Consumer Rights

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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 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 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 ...

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, ...

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

Insurance companies often won't tell you how they've determined how much your totaled vehicle is worth. To get the price you deserve, research that value yourself, including taxes and registration. At that point, be prepared to negotiate. To get the price you want, make your ...

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, ...

Switching Jobs While Pregnant & Insurance Implications

When you are pregnant, finding an effective insurance strategy is a top priority. There are a number of opportunities for pregnant women who are seeking to secure effective insurance coverage during their pregnancy while simultaneously searching for a new job. Understanding your ...

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 ...

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 ...

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