Debt Collectors Call His Cell (Repeatedly); He Sues, Gets $30,000

by Categorized: Telecom Date:

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It wasn’t such a good idea when Diversified Consultants Inc., a debt collection agency, started calling Jamie Davis of Cambridge, Mass., two years ago asking about an account belonging to someone named Rosalee Pagan.

Davis, obviously, was not Pagan. He told Diversified Consultants collectors that he did know her, never heard of her and did not want to hear about her, or from DCI, again. Yet the calls continued. From Aug. 1 to Nov. 12, 2012, Davis received 60 calls on his cellphone from the company’s collectors.

That’s illegal.

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Mortgage Rates Drop, Following Bond Yields

by Categorized: Banks Date:

Mortgage rates dipped in past week, following bond yields, as 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 4.12 percent and 15-year rates averaged 3.24 percent nationally, according to data released Thursday morning by Freddie Mac.
A week ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.14 percent and 15-year rates averaged 3.26 percent.

Here are the numbers in New England:

This week:
30-year: 4.12 percent
15-year: 3.24 percent

Last week:
30-year: 4.14 percent
15-year: 3.26 percent

A year ago:
30-year: 4.42 percent
15-year: 3.46 percent

How To Make Gas Stations Honor Cash Price On Debit Purchase

by Categorized: Consumer Complaints, Credit Cards Date:

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Today’s Bottom Line column:

Payment options, cash or credit, are marked clearly at local gas stations. But how does your local fill-up treat plastic cash, the debit card?

A debit card looks like a credit card, but banks treat it like a cash transaction. A consumer receives no “credit,” equivalent to a small loan, for any debit-card transaction. Debit is not credit.

Why, then, do some gas stations charge higher “credit card” prices for debit-card purchases? Because they can, according to state regulations, but only if they post signs on the face of the gas pump and at the cash register declaring the debit-as-credit charge.

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Mortgage Rates Higher, But Still Low-Low-Low

by Categorized: Banks Date:

Mortgage rates moved slightly higher in the past week, with 30-year rates averaging 4.14 percent nationally and 15-year rates averaging 3.27, according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The previous week’s rates: 30-year, 4.12 percent; 15-year, 3.23 percent.

The numbers in New England:

This week:
30-year: 4.14 percent
15-year: 3.26 percent

Last week:
30-year: 4.12 percent
15-year: 3.23 percent

A year ago:
30-year: 4.42 percent
15-year: 3.44 percent

Survey: Connecticut Makes A ‘Least Expensive’ List!

by Categorized: Banks Date:

When was the last time Connecticut appeared on a “least expensive” list? It’s ranked second in a 10 Cheapest States for Mortgage Rates survey released Monday by GOBankingRates and RateWatch.
Or maybe Connecticut is simply in the right place: Six of the 10 states with the most affordable rates are in the Northeast. (Six of the 10 highest rates are in the Midwest and Northwest.) Borrower demand, local property rates, default rates and unemployment are among the factors that influence rates regionally.

Least Expensive States:
Rank State Average Mortgage Rate
No. 1 Rhode Island 3.395 percent
No. 2 Connecticut 3.41 percent
No. 3 Nevada 3.459 percent
No. 4 Pennsylvania 3.551 percent
No. 5 Maryland 3.593 percent

Most Expensive States:
Rank State Average Mortgage Rate
No. 1 Nebraska 4.102 percent
No. 2 South Dakota 4.066 percent
No. 3 Wyoming 4.059 percent
No. 4 Vermont 4.020 percent
No. 5 Oklahoma 4.019 percent

GM Recalls Monte Carlo, But Not Hers Despite Ignition Failure

by Categorized: Banks Date:

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This weekend’s Bottom Line column:

General Motors has recalled more than 15 million vehicles worldwide this year for ignition-related defects, but Shelley Hansen still doesn’t understand why it hasn’t recalled her (VIN) number yet.

GM’s massive recalls began in February with 2.6 million older vehicles for faulty switches the company has now linked to 54 crashes and 13 deaths. The latest recalls sound like those that preceded them: Weight on a key ring could push the ignition switch out of the run position, turning off the engine and disabling the airbags.

Hansen knows the feeling. Before the massive recall, she says, the ignition in her 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo shut down while her daughter was driving.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Steady: 30-Year Fixed Averages 4.12 Percent

by Categorized: Banks Date:

Mortgage rates changed little in the past week, with 30-year fixed rates averaging 4.12 percent nationally and 15-year fixed rates averaging 3.23. according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The previous week, 30-year rates averaged 4.13 percent, 15-year rates 3.26.

Here are the numbers from New England:

This week:
30-year: 4.12 percent
15-year: 3.23 percent

Last week:
30-year: 4.12 percent
15-year: 3.27 percent

A year ago:
30-year: 4.43 percent
15-year: 3.45 percent

Heroin Overdose; Electricity Suppliers With Most Complaints

by Categorized: Consumer Complaints, Health, Safety Date:

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Today’s Bottom Line column:

Is it just me or is this a mix-and-match Bottom Line?

Overdose Prevention

A new state law grants immunity to people who administer naloxone, or Narcan, to anyone who has overdosed on heroin or other opioid like oxycodone. The heroin-reversal drug, approved in April by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, had been carried in Connecticut by paramedics but not by police and firefighters.
Now it’s available to anyone.

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Expedia’s $43 Rate At New Punta Cana Resort Too Good To Be True?

by Categorized: Travel Date:

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This weekend’s Bottom Line column:

Expedia is so sure of its travel prices that it offers a best-price guarantee that matches any lower price found within 24 hours of booking. It refunds the difference and issues a $50 travel coupon.

But what happens when a traveler books a trip to a Caribbean resort through Expedia, then finds out, months later, that the resort is increasing the nightly rate by more than 500 percent?

What about the confirmation?

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