Consumer Rights

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If You Cosign for a Loan, Can You Sell the Property?

When you co-sign a loan for an acquaintance, you are trusting their ability to pay back their debt obligation. If the person you co-sign for fails to keep up with payments, your credit also will suffer. Many co-signers look to remedies such as selling the property or removing ...

I Co-signed for a Student Loan: How Do I Eliminate the Loan?

Typically, if you co-sign a loan you are up the proverbial creek until the borrower pays it off completely. Private student loans are a different story. While the government protects lenders of Stafford and other federal student loans, lenders for private student loans often ...

Are IRAs in Illinois Exempt From Creditors?

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a court-appointed trustee seizes your assets and sells them to pay your debts. Federal and state laws exempt some assets, making that property safe from creditors no matter how much you owe. In Illinois, as in other states, federal law applies to ...

What Are the Penalties for the Co-signer of a Mortgage Loan in Default With the Co-signer on Title?

When a borrower applies for a loan, the lender may request a co-signer if the borrower is unable to qualify on his own. This may occur if the borrower's credit score isn't as high as the lender would like or if the borrower's income alone isn't sufficient to qualify for the ...

What Are Escheat Funds?

It’s a verb. It’s an adjective. But to relatives or friends of people leaving unclaimed funds that languish in dormant accounts, the word escheat is nothing short of a windfall -- no matter how little money the account contains. According to the National Association ...

Can I Cosign for a Home Equity Loan If My Name Is Not on the Deed?

Lenders extend credit to unqualified applicants who can present a co-signer with significant income and a good credit history. If you fit this criteria, you may be asked to secure a home equity loan for a friend or relative. Home equity loans are credit applications. You do not ...

Can a Bank or Credit Union Change an Unsecured Loan to a Secured Loan?

A secured loan is one in which the borrower pledges an asset such as property or a vehicle as collateral for the loan. An unsecured loan is based on the buyer's creditworthiness, rather than being backed by collateral. Unsecured loans are high-risk loans for a lender, who issues ...

How to Garnish Social Security Benefits for Back Child Support

If a family court orders a child's parent to pay child support, he is required to follow the court order or risk a contempt of court charge. Most government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or unemployment compensation, are exempt from garnishments by regular ...

How Does an Auto Insurance Company Determine the Payoff for a Totaled Vehicle?

Having your car totaled in an accident is not a pleasant experience, and working with your insurance company to get the value out of you lost vehicle can add to the pain. The insurance company should pay you what your car is worth. This value may be significantly different from ...

How to Forgive a Promissory Note

Forgiving a promissory note is as straightforward as destroying the document or returning it to the debtor. In court, a promissory note is a legal document that proves a debt, and without that document, there is generally no proof of the agreement. Although forgiving a debt is a ...

Is Roth IRA Safe From Collectors?

Your Roth IRA is not necessarily safe from collectors, but it’ll take a lot of effort on the creditor’s part to get his hands on your funds. The federal and state governments understand that your Roth IRA is crucial to your ability to provide for yourself upon ...

Can I Transfer the Ownership of My US Savings Bond to My Godchild?

U.S. Savings Bonds are popular gifts for children, as they can be used to help finance college and other long-term goals. If you currently have savings bonds in your name, you may be able to transfer ownership to your godchild. Depending on your financial situation, this may be ...

Differences Between a Bond & a Levy

Bonds and levies are two different ways for a municipality to raise revenue. A bond is debt, offered to the public, which must eventually be repaid with interest. By contrast, a levy is a tax that towns and counties impose on local property owners in order to raise money for ...

How to Dispute a Social Security Overpayment and Tax Refund Offset

If Social Security concludes that you've received benefits -- disability or retirement -- to which you weren't entitled, you'll receive a notice and a demand for repayment from the agency. Social Security can bring the federal apparatus to bear on wayward beneficiaries, ...

How to Stop Cold Calls for Credit Card Rate Reduction

If you're getting unsolicited calls from credit-card telemarketers, you can take steps to quiet your phone and enhance your peace of mind. The same process is available no matter the reason for the call; if you're being asked to sign up for a new card with a lower interest rate, ...

Can Creditors Withdraw From Your Bank Account Without Authorization?

Guarding your bank account balance is harder and harder with the ease of automatic debits. Using an automatic debit transaction, the creditor does not need your signature or a physical check to access your money. Electronic transfers speed up the time to process your bill ...

Switching Jobs While Pregnant & Insurance Implications

Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but few women find the expenses of pregnancy -- which include regular doctor's visits, lab tests and the delivery itself -- very exciting. If you change jobs when you're pregnant, you might be concerned about health insurance, but in most cases ...

Protected Social Security Benefits Under Law

Social Security benefits include retirement benefit payments, disability benefit payments and Supplemental Security Income payments. If you owe a defaulted debt, a common tactic the creditor will take is to try to seize your money through a garnishment action. However, the law ...

Can a Hospital Garnish Your IRA?

Before a hospital could explore garnishment as an option to collect a debt you owe, the hospital would have to get a judgment in court. However, once it has a judgment, it generally can collect what you owe by taking what you have. Most states, however, prohibit garnishment of ...

Creditor Attachment of Life Insurance Death Benefits

A creditor holding a court judgment against a debtor may enforce that judgment by attaching (seizing) assets in accordance with the laws of your state. Some assets, however, are exempt from collection. This includes, in most states, the death benefit of a life insurance policy, ...

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