Your Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Part II

Federal law limits how far businesses can go in their debt collection efforts. Are you aware of your rights?

Debt collection is a fact of life in any credit-based consumer economy, and there’s no doubt that it’s absolutely necessary. It’s so necessary, in fact, that some companies make it their primary business. However, some debt collectors can be too vigorous in their dunning.

Since 1978, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has regulated what bill collectors can and can’t do in attempts to elicit payment. In Part I of this article, we introduced the FDCPA, and listed prohibited actions. This time, let’s look at the required actions…and the penalties for breaking the law.

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Your Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Part I

Hounded by debt collectors? Fight them by being aware of your debt collection rights.

Even if you never expect to default on a bill, it’s still a good idea for you to know your debt collection rights, just in case. Admittedly, it’s not a pleasant subject to contemplate, but just about all of us have had to deal with dunning from bill collectors at one time or another.

You may have had a bad time of it, too; some bill collectors can be quite nasty. But the thing is, they’re not supposed to be — and that’s been the law of the land for decades. So in this two-part article, we’ll take a look at your debt collection rights under Federal law.

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Know Your Cancellation Rights

Contract cancellation rights vary from state to state, but you should know the basics.

When most of us sign contracts for goods or services, our cancellation rights never even cross our minds — if, in fact, we’re aware of them at all. But the truth is, cancellation is one of your basic consumer rights, so as a savvy consumer it’s a good idea to know when and how to take advantage of it.

So let’s take a look at your rights of cancellation under American law.

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Steaming Food Can Save You Money

Steaming food, instead of cooking it using conventional methods, can save you money — and it’s gentler on your edibles.

If you’re looking for ways to save money in the kitchen, here’s a good one: try steaming food, rather than boiling, frying, roasting, or baking it. Steaming tends to be less expensive than most cooking methods.

Plus, it’s ideal for delicate foods (including seafood and fragile vegetables) that cook quickly and might fall apart if you prepare them using other methods. Steaming cooks food exclusively by bathing it in moist heat; there’s no agitation involved.

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Storm Preparation 101

Unlike some natural disasters, storms are often predictable; so it pays to know the basics of storm preparation.

By making the necessary preparations against a potential disaster, you can often avoid spending boatloads of money in the aftermath. So in this article, we’ll take a quick at things you should do to secure your property, and personal safety, against expected storm damage.

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Swapping Your Way to Savings

Have you ever considered swapping things you have for things you need? Here are a few tips to get you started.

We humans have been swapping things from time immemorial, ever since Ugg the Caveman traded a shiny rock to his pal Bob for a chunk of meat.

And really, when you get right down to it, the swap is the basis of most economic systems, no matter how we may dress it up. Think about it: when you work at your job, don’t you swap your time and energy for a paycheck?

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Does Your Home Need an Energy Audit?

It’s a lot easier to save energy if you know where you’re wasting it. An energy audit can help you figure that out

If you’re looking for a simple (and often free) way to save money on home energy costs, then you should have an energy audit done on your house. It’s a great way to determine whether you’re wasting energy that you can’t afford.

Let’s face it: in this odd era, when technology is advancing by leaps and bounds and weather patterns are changing rapidly, most of us are pumping more energy than ever into our households. So ask yourself: Is it going to good use… or not?

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How to Save Money on Jewelry

Want to increase the size of your bling collection without going broke? Here are a few simple ways to save on jewelry

If you’re looking to save money on jewelry, you’ve got a goldmine of options, especially since the advent of the Internet. Really, there’s no excuse for the frugal to pay too much for accessories. So let’s take a look at some great ways to get your bling on without overpaying, shall we?

Now, let me emphasize that we’re talking real jewelry here: items made of previous metals and stones, not discount store costume jewelry. Though if that’s your thing, more power to you!

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Save Money with Freecycling

Want to get something for nothing at all? Take advantage of freecycling… and pass on unwanted items the same way

When it comes to saving money, nothing beats free — which is why freecycling is on the rise. Basically, this is a formalized system of what people have been doing forever: giving away things they don’t want to anyone who does want.

The Internet has made sharing free stuff easier than ever, and people have taken to it like ducks to water. Intrigued? Me too. Let’s check it out.

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A Simple Way to Save Money on College

Hoping to save money on college? Easy enough: don’t spend so much time there

To most of us, the very possibility that you can save money on college is right up there with the validity of the Easter Bunny. And that’s understandable: it doesn’t take much research on the subject to make you gasp in horror.

A degree from a big-name school can cost upwards of $250,000. Even a state university (always a frugal choice for a solid education) can cost you the price of a modest house over four years’ time. And at least with a house, you get 20-30 years to pay it off; you have to pay off student loans in ten.

So what’s a person to do?

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