November 29, 2011 |
Howard Cohen has received dozens of calls from "Rachel" at "card member services. " At first he thought they must be from his credit card issuer. Now he knows better. "It's a scam," Cohen, 67, of Fontana told me. "All they want is to get you into some new credit card with a higher interest rate - or worse. " The "worse" in this case is possibly having your identity stolen and bogus charges run up on your plastic. The Web is dripping with complaints from consumers nationwide about the "Rachel" calls.
June 11, 2013 |
ARDMORE, Pa. - There were no priests in black robes, no curtained booth to slip into, no screened window to talk through. But Sergio Garcia, star golfer currently suffering the aftereffects of foot-in-the-mouth disease, had it different than those who preceded him Tuesday to pre-U.S. Open news conferences. Sergio's was a confessional. Bless me, everybody, for I have sinned. He didn't have to come in. A U.S. Golf Assn. official confirmed that. But he knew, as did the USGA, that it was the right thing to do. And to his credit, Garcia did not try to brush through it, did not duck questions, nor do the common athlete non-apology apology.
December 23, 2012 |
Dear Liz: We have a family member who recently was approved by Social Security for a complete disability claim. This person will never work again but has an outstanding student loan. The lender has a formal mechanism to apply for loan forgiveness, but is refusing to accept medical documentation of the disability. What appeal process is there and how can we force them to act? Do we need to retain legal counsel and incur additional expense to enforce a legal process and achieve loan forgiveness?
June 5, 2011 |
Payday loans are billed as a quick way for borrowers to receive small loans, with no collateral or credit requirements. But the cost of the loans, which proponents say are supposed to be for emergency use, is extremely high. In California, each $100 borrowed costs up to $15; thus the fee on the maximum allowed $300 payday loan would amount to as much as $45. The annual percentage rate on that deal comes out to a whopping 460%. But do these borrowers, who might turn to payday loans to get money for recurring expenses, such as for groceries or housing, have better options?
June 11, 2013 |
Generic prescription drugs have to meet exacting standards for ingredients and quality, which you'd think would make them uniformly priced at pharmacies. But that, of course, isn't the case. Generic drug prices can be all over the map, depending on where and how you buy them. Bruce Lowther, 45, takes five generic prescription meds daily for a heart condition. He had a heart attack a few years ago. Lowther was paying nearly $370 every three months for supplies of his drugs at Target.
July 1, 2011 |
Are high credit card fees pricing plastic out of the market? Some businesses are putting the kibosh on credit cards to avoid paying processing fees that run about 2% of the transaction amount. In other words, every time you buy something for $100 with plastic, it costs the merchant nearly $2 in processing fees. Multiply that by hundreds or even thousands of daily transactions, and that can add up to some serious coin. Typically, those costs are passed along to customers in the form of higher prices.
September 20, 2011 |
Andrea Kreuzhage is the kind of customer all health insurers dream of having. She's in excellent shape, never submits medical claims and pays all her bills on time. So, of course, Anthem Blue Cross canceled her coverage last week. This is the latest twist in Anthem's decision to no longer allow members to make automatic payments with credit cards. As Kreuzhage's case illustrates, it may not be a smooth transition for many people. She was told by the company that she was joining the ranks of the uninsured because she didn't pay her bill.
February 8, 2011 |
John Robert Aguirre stood forlornly at RPM Lenders on the edge of South-Central Los Angeles, slapping twenties onto the yellow countertop. He was a week late with his monthly payment, and the anxiety showed on his face. His loan has an annual interest rate of more than 100%. He'd put up his truck as collateral. A missed payment could result in the loss of his vehicle. "I'm a self-employed electrician," Aguirre, 41, told me as he finished counting out the bills. "If I don't have my truck, I can't work.
February 25, 2012 |
From Tempe, Ariz. -- The coach once helped carry his son from tee ball to the top of the high school baseball world, never missing a game, cheering every moment, from midnight batting practice to driveway bullpen sessions to championship glory. Today, the coach gently places his son over his shoulder and carries him from his wheelchair to the front seat of his dusty truck. "We were never much for hugging," Dale Hahn says. "But now I get to hug my son all the time. " The coach once pushed the son to become California's Mr. Baseball, working on his swing, inspiring his hustle and watching him become a powerful outfielder with speed, smarts, a full scholarship to Arizona State and a major league future.
April 29, 2013 |
A growing number of Indian tribes are getting into the payday loan business, saying they just want to raise revenue for their reservations while helping cash-strapped consumers nationwide. But federal officials suspect that, at least in some cases, tribes are being paid to offer their sovereign immunity to non-Indian payday lenders that are trying to dodge state regulations. So far, the tribes have prevailed over California and other states that have tried to assert authority over tribal lending operations.