Personal Finance Round-Up: Debt, Identity Theft & Other Financial Nightmares

financial troubleIt seems as though more and more horror stories involving debt collection agencies  pop up every day, and recently, one of the worst occurred in Texas. According to Blake Ellis’s recent CNN Money article, Debt Collection Horror Stories, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) closed down a Houston-based debt collector for using deceptive measures to force people to fork over their payday loans.

Other abusive allegations of agencies include constantly calling debtors, claiming they will put the consumer in jail, threatening to take away children, promising to hurt pets, and even threatening to dig up dead bodies.

Fortunately, the FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, doesn’t allow debt collectors to be abusive, unfair, or use scare tactics. It’s important to know your rights, and one place to get a wealth of information is directly from the FTC website. It explains what types of debts are covered under the Fair Trade Act, along with other frequently asked questions to empower consumers with information regarding debt collection practices.

Here are other articles that can help you stay informed:

IRS Dropping the Hammer on Identity Thieves  [Credit Dad]
While the IRS has cracked down on offenders, making many arrests for identity fraud, prisoners are able to claim millions in refunds illegally. New laws may be able to change that.

Unscheduled Home Repairs: Are You Financially Prepared? [MyFICO]
Over the years, mother nature will occasionally cause damage to your property. Financial experts recommend that homeowners put aside 1% to 3% of their home’s value every year to pay for routine maintenance. Being prepared for such upkeep can help to minimize the financial burden.

Repayment Options Grow for Student Loan Borrowers []
Struggling to repay your student loan debt? There is hope. If you are a college graduate who used federal student loans to pay for school, you may qualify for a new income-driven repayment tool. The Department of Education has introduced the “Pay As You Earn” repayment plan, which caps payments at 10% of a borrower’s discretionary income.

Saving vs. Earning More and Their Roles in Wealth Building [DollarVersity]
What do you focus on more: trying to make more money, or discovering ways to save more of what you already make? It doesn’t really have to be one or the other.

Pound Foolish Review – Exposing a Very One-Sided Book [Investor Junkie]
Isn’t personal finance suppose to be personal? This question is raised by author Helaine Olen in the book “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.” This is Investor Junkie’s critical take on the matter.

  • Investor Junkie

    Thanks for the mention!