Personal Finance Advice and Commentary

Wednesday, February 02, 2011 11:50 am
By Lucy Lazarony · Bankrate.com

Feeling weighted down by credit card debt?  These debt relief options can help. Transfer card balances. Having trouble making headway with your credit card debt because of high interest rates and hefty monthly finance charges?  Consider transferring your card balances to a new card with a rock-bottom rate for balance transfers. Balance transfer card offers

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:58 am
By Lucy Lazarony · Bankrate.com

Looking for help settling credit card debt?  Watch out for fees. A consortium of nonprofit credit counseling agencies filed a joint complaint letter to the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that some debt settlement companies are skirting new federal rules and charging excessive upfront fees. The letter was signed by the chief executives of 11 prominent

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:02 am
By Lucy Lazarony · Bankrate.com

Say so long to hefty advance fees for debt relief help. Beginning on Oct. 27, 2010, all for-profit companies that sell debt relief services over the telephone may no longer charge a fee before they settle or reduce a customer’s credit card debt or other unsecured debt. This new rule comes courtesy of amendments to the

Monday, September 27, 2010 4:50 pm
By Leslie McFadden · Bankrate.com

Starting today, for-profit firms that sell debt relief services to consumers over the phone, such as credit counseling, debt settlement or debt negotiation, must comply with new provisions in the Telemarketing Sales Rule, or TSR. Three amendments to the TSR taking effect Sept. 27, 2010, will: Require debt relief companies to make specific disclosures to

Monday, August 02, 2010 9:38 am
By Leslie McFadden · Bankrate.com

Debt settlement and other for-profit “debt relief” firms that sell their services over the phone will soon be barred from charging a fee before they settle or reduce a customer’s credit card debt or other unsecured debt. The Federal Trade Commission last week issued amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule that go into effect later

Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:03 pm
By Leslie McFadden · Bankrate.com

Washington has taken aim at the debt settlement industry. On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced the “Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act,” which would limit the fees that debt settlement firms can charge and mandate written disclosures before services are performed, including the right to cancel for a full refund.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 9:23 am
By Leslie McFadden · Bankrate.com

Ever been curious about ads that say you can eliminate your credit card debt for “pennies on the dollar?” The government has certainly taken an interest. A Senate committee asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a covert investigation into allegations that some debt settlement firms are engaging in fraudulent, abusive or deceptive practices. The GAO did this in part by calling 20 companies and posing as consumers with heavy credit card debt.