Don’t make these seven mistakes when dealing with debt collectors.

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Here are seven mistakes people make when dealing with a debt collector. DOn’t you make them.

debt collectors, debt, debt colelctions,fair debt collections practices act

The number of complaints about debt collectors is on the rise. From 13,950 reported to the Federal Trade Commission in 2000, the number has ballooned to over 66,000 in 2005. And these are just the ones reported–the greater number of complaints go unreported. But this isn’t the worst; a significant number of complaints are coming from consumers who do not even owe the debt.

So what’s going on here? It is apparent that debt collection agencies are becoming increasingly competitive and that they are getting more aggressive in an effort to improve their bottom line. And to do this, they have to put more pressure on the one who owes the debt-the consumer, you.

What can you do if you are caught in the crosshairs of a debt collector? Enforce your rights. As a consumer, you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA.) These rights mean that you cannot be lied to, abused, or harassed when a debt collector is trying to collect from you. And these rights have teeth. When a debt collector violates the provisions of the FDCPA. when he or she violates the rights you have under the FDCPA, you can sue for damages and for attorney’s fees.

But when dealing with debt collectors under the FDCPA, don’t make the following four mistakes:

1. Not knowing your rights. You need to remember that you have rights even when you haven’t paid what you owe for whatever reason. We don’t have debtor’s prisons anymore and debt collectors can’t buy a license anywhere to have any kind of open season on anyone who is delinquent in paying debts. This is true because of those rights. So make sure you understand just what those rights are. You can’t claim them if you don’t know them.

2. Not keeping records. To be able to enforce your rights, you’ll need to keep some records. This will mean a phone log (the number of calls and when can both be violations of the FDCPA); notes from the calls (what they say to you may not be abusive, harassing or a misrepresentation); and all the letters they send to you (they must have the proper notices and may not confuse you about what you need to do) as well as the letters you send to them. All of these must be kept for you to better make your case.

3. Not responding on time. You have certain rights that must be exercised within a certain period of time or they are lost. (The right to verification information is one.) So be vigilant about any time limits. Respond when you need to and file suit on time–if it comes to that.

4. Avoiding the calls. Don’t avoid the phone calls either. It is only by dealing with the debt collector that any of your rights under the law may be exercised. And exercising those rights–for example, the all-important right of verification– might just make the problem go away. (If the collector cannot verify the debt, he or she cannot continue to collect it.) So it is better to take the call and talk.

In dealing with debt collectors, it also pays to be smart. So, for example, don’t also make the following three mistakes:

5. Not negotiating. Debt collection agencies most often buy the debt. And they buy it for less than you owe on it. Their profitability comes from getting you to pay more– and possibly a lot more– than they paid for it. So make sure you try to negotiate a lower figure. They just might accept it.

6. Ignoring the debt. Ignoring the debt is only going to cause more problems. If the debt collector understands that his or her efforts are not going to get you to pay, that may start the clock on any lawsuit they can bring on the debt. And that only gives the debt collector the advantage. Keep the advantage with you.

7. Paying by personal check. Paying by personal check gives the debt collector your account number and the name of your bank. That can create some problems with unscrupulous debt collectors who might be tempted to do something shady like setting up an electronic payment. (It’s been done.) And that isn’t good. But it also gives them information they can use if they want to enforce the debt through legal means. Why make it any easier?

If you are faced with any attempt to collect a debt, make sure you get all the information you can. If you do, you’ll be more able to enforce your rights–and they will be less able to intimidate you. Both of these come out on your side of the ledger sheet.

10 Tips To Improved Personal Budgeting

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$Clip coupons. This is the single most important rule of personal budgeting. Why? Simply because a few minutes spent clipping coupons could end up saving you multiple dollars in the checkout line.

$Buy in bulk. If your favorite products are on sale, buying in bulk may cost you more at present but could end up saving you a lot in the future. Some good examples are items that do not have an expiration date, such as soap, shampoo, toiletries and other household items. Canned …

budget software, budgeting

$Clip coupons. This is the single most important rule of personal budgeting. Why? Simply because a few minutes spent clipping coupons could end up saving you multiple dollars in the checkout line.

$Buy in bulk. If your favorite products are on sale, buying in bulk may cost you more at present but could end up saving you a lot in the future. Some good examples are items that do not have an expiration date, such as soap, shampoo, toiletries and other household items. Canned foods, which carry a long expiration date, are also ideal for buying in bulk.

$Saving your change can be a great help in your quest for personal budgeting. You would be surprised how quickly change can add up and, even if it’s $50 or $100 per month, your coins can add up to some serious cash. Many people discard their coins or simply toss them around without thought, but saving them in a bowl or dish will help a great deal when it comes to personal budgeting.

$Put a portion of each paycheck into a savings count each week or month. Whether it’s a few dollars or several hundred, always make sure that you are putting aside some amount of money into a savings account. If possible, deposit 10-20% from each paycheck.

$Avoid impulse shopping. This type of buying is what ultimately leads to buyer’s remorse. In order to avoid it, think about what you want to shop for and make sure that you avoid any last minute additions unless they are absolutely necessary or you can afford them without being in a crunch.

$Shop the sale racks. Everyone enjoys sprucing up their wardrobe now and then so, when it comes time to add a few new pieces of apparel, stop by the sale rack for big savings. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket, which can be later be used for life’s little essentials.

$Avoid using high-interest credit cards unless you can repay them within six months. Otherwise, you are more likely to get swallowed up with interest and end up paying for the original purchase several times over.

$If you do use a credit card for purchases, try to use one with an introductory APR or a regularly low interest rate. This could end up saving you big bucks every month and also in the future, which is one of the most important rules to personal budgeting.

$Request free samples. A number of websites, including StartSampling.com and WalMart.com, offer customers the opportunity to request free product samples of certain items. Everything from skin lotions and shampoo to dog treats and household products are up for grabs to all who ask. In addition, many manufacturers offer free samples of new product releases directly through their own website.

$If you find yourself in increasing credit card debt, call the creditor and request to be placed on a hardship program. This type of program allows for lower interest and smaller payments for a specified amount of time. Depending on the creditor, it can be in effect for several months or until the balance is paid in full. This method will not only help your immediate personal budgeting, but will also give you additional financial freedom in the future when the debt is paid in full.

A Real-Time Way To Avoid Identity Theft

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As identity thieves become more of a threat to individuals and businesses, many people wish they had someone–or something–to watch over and guard their valuable financial information.

A Real-Time Way To Avoid Identity Theft

As identity thieves become more of a threat to individuals and businesses, many people wish they had someone-or something-to watch over and guard their valuable financial information.

While most consumers can’t afford a financial bodyguard, many are taking advantage of a real-time identity management service that can potentially avert identity crimes.

I consider one service, Identity Sweep, developed with MyPublic Info (MyPublicInfo.com) and Affinion Group (www.affiniongroup .com), a leader in credit monitoring and identity theft, to be more proactive than any other. It may be the consumer’s best chance at avoiding identity-related criminal abuse. Identity Sweep protects consumer identities in three ways:

1. It includes a leading-edge identity fraud detection technology that scans billions of public records for suspicious activity associated with identity fraud, including attempts to create a synthetic identity. The service analyzes the suspicious activity to provide a risk score.

2. It searches Internet newsgroups, search engines, blogs and hundreds of thousands of chat rooms and Web sites looking for personal and financial information. It instantly notifies consumers by e-mail of any suspicious activity related to their personal information before the customer is victimized. This technology works faster than credit card and credit bureau monitoring services.

3. It scans online directories that list a consumer’s information and requests removal of that information to prevent abuse by telemarketers and identity thieves.

3 Things You Must Have to Make Lots of Money Fast

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You can literally become a money sucking magnet and be among those who can brag of making money fast. These principles are easy to follow and very effective, granted that you follow them

make money fast, make money faster

Where ever you are presently in your life you can begin to make large amounts of money very fast if you understand a few simple principles. Despite what anyone may tell you these principles of generating money fast do work.

These principles are not difficult but in order to understand them you must process them. You must take the time to give them some thought, until the thought becomes a part of your very being.

How to make money fast is one of the hot topics on everyone’s mind. Most people will tell you that claims of making fast money is a hokes. Those are the very people who believe that only hard work and struggle can create money. However despite the hard work, the concept of fast money is still not part of the equation. After all if you are working very hard you are unlikely to be making the sort of fast money that you would dream of.

I can tell you from first hand experience that fast money does not come through hard work. If you are marketing your business or interested in accumulating more money struggling will only kill your changes of getting money in a fast and easily way.

–The First Step–

The first think you need in order to make fast money is to have a clear goal. How much do you want? You would be so surprise at how many people want more money but don’t have a clear idea as to how much they want.

Without a clear goal your desire is just a wish, it is not concrete. Be specific about how much money you want and by when you would like to have it.

–The Second Step?

The very next step is to take inspired action. Inspired action comes from the universe as a nudge. It’s the perfect idea, job or business that will help you in getting your goal accomplished.

It makes no sense trying to do something that your neighbor or your coworker tried. What is an ideal opportunity to make fast money for them may not be ideal for you. Besides your goals are unique and the opportunities that are rightfully aligned for you are rightfully suited for you to reach your goal in the time that you desire.

–The Third Step?

The third most powerful step is to have a clear and bright vision of your goal. This is where most people fail. Most people get caught up in fear and worry that their goal will not be able to materialize and spend lots of wasted time holding back on their actions.

How many times have you been offered a great idea which you may have promised to do but allowed your fears to get in the way?

You must be able to hold your vision in such a way as to feed it with your own personal powerful intention that your vision will materializes money a lot faster than usual.

Many people who understand the power of holding a clear vision have gone on to make money very fast again and again. Those are the ones who deeply understood the precise way. With a little time and your deep desire you can literally suck money to you faster.

Over the years I can honestly say that I have tested all these theories and without fail they work in generating money faster than if I did not practice these methods.

Don’t Drop the Retirement Ball

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Juggling may be entertaining, but the average person may not have the concentration to keep the balls in the air. Yet half of Americans in their prime savings years juggle their retirement money in three or more accounts, according to Fidelity Investments estimates.

Don’t Drop the Retirement Ball

Juggling may be entertaining, but the average person may not have the concentration to keep the balls in the air. Yet half of Americans in their prime savings years juggle their retirement money in three or more accounts, according to Fidelity Investments estimates.

Whether they are 401(k)s from previous jobs or forgotten IRAs, these multiple accounts can burden investors with several statements and potentially more account fees. Most importantly, scattered accounts may make it more difficult to keep a diversified investing strategy on track.

“It’s natural to think that multiple accounts may automatically diversify a portfolio, but that’s not necessarily true,” says Cynthia Egan of Fidelity. “In fact, managing a mix of stocks, bonds and cash across numerous accounts can be confusing and may make it harder to detect risks to your portfolio.”

For example, some investors unknowingly hold the same security in several accounts, which could result in a big hit to the portfolio if that stock price falls. Identifying how much is “too much” is simple with one view of all your retirement money.

Merging multiple accounts into a single Rollover IRA can make it easier to manage your savings, allowing you to easily review your holdings and quickly make adjustments. Here are three more tips to help simplify your portfolio:

1. Find them all. Even if you have to spread your statements across the kitchen table, identify all of your accounts that can be consolidated, including forgotten IRAs and old 401(k)s.

2. Mix it up. We’ve all heard that while diversification doesn’t ensure a profit or guarantee against loss, an age-appropriate mix of stocks, bonds and cash is the key to potentially better long-term performance. Make it easy with a lifecycle fund that is automatically rebalanced by a professional as your target retirement date approaches.

3. Keep it moving. Just like your regular trip to the dentist for a preventive checkup, be sure to review your portfolio annually to make sure your overall retirement strategy stays on track.

Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you manage your retirement savings. At the end of the day, however, consolidating retirement accounts into a single IRA account can help you more easily evaluate your retirement assets, develop a more thoughtful retirement strategy and monitor your investments to build your portfolio – making it easier to keep your eye on the retirement ball.