationon how to reduce your tax debts,please contact our sister company,Freedom ax Relief at 1-800-455-6AX. Our tax attorneys and taxspecialists are eager to immediately start helping you resolve your taxtroubles. In addition, existing FDR clients are eligible for a $100 referralbonus if they refer someone toFreedom ax Relief.
 American Consumers Union
 We have recently partnered withthe consumer advocacy group, American Consumers Union,in order to provide additionalsupport to our clients with respectto creditor harassment. All FDR clients are automatically givenmembership into the AmericanConsumers Union, and are giventhe full use and support of theadvocacy group, at no additionalcharge. Tis is a terrific benefit forour clients, and we are happy to beable to provide this service to ourclients at our expense. You can visitthem online at www.myacu.org.
***
Customer ServicePhone Number:1-800-655-6303Hours of Operation:6:00 AM – 6:00 PM PSTE-mail:
support@freedomdebtrelief.com
Client Reminders
hroughout your debt negotiationprogram, you may have some contact with collectors via mail or telephone.On several occasions, you may have encounteredsome terms or business practices that were new to you. Here are the answers to some commonquestions about the debt collection industry. Wehope you find this information helpful as youtravel the road to financial freedom.
“I received a letter from a collectionagency regarding a credit card bill.How did they receive my information? Why isn’t the credit card company contacting me?”
Te company or organization thatyou initially signed a contract withis referred to as the originalcreditor. For example,let’s say you obtaineda credit card account with FirstBank. If youraccount becomes past due,FirstBank, your originalcreditor, will send remindersand call in an attempt toget you to pay the amountdue. When your accountbecomes more delinquent,approximately 180 days,FirstBank may have anoutside collection agency, XYZ Acquisitions, attempt to collect payment. Tiscompany is a third-party collector. Keep in mindthat your accounts may be assigned to or boughtand sold by several collection agencies during thecourse of your debt negotiation program. It isimportant to keep paperwork organized and tonotify your debt negotiation company when younotice that an account changes hands.
A collector recently contacted me about an unpaid bill that I incurred nearly a decade ago. Do I still owe really old debts?
One way to determine if you still owe the debtis to check the statue of limitations in your state.Te statue of limitations also varies dependingon what type of debt it is. A common exampleis that the collection agencies can still attemptto collect the debt, but may not be allowed tofile a lawsuit because so much time has passed.o find out what the statue of limitations arein your state, visit www.creditinfocenter.comand select the “Credit Repair” link followedby the “Statute of Limitations on Debt” link. You can then find your state on the list. If a collector tries to persuade you to make apayment on an old debt, be sure to contact yourdebt negotiation company before you take any action. If you pay, you may cause more harmthan good. According to an article on MSNMoney (www.moneycentral.com) entitled“Zombie Debt Collectors Dig Up Your OldMistakes,” “...the smallest payment can revivethe state of limitations in some states, leading tomore aggressive collections and lawsuits. Evenacknowledging the debt is yours can restart theclock in some jurisdictions.” Checkingyour credit report periodically can also help you keep track of old debts. You can obtainan annual free copy of yourcredit report at www.annualcreditreport.com
“I received a letter froma law office concerning a debt. Am I being sued?”
In our past experience,this is not necessarily the case.Oftentimes, your account may be placed with a law firm thatspecializes in debt collection.Usually, this organization serves thesame purpose as a third-party collectionagency. If you receive a letter froma law office, read it carefully and asalways, contact your debt negotiationcompany when you receive any collectorcorrespondence.
A creditor called me and said my account  will be ‘charged-off.’ What does that mean?Do I still owe the debt?”
 According to Bankrate.com, a comprehensivefinancial web site, a charge-off is a term thatis used to classify delinquent accounts for taxpurposes. Te word “charge-off” is used to reporta loss for the creditor. A debt is usually charged-off if there has been no payment made on theaccount for more than 180 days. Although youraccount is charged-off, you still owe the debt. A creditor can continue with attempts to collectthe debt themselves or through a third-party debt collection agency.
Disclaimer: 
While this article is factual and accurate, it is not intended to replace the advice of professional, financial, accounting, and/or legal advisers. As with all decisions regarding  your finances, the advice, techniques, ideas and suggestions offered herein should be followed under the supervision of the appropriate competent  professional.
CommonQuestions About DebtCollection
 
FTC takes action againstFlorida debt collectors
. A federalcourt has entered a final order against a Floridadebt collection agency settling a Federalrade Commission action that alleged thedefendants violated the FC Act and theFair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) while collecting consumers’ debts. Te FC’scomplaint alleged that the enterprise usedmisleading letters and abusive telephone calls tofalsely threaten that consumers would be sued,their property seized, and their wages garnished if they did not pay the money that the defendantssaid they owed. Te complaint alleged that thecollectors often shouted and used profanity and other abusive language to carry out theircollections. Te final order, among other things,permanently bars the defendants from falsely representing the character, amount, or legalstatus of a consumer’s debt, that their collectoris an attorney or represents an attorney, or thatif the consumer does not pay, the defendantscan or will file a lawsuit against the consumer. Italso prohibits them from violating the FDCPA in any way, including disclosing a consumer’sdebts to any third parties, using profanity orother abusive language in collection calls, or by continuing to attempt to collect a debt beforeproviding verification of the debt to consumers who properly request such verification. Tesettlement also requires the defendants to provideconsumers with a toll-free number and mailingaddress to file complaints, promptly investigateeach such complaint, and take steps to cease,resolve, and cure any violations of the court orderor the FDCPA.
Credit card mail volume declined.
Credit card mail volumedeclined in the 4thquarter of 2007. Issuers,straining from fall-outdue to the mortgage crisisand concerned about theeconomy, cut back on directmarketing activity accordingto Mail Monitor, the directmail tracking service.Uncertainty surrounding theeconomy has caused issuers to be more selectivein their targeting.
IRS warns consumers of“phishing scams”:
Te IRS wants to warn consumers about possible “phishing” e-mailscams. Identity thieves attempt to send out e-mails that appear to be from the IRS, but it is anattempt to gain financial information. Te IRSnever asks for information such as Social Security and PIN numbers or passwords to access creditcard or bank accounts. Some other signs thatmay indicate a fraudulent email include askingconsumers to participate in an IRS survey orthreatening to withhold refund money if they donot respond. Te IRS encourages consumers toforward unsolicited “IRS” e-mails to phishing@irs.gov. For more details, visit www.irs.gov anddo a keyword search on “phishing.”
Identity theft is still thenumber one crime.
Te FCrecently released the list of top consumer fraudcomplaints received by the agency in 2007. Telist, contained in thepublication “ConsumerFraud and Identity Teft Complaint Data January-December2007,” showed that forthe seventh year in arow, identity theft is thenumber one consumercomplaint category.Of 813,899 totalcomplaints received in2007, 32% were relatedto identity theft.
eacting to life’s unexpected orunfortunate events is a natural humanreaction. Our mood and feelings canchange depending on what is occurring in ourlife at the moment. After having a bad day,you may have been tempted to buy somethingto make you feel better. Results from a recentscientific study entitled, “Misery is not Miserly”indicates that consumers that feel sad orself-focused are more likely to spend more formaterial goods. Below are some tips that may help you make wiser financial choices on thosebad days.
Do not shop while hungry.
You may have heard this tip when referring to grocery shopping. Consumers may spend more for foodif they shop while they are hungry. Te sameidea can also relate to other types of shopping.Te recent study indicates that consumersshould refrain from making major purchasingdecisions when they are angry, sad, stressed,or depressed. Shopping while experiencingan extreme emotion may lead to impulsivepurchases.
 Walk away.
Let’s say you are shoppingafter a stressful day at work and you see a greatdeal on the latest electronic gadget. Althoughyou did not plan on making this purchase, youmay suddenly think that you absolutely needit or deserve it after your difficult day at work.In these types of situations, it is best to removeyourself from the situation. Consider walkingaway and think about the purchase for a few days. In most cases, you may have forgotten allabout it by the time you arrive home.
 Appreciate what you have.
According toresearch site Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com), university researchers of the “Misery isNot Miserly” study suggest that sadness causespeople to devalue their current possessions.Sadness can make people feel “empty” and somemay look to purchase items to fill that void.Paying off debt can make some people feel as if they have very little to show for their spending.Before you spend more in an attempt to feelbetter, think about things or aspects of your lifein which you are thankful. For example, youmay be grateful for the health of your family,food, housing, employment, etc.
Reward yourself.
 We all have times in which we need to relax and reward ourselves forour hard work. Discover inexpensive activitiesor small tokens of appreciation that will helpcheer you up or reduce stress. For example, renta movie, have a family pizza night, exercise, ordo something that your family may enjoy.
Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them fromcoming but we can choose which one to surf.~Jonatan Mårtensson
pare Change
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