A reader wants to know whether or not he’s going to be held responsible for his fiancée’s old, bad debt now that they’re getting married. Because we went to Google Lawyer University just now, we’re happy to try to help.
New York attorney general Andrew M. Cuomo is going after debt collectors and lawyers that seized cash from customers with more than 100,000 improperly filed court orders.
Chicago Democrat Luis Gutierrez introduced a bill last month that supposedly reforms out of control payday lending, where interest rates can exceed 300%, but actually gives payday lenders the freedom to charge annual interest rates that can exceed, um, 300%. It doesn’t sound like much of a reform, and in fact Gutierrez has been heavily funded by the payday lending lobby. But luckily for you and me, Stephen Colbert explains why this is all a good thing.
Every day for the past eight months, Dell has called Kat to demand payment for a bill she doesn’t owe. Kat unfortunately inherited the phone number of a Dell debtor when she started a new job, something Dell would rather overlook—along with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Kat has tried calling, escalating, and having the debtor tell Dell to leave her alone. Dell continually assures her that the problem has been fixed. And then they call again.
The Credit Card Bill Of Rights Act, which was introduced on Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives, would limit interest rate hikes and late fee penalties that credit card companies use to unfairly squeeze profits from customers.
It seems that some bottom-feeding debt collection companies—the ones who buy old debts that are frequently beyond the point where you can be sued for collection (what the FTC calls “time-barred debts”)—purchase old debts, mark them up with incredibly high penalties and fees, then “forgive” them and write them off as tax losses and send the debtors 1099-C forms—which means you have to pay taxes on the forgiven amount. If this happens to you, here are a few things you should consider first.
Have you or someone you know experienced or are experiencing foreclosure? The Consumerist is interested in interviewing people who are losing their house. Please send an email, subject line “foreclosure” with your contact information and the best time to reach you at firstname.lastname@example.org.