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July 2010
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September 2010

Final Phase Of New Credit Card Law Takes Effect

President Obama signed major credit card reform into law in March of 2009. The initial elements of the new law were phased in last year. In February, I wrote a comprehensive article addressing many of the details of the new credit card law. This week marks the third and final phase in of the law. 1. Late Payment Fees Late payment fees will generally be capped at $25 and cannot be higher than the minimum required payment. This means that you can’t be hit with a $25 late fee for making a $10 payment late. Under the new rules, consumers... Read more →

Rethinking The Thirty Year Mortgage

Perhaps the single most impactful decision a consumer can make is to choose a 15 year mortgage rather than a 30 year. I have held financial workshops all around the United States and each time I've covered this topic my audiences have been universally surprised. Even the most educated of those I have discussed this with have scratched their head wondering why most people opt for a 30 year mortgage when the difference in monthly payment is so modest. This is probably just one of those financial traditions that most people go along with without questioning it. A home purchase... Read more →

The New Way To Price Shop For Medical Services

I heard a story recently about a man that needed a medical procedure, but because he did not have health insurance he wanted to shop around and get the best price. While at first glance, the idea of shopping for medical services based on price seems a little odd, it really shouldn’t be. We consider price in virtually all other areas of our financial expenditures, why not medical services? The answer is that since someone else is usually paying the bill, the issue of price is rarely a concern of the patient. As this gentleman attempted to price shop for... Read more →

Watch Out For Mystery Phone Bill Charges

An old scam is back again. It is called cramming, and accounts for millions of dollars per year in theft. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 3,000 complaints about cramming. Cramming occurs when a company adds a small charge to your phone bill for a service you did not order, hoping you won’t notice it and pay. Although it is most common with cell phones, cramming can also occur on a landline. FTC Halts Massive Cramming Operation that Illegally Billed Thousands; Alleges Scam Took in $19 Million over Five Years A U.S. district court judge has ordered... Read more →