Archive for September, 2009

Credit Card Rules to Protect Consumers actually Hurt
September 30, 2009

The advocacy group “Consumer Action” says credit card companies and banks have rolled out a slew of arbitrary new fees and jacked up interest rates since President Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, or the CARD Act into law.  

Consumer Action published on its Web site a gallery of what it said were the worst offenders. Here’s some that made the list:

* Bank of America’s Platinum Plus Visa, which increased interest rates by up to 46 percent.

* Capital One, which increased its penalty interest rate by 6.25 percent.

* Citigroup, which began collecting annual fees ranging from $30 to $90.

* JP Morgan Chase, which increased its balance transfer fee to 5 percent.

* JP Morgan Chase, which increased minimum payments from 2 percent to 5 percent.  When consumers call asking for relief, they are told the only way to reduce their monthly payment is to accept a higher interest rate.

* HSBC, Chase, American Express and Bank of America, all of which have all closed accounts without warning.

Many issuers also have lowered consumers’ credit limits without warning. This limits their purchasing power and hurts their credit score.

When it passed the law, Congress gave the banking industry nearly a year to implement the changes mandated by the CARD Act. Some in Congress now feel that was a mistake. Rep. Barney Frank, D.-Mass.,  has introduced legislation that would move up the effective date of the remaining provisions to Dec. 1.

This information was taken from an MSNBC article. You can read it in full here.

Consumer Action has also compiled a list of all of the new rules that will take effect Feb. 22, 2010.

Got a Legal Question? Here’s an Answer:
September 28, 2009

newbus

 

This Saturday from 9a-3pm, you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about your rights and the law when it comes to landlords and tenants, consumer law and credit problems, employment law and health insurance.

The classes are taught by local attorneys and law professors at the University of Houston.

“The People’s Law School” is free. It’s only held twice a year; and it always fills up… so register now to reserve your seat.

Step on Over to the Texas State Fair
September 27, 2009

As a Houston native, I’ve always wanted to go. Now I can cross the State Fair off my list of things to do. We had a great time in Dallas.  I thought I’d share some pics.

You can still take your family. The State Fair runs through Oct. 18th.  I love fall bazaars and festivals. If you do too, you can see a complete list of every state fair in the U.S. here.

You Get What you Pay For
September 21, 2009

How many times have you heard that line?

I was reminded of the old saying this weekend when I purchased a wig from Big Lots.  A co-worker had a “Wig Party.”  Cute idea… I didn’t have a wig; but when I dropped by Big Lots to pick up a gift bag, I noticed the wigs with all of their Halloween stuff.

I picked out the cool punk wig. All of the wigs are $7. What I got was a $7 look apparently.  Needless to say, I showed up sans wig!

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Houston 911/ TeleHealth Nurse Program
September 17, 2009

At 10 last night, we told you about a new program that the City of Houston Fire Department started last year. When you call 911, your call may get transferred to a nurse call center in San Antonio so the nurse can decide if you really need an ambulance.

It happened to Natalie Holmes when she called 911 for an ambulance for her nephew. In the story, we could only play clips of the call because of time constraints. With Natalie’s permission, we have posted the entire call for you to hear. 

Tell me what you think by posting a comment below. Do you think the TeleHealth Nurse Program is a good thing?