My #life #experience has become a blog, in and of itself.  RT 


Was this a Mistake or a Negligent Act to Increase #Profits?



Many of you are aware that I love to shop and also love to do research and make #buyers aware of great deals — we have to look out for each other right?  Quick plug – follow me on Twitter to see what deals I am posting @ShopAtAmazonNow.  



Now, I’d like to make you aware of something else you may not know about.



Recently, one of the #banks that I use was sued by the government for unfair practices towards its #customers.  I choose not to name this bank because for the most part they have been a decent bank, or at least I thought they were.  At this point, I will not name them even in the comment section of this post.  In any case, they were slapped with quite a fee, even though there is no mention of this case on their website —  fast forward a few months.

 



About a week ago, I was slapped with a couple of late fees from said bank supposedly from payments that were paid over A YEAR AGO!  Maybe this bank is not so good after all.  I keep pretty scrupulous records on all of my expenditures and have a tendency to read the fine print — Moon in Virgo, you know.  I had all of my account statements for said loan and knew exactly how much I had been billed, what I had paid and when.  The charges were unjust, and “IN MY OPINION” were a way to increase revenue to pay this fine, by going back to ensure they had not missed any opportunities to earn revenue.  While I don’t blame them for scraping pennies to build up a reserve to help pay this fine, they should have put up a limit of how far back this audit would go.  In any case they did not do such a good job of it.  Eventually they reversed the charges and this blog is a result.  I want to help my blog followers and fellow shoppers by providing advise about how not to get taken. 


There are Legal Limits to Prevent #You from Being Over-Charged for Fees

When I discovered this mistake I was not happy, which I am sure you can understand.  First of all, I had to take my precious time to contact the bank and get this corrected.  Second of all, this is a bank who handles OPM (other people’s money), which means you have to be EXTREMELY careful because people use banks for major purchases and if a bank has 500,000 customers, and slips in a small $12 fee on all of them, they have just banked a whopping $6,000,000.  This is not chump change.  Check http://www.consumerfinance.gov and other .gov websites to determine the legal limits you can be charged for loans, credit cards, overdraft, mortgage insurance, etc.



Many of you are aware that the #government, namely the #Consumer #Financial #Protection #Bureau has really cracked down on banks in recent years, possibly as a result of the past #mortgage #bubble and #unfair #banking #practices we recently experienced.  Banks have to recover money to pay these fines and are not trying to lose one dime in the process. Here’s how #you can #protect your #money.

Take the Time to Read the Fine Print in #Contracts and #Agreements, to include #Car #Lease Agreements and #Mortgage #Closing Papers and Don’t be Afraid to Request Edits!

When I purchased my 2nd home, I sat at the table and took my sweet time reading every line while the lawyers huffed and puffed, checked their watches and waited impatiently, eventually taking bathroom breaks.  I was single and did not have anyone to help me pay my bills so I had to make sure I was signing something I could afford.  I was concerned about balloon payments and wanted to make sure they had not snuck a line in somewhere on the contract.  I requested a total of two edits to the contract so they had to wait even longer for the secretary to print out the new contracts before I would sign them.  But everyone is not like me.



Sometimes salesmen automatically assume that they can get people to do whatever they want them to do, and unfortunately, sometimes, they are correct. Because of this negative assumption, we have to insist on getting the prices that were advertised for large ticket items, as well as to get into the cars or homes we want, especially after the lenders and sellers find out how much we are capable of paying.  



If you have a tendency to be a little soft or to cower when speaking with strong, persuasive personality types, bring a #firm person along with you to help read and #negotiate contracts and #prices.  These helpers (dad, mom, brother, uncle, best friend) will insist that you be charged advertised interest rates and that stores keep their end of the bargain with regard to advertised merchandise.  



Also, take your time and read the fine print, specifically with regard to any rights you may be giving up by accepting a specific item or sales price.

Keep Up with Your Expenses, Household Budgets and Bank Accounts




Utilize autopay when it makes since to do so, specifically with creditors that are charging the highest rates in late fees.  If you are anything like me, you want your money to stay in your account for as long as possible and you just may not feel up to bill-paying on the day when you are suppose to do it. 



I find that in addition to using auto-pay, most of us can benefit from using automated check registers and spreadsheets and programs for keeping up with expendituresand exactly how much money we actually have, specifically when there is a delay in posting bank and credit card charges.  You cannot depend on your bank statement. You can easily plug expenses into a simple program and do a quick check just before heading out on a shopping spree so that you know exactly how much money you can spend.


Hope this helps.



RT