Good Lawyerly Advice at NO Charge!
10 Legal Tidbit's to Save Yourself Money,
Time and Grief.
and flus, cold remedies, natural cold remedies, natural flu remedies
By Peter Ballantine
The objective of this article is to distil into a succinct, easy to
read & understand document some words of advice that will very
likely save you time, money and grief. Read this, copy it and share it
with your loved ones as you’ll no doubt need to refer to it someday.
1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of
first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your check
book, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your
initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your
checks as they maintain your signature card.
2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID
3 When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO
NOT put the complete account number on the "For/Memo" line. Instead,
just put the last four numbers of the credit card as the credit card
company knows the rest of the number. This way, anyone who might be
handling your check as it passes through the mail and all the other
check processing channels won't have access to it.
4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not
have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SIN# printed on
your checks. You can add it if it is necessary, but if you have it
printed, anyone and everyone can have easy access to it.
5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both
sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in
your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call
and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also consider carrying
a photocopy of your passport when travel either local or abroad.
6. To limit the damage in instances where your wallet is lost or
Keep the contact numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom
to call and report your missing credit cards immediately.
a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit
cards, etc. were lost or stolen. This starts an investigation and
proves to credit providers you were diligent. This is an important
first step towards protecting against any potential liability.
the national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a
fraud alert on your name and Social Insurance Number. The alert ensures
that any company that checks your credit will know that your
information was stolen, and they must contact you by phone to obtain
authorization prior to granting any new credit.
7. Bought a new vehicle that is nothing but trouble? All states in the
United States now have "Lemon Laws" that protect new vehicle buyers
against defective vehicles, commonly referred to as "lemons"...
8. Don’t have a will?... you’re
potentially leaving a huge problem to your loved ones.
9. Suggestions for alternatives to declaring bankruptcy.
There are a number of different strategies for handling debt. For
starters, contact your creditor(s), ask for their cooperation, and try
to work out different payment arrangements or options. For example, if
you are snowed under by credit card debt, get in touch with the
company, explain the situation, and ask them to temporarily reduce your
minimum monthly payments, waive late charges, and extend the payment
period – with smaller payments at "no" interest.
A second recommendation is to turn to the Consumer Credit Counseling
Service, a nationwide nonprofit organization that will work with you
and your creditors to devise a more manageable repayment plan suited to
A third might be to sell any of your assets that have a resale value
and apply the proceeds to your debt. Any balance due can be negotiated
with the creditor.
Finally, another solution is to consolidate all outstanding debts into
a single loan (often through credit card balance transfers)—but read
the caution about balance transfers elsewhere in these materials. This
approach relieves you of being saddled with debt from multiple
creditors, since you will be making payments only to one lender. It’s
generally a bad idea to borrow against your home to pay off credit
cards, however: you’ll be trading dischargeable credit card debt for a
secured loan and could end up losing your home.
Beware of counseling services that are actually fronts for
profit-making companies. A common scam is to divert the consumer into a
debt consolidation program and to charge excessive administrative fees.
Sometimes, the initial fees go to the “counseling” company rather than
to creditors, which obviously makes the debt situation worse instead of
better. As a rule of thumb, a company that is advertising extensively
on TV or radio is probably making a profit at the expense of hapless
10. What to know about your rights related to changing your mind on a
If you buy something at a store and later change your mind, you may not
be able to return the merchandise. But if you buy an item in your home
or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business,
you may have the option. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's)
Cooling-Off Rule gives you three days to cancel purchases of $25 or
more. Under the Cooling-Off Rule, your right to cancel for a full
refund extends until midnight of the third business day after the sale.
The Cooling-Off Rule applies to sales at the buyer's
home, workplace or
dormitory, or at facilities rented by the seller on a temporary or
short-term basis, such as hotel or motel rooms, convention centers,
fairgrounds and restaurants. The Cooling-Off Rule applies even when you
invite the salesperson to make a presentation in your home.
Under the Cooling-Off Rule, the salesperson must tell you about your
cancellation rights at the time of sale. The salesperson also must give
you two copies of a cancellation form (one to keep and one to send) and
a copy of your contract or receipt. The contract or receipt should be
dated, show the name and address of the seller, and explain your right
to cancel. The contract or receipt must be in the same language that's
used in the sales presentation.
Also exempt from the Cooling-Off Rule are sales that involve:
Some types of sales cannot be canceled even if they do occur in
locations normally covered by the Rule. The Cooling-Off Rule does not
cover sales that:
How to Cancel
To cancel a sale, sign and date one copy of the cancellation form. Mail
it to the address given for cancellation, making sure the envelope is
post-marked before midnight of the third business day after the
contract date. (Saturday is considered a business day; Sundays and
federal holidays are not). Because proof of the mailing date and proof
of receipt are important, consider sending the cancellation form by
certified mail so you can get a return receipt. Or, consider hand
delivering the cancellation notice before midnight of the third
business day. Keep the other copy of the cancellation form for your
If the seller did not give cancellation forms, you can write your own
cancellation letter. It must be post-marked within three business days
of the sale.
You do not have to give a reason for canceling your purchase. You have
a right to change your mind.
If You Cancel
If you cancel your purchase, the seller has 10 days to:
and return any promissory note or other negotiable instrument you
- refund all your money and tell you whether
any product you still have will be picked up; and
If you have a complaint about sales practices that involve
Cooling-Off Rule, write:
Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580
The Rules' complete name and citation are: Rule Concerning Cooling-Off
Period for Sales Made at Homes or at Certain Other Locations; 16 CFR
You also may wish to contact a consumer protection office in your city,
county, or state. Some state laws give you even more rights than the
FTCs Cooling-Off Rule, and some local consumer offices can help you
resolve your complaint.
In addition, if you paid for your purchase with a credit card and a
billing dispute arises about the purchase (for example, if the
merchandise shipped was not what you ordered), you can notify the
credit card company that you want to dispute the purchase. Under the
Fair Credit Billing Act, the credit card company must acknowledge your
dispute in writing and conduct a reasonable investigation of your
problem. You may withhold payment of the amount in dispute, until the
dispute is resolved. (You are still required to pay any part of your
bill that is not in dispute.) To protect your rights under the Fair
Credit Billing Act, you must send a written notice about the problem to
the credit card company at the address for billing disputes specified
on your billing statement within 60 days after the first bill
containing the disputed amount is mailed to you.
If the 60-day period has expired or if your dispute concerns the
quality of the merchandise purchased, you may have other rights under
the Act. If you have questions about the Fair Credit Billing Act, write
for the free brochure entitled Fair Credit Billing.
Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580
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