Monday, December 06, 2010

Did the News Laws Help or Hurt

The CARD Act of 2009 was implemented to provide additional protections for consumers who experienced increases in credit card fees and who experienced unfair and illegal practices by credit card companies. Unfortunately, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Better Business Bureau and state attorney general offices, consumer complaints against banks have greatly increased this year. Consumers are still suffering because banks have found new ways to bypass the new laws that were put in place.

Consumer complaints for mortgages and foreclosures have also increased. Many consumer agencies have filed lawsuits against companies in several states and some companies are being investigated.

Consumers are also complaining about bank overdraft fees. Many banks process the largest checks first which allows them to charge fees on smaller transactions after a checking account has been overdrawn.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which monitors the banking industry asked banks to consider eliminating overdraft fees for small accounts. Banks are pushing back because they don’t want to lose revenue generated from overdraft fees. Here are some tips to fight back against the banking and mortgage industry.

1. Research. Research several companies that provide the services you are looking for and choose the company that best suits your needs.

2. Notify. If you feel that you are being charged too many fees, contact the company and let them know you want and a reduction in fees and that you will take your business to a competitor company if you are not satisfied. You can also ask that you be transferred to the cancellation department for credit or debit cards to let them know you are serious about your request.

3. Fight Back. If you feel that you are being charged high fees or are being unfairly treated, file a complaint against the company with the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission or your state attorney general’s office.

4. Learn. Don’t make the same mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and make sure you are spending your money wisely so that you don’t get charged overdraft fees or late fees.

5. Educate. Watch financial shows or your local news, read financial newsletters or articles to learn about new and existing laws that affect you.

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