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Friday, May 16, 2008

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Jennifer

Credit card companies have long since taken advantage of individuals with false and misleading advertising to obtain new customers, later manipulating those customers using the consumers lack of education and knowledge of how the industry operates, and later resorting to unscrupulous tactics to extort additional funds that the consumer has little recourse.

A perfect example is a particpalar charge card company who obtained a professional association's mailing list. The card company sent emails, and made phone calls indicating the consumer was pre-approved with special interest rates as a result of their good track record with that specific professional association.

Reports of another company who allowed unauthorized charges to be applied on a closed, sero balance account for the sole purpose of adding over limit fees, late fees, and interest. The company company returned dispute letters to the consumer marked refused/return to sender. The Department of Banking and Insurance found in the consumers favor and the charges (under $200) themselves were credited by the insurance carrier. The matter is still pending as the bank continues to damage this individuals credit reports and refuses to credit over a year of over limit fees, late fees, and accrued interest. In this instance, the consumer is reporting to have received correspondence offering $25 gas gift cards if they pay 50% of the bill as a settlement.

What we need isn't more laws, but a solid plan to enforce those laws. A governing agency that can review disputes on a case by case basis, and not just let them sit in a database for developing trends such as with the FTC.

We already know the trends, what we need is to put bonds in place. In several cases I have seen, the lender wasn't even legal to do business in the state where the consumer resided. Obviously, these are things not being looked at and this is where we really need to focus efforts with predatory lending and consumer credit.

This legalized organized crime syndicate, is detroying an already stressed economy with ramifications to consumers from extremes such as suicide, destruction of the family unit, loss of employment, health issues related to stress associated just to name a few.

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