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Is Debt Elimination for Real?


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While I agree that many people CLAIM to have legitimate effective programs... many are not... and on the other hand... many are. The key is research.

As with most things in life, there is both truth and untruth in that article. Is that the extent of your research? So be it. Please consider the source.

One comment did jump out at me though...

"But your chance of getting your debt dismissed is close to zero," says Detweiller. "Your credit card contract probably includes a mandatory arbitration clause, and the credit card company gets to choose the arbitrator," she explains. "Those financial institutions will haul you into court in a second, and they will almost always win."

UNTRUE!

Many NEVER show up... and when they do... many times they're clueless.

Have you read this thread? http://www.debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=22830

Or this one? http://www.debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=16946

Is it possible a goverment "official" would misrepresent the facts?

Maybe you noticed the term illegal was NEVER once mentioned in that article regarding these tactics. All I saw was a plea for consumers to tattle. Tattle for what reason? To ask for their money back... to report to the BBB? No mention of illegality whatsoever. Make ya wonder? BTW, I agree... consumers should tattle on a lot of things... like OC, CA and CRA abuses. Where they actually DO break the law.

You know its sad that so many people lack the desire to gain the knowledge... and more disappointingly, the personal conviction and intestinal fortitude to protect themselves and their families. Why are so many people so content with their plight? Why are so many people so lazy? Why do they allow others to control their destiny?

Believe what you like. I'm not here to sell you on anything. Some programs are totally legitimate and HIGHLY effective. I have Personal Knowledge of this fact.

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I have said it before, and I repeat:

If you can post a copy of ONE statute or ONE piece of case law that supports the claim that credit cards are illegal, making the debt uncollectable, please do so. I haven't yet seen anything but vague statements and "trust me, I know".

The purpose of this board is to help through knowledge of the law.

Post something other that claims. One law. One case. Where is it?

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May I start by complimenting those of you who are demonstrating a continued interest in gaining a broader perspective surrounding the subject at hand. I hope the OP's lurking somewhere because he/she needs to participate in this discussion and learning experience most of all.

I have said it before, and I repeat:

If you can post a copy of ONE statute or ONE piece of case law that supports the claim that credit cards are illegal, making the debt uncollectable, please do so.

Those are your claims, not mine. Where have I said credit cards are illegal? Where have I said the debt is uncollect i ble? I'm not obligated to proove any such claim. But now that you mention it, how do YOU account for the fact that the scope of the bank's charter authority expressly violates Federal Law under Title 12 CRR section 24.7 by loaning credit as well as charging a usurious interest on that credit? Please answer if you're able.

I haven't yet seen anything but vague statements and "trust me, I know"

Hold That Thought!

The purpose of this board is to help through knowledge of the law.

That's a GOOD thing!... And Hold That Thought!

Post something other that claims. One law. One case. Where is it?

See above...

More?

Per your request, here are just a few examples of what the Courts have set as precedent:

"In the federal courts, it is well settled that a national bank has not power to lend its credit to another by becoming surety, endorser, or guarantor for him". Farmers and Miners Bank v. Bluefield Nat'l Bank 11F 2d 83, 271 U.S. 669

“The exercise of powers not expressly granted to national banks is prohibited”. First Nat. Bank v. Nat. Exchange Bank, 92 U.S. 122, 128; California Bank v. Kennedy, 167 U.S. 362, 367; Concord Bank v. Hawkins, 174 U.S. 364.

"...checks, drafts, money orders, and bank notes are not lawful money of the United States". State v. Neilon, 73, Pac. 3211, 43 Ore. 168.

Are you an attorney?... I am not... but I have learned to read and comprehend to some level.

Here's some additional LAW you may recognize:

The Fair Credit Billing Act, United States Code Service (USCS) Commerce and Trade Title 15 Section 1666 (a)(3)(B)(ii), mandates that the creditor must:

“...send a written explanation or clarification to the obligor, after having conducted an investigation, setting forth to the extent applicable reasons why the creditor believes the account of the obligor was correctly shown in the statement and, upon request of the obligor, provide copies of documentary evidence of the obligor’s indebtedness.”

The banks are notorious for refusing to answer specific questions as mandated by this LAW.

Under the law Title 12 CFR Section 226.13, a consumer has the right to withhold payment until the dispute is resolved and the creditor is prohibited from all collection efforts, as well as adding late charges and fees if the account is still in dispute. Continued action to attempt to collect payment on a disputed account is in violation of Federal law Title12 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Banks and Banking section (sect.) 226.13 (d)(1), which specifically states:

"...consumer’s right to withhold disputed amount; collection action prohibited. The consumer need not pay (and the creditor may not try to collect) any portion of any required payment that the consumer believes is related to the disputed amount (including related finance or other charges.)"

My goodness, believe it or not, they continue collection efforts in spite of this... a blatant disregard for and violation of the LAW.

Under the law Title 12 CFR Section 226.12 (Truth in Lending), a bank is prohibited from reporting negatively on your credit report until a dispute is resolved. Your account should either read, “in dispute”, and/or “closed per customer request”. Many times they report as closed by guarantor (them) and also as late. This is your evidence of their violation of federal law. As stated under Title 12 CFR section 226.12 © (2):

"Adverse credit reports prohibited. If, in accordance with paragraph ©(1) of this section, the cardholder withholds payment of the amount of credit outstanding for the disputed transaction, the card issuer shall not report that amount as delinquent until the dispute is settled or judgment is rendered."

Can you imagine that here too they BREAK THE LAW? Isn't it Amazing their attitude towards the LAW?

You DID say you base your judgement and opinion on the LAW, didn't you? Funny how people have different interpretations of the LAW, Ain't It?

Soooo, show me where the methods to which I refer (those currently being utilized to effectively eliminate alleged debt) have been determined to be illegal in ANY court of LAW. You can't... Why?... because the elimination methodry to which I refer is accomplished using the LAW, unlike the opposing industry where they continue to operate outside the LAW. It appears to me that much of their business is conducted and ill-gotten gains maximized by purposefully breaking the LAW. Remember the Bankate article where no mention was made of illegality? Illegality on either side. Maybe an email to the journalist requesting further clarification would be appropriate. At the same time, request an investigation into the illegal tactics employed every single day by the very advertisers with whom she(?) Teri, shares the page.

Oh Yes... regarding the recent Bankrate article... as I said, Please consider the source. Did you happen to notice the sponsors and advertisers that pay the salaries of those that own, work and write for Bankrate.Com?... (note to self: Who owns Bankrate.Com?).

Let's take a GOOD look at the list of ALL ADVERTISERS as they appear on the article's webpage:

Chase Rewards Platinum Card (top banner ad)

ING Direct

NetBank

myFico.com

E-LOAN

Emigrant Direct.com

esurance

CitiBank

Quicken Loans

AGAIN... Chase rewards (large animated display)

A link to debt consolidation (They offer 8 methods. Here's the one I liked: Home Equity Loan... Let's turn unsecured "debt" into secured "debt"... Sound like a good idea? Seriously though, the Negotiation option is the only one with merit IMHO.)

Various and sundry insurance, mortgage and "educational" links

Wow... another Chase PerfectCard

And FINALLY... The bottom amimated banner! Drum Roll Pleeeezzzze...

You guessed it!... The CHASE Platinum Zero. Zip. Zilch 0% for 9 months on all purchases and transfers,

Super "Duper", Gotta Have One, PIECE OF...

and now let me insert the same descriptive term expressed by a previous posteeeerrrrr...

Waaaait foooor iiiiiiiiiiiiitt...

BULLSH*T!

Is it possible that Bankrate may be slightly influenced by these advertisers? Let me refer you back to your earlier statement... and think about what you wrote in the context of this atricle...

I haven't yet seen anything but vague statements and "trust me, I know".

Might these advertisers want to create the false impression that there is only one thing people can do about their mounting credit card problem... pay, pay, pay for as long as it takes... for the rest of their natural born lives simply because the banks say so? Yeah, "TRUST ME, I KNOW." We've observed and experienced their attitude towards Federal Consumer Protection LAW. They set a very poor example of how to work within the LAW, wouldn't you agree? Do you trust lawbreakers? "TRUST ME, I KNOW." Remember Enron, Tyco, Adelphia... large corporations that marched to an ILLEGAL drumbeat? Guess what, they'd STILL be in business had they not gotten out of control to the point they got caught. A WHOLE bunch of good people "TRUSTED THEM, THEY KNEW."

How do you define propaganda or disinformation?

When I was growing up, my Grandfather called it

Pulling the wool over your eyes...

Open your eyes folks!... OR Don't.

Its YOUR choice.

I've studied the following. If you REALLY want to know... You'll do the same. I can't do it all for you because if I told Ya, I'd have to kill Ya... :wink: j/k

Below are direct links to Consumer Protection laws:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/Regulations/default.htm

http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcb/fcb.pdf

http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/15/1601.html

http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm

http://www2.law.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/foliocgi.exe/FRCP?

http://www2.law.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/foliocgi.exe/FRE?

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.overview.html

GOOD LUCK!

NANU NANU!

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!

P.S. No One ever answered MY questions... Hmmmmmmmm.

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... where did I make a claim? I simply shared my opinion about an unsubstantiated statement. Where is the proof behind that statement other than "BULLSH*T!".

Hypnotist,

Please stop instigating.

If you'd like proof of the types of counseling companies we're talking about being shut down daily by the FTC and Attorneys General, I can post them for you - give me a couple days.

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Maybe I misunderstand what you are saying, but under FCBA, you only have 60 days to dispute, do you not?

This is the law as I understand it. Yes, 60 days from that date of the last statement I believe. However, there are those that have successfully initiated a dispute just prior to the issuance of a summons, and even just prior to a judgement being awarded.

I would like to be very clear about this entire debate. Please understand, my intentions are very much like yours and the other good folks here. The simple fact that you invest your precious irretrievable time in an effort to help educate others about increasing the quality of their lives speaks volumes. You have my respect! I've learned a great deal from these discussions, and as you, take everything I hear, read, or am subjected to in any way with a very large Sea of Salt. Believe me when I say that the concepts that I've briefly touched on here were pure Blasphemy when I first discovered them. Only through a burning desire to find out more and more have I begun to understand the ways in which the very few take unfair advantage of too many. Again, don't take my word for it... discover for yourself. But please be careful that you do not dismiss and denegrate something you haven't THOROUGHLY researched. I won't if you won't... Agreed?

Let's expand our perspectives and think even further outside the box.

Its a shame someone built that box in the first place :(... don't you think?

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... where did I make a claim? I simply shared my opinion about an unsubstantiated statement. Where is the proof behind that statement other than "BULLSH*T!".

Hypnotist,

Please stop instigating.

If you'd like proof of the types of counseling companies we're talking about being shut down daily by the FTC and Attorneys General, I can post them for you - give me a couple days.

DocDon... your demeanor on these boards is exemplary, and I'm not just blowing smoke up your skirt. Again to you, my intentions are not to instigate anything but a healthy debate based on the merits. Please note that I believe expletives offer no concrete evidence in debate. At best they are used for impact, and more probably because the writer can offer nothing more than that. I echoed that particular post to show how offensive it can be. You must have seen my point. I could not however, let such an irresponsible statement lodge too firmly into the mind of the OP. You've stated yourself...

We're always up for a good non-flaming (although sometimes heated) debate.
BTW, OP must have won the lottery between yesterday and today and all their problems are now solved. We should all be so lucky.

Thank you for the offer regarding the shut downs. I too have read recent news releases about certain companies and the unscrupulous business practices that have led to their fall from grace. Unfortunately this is a never ending story. You know as well as I that there will always be those that prey on the weak and or uneducated. I would not be one of those, nor do I choose to have the remotest association with any questionable organization if I'm aware and can avoid it. That's why I no longer carry a Credit Card.

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Thank you for noticing my new skirt. Nobody else did.

Here's a little 'history' that led to expletives being a somewhat appropriate response.

In November 2003, the FTC sued AmeriDebt

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/11/ameridebt.htm

In March 2005, AmeriDebt was shut down

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/03/ameridebt.htm

There's still more:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/03/creditcouncel.htm

Then there's all the individual actions by state Attorneys General...

Bad, bad news. The few reputable counseling companies have been sullied by the criminals that prey upon desperation.

Some "pointers" from the FTC to consider when looking for a counseling service:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/debt.htm

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Thank you for noticing my new skirt. Nobody else did.

Here's a little 'history' that led to expletives being a somewhat appropriate response.

In November 2003, the FTC sued AmeriDebt

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/11/ameridebt.htm

In March 2005, AmeriDebt was shut down

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/03/ameridebt.htm

There's still more:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/03/creditcouncel.htm

Then there's all the individual actions by state Attorneys General...

Bad, bad news. The few reputable counseling companies have been sullied by the criminals that prey upon desperation.

Some "pointers" from the FTC to consider when looking for a counseling service:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/debt.htm

LOL on the dress!

Yes Sir... Thank You for the links!

AmeriDebt is undoubtedly the most high profile of all the recent "take downs". I do not recommend dealing with CCCS companies of any kind and here's why... http://www.bankruptcyaction.com/BankruptcyNews.htm#creditcounselors

Pretty Slick huh? Let's create an industry that appears to be totally disassociated... with the consumer's interests at heart. When in actuality, they're a cleverly veiled collection arm. :)

Can You Say Smoke And Mirrors?

Remember this scene?

DOROTHY

If you were really great and powerful,

you'd keep your promises!

OZ'S VOICE

Do you presume to criticize the....

MLS -- Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal the Wizard at the controls of

the throne apparatus -- his back to the camera

OZ'S VOICE

...Great Oz? You ungrateful creatures!

MLS -- The Four react with fear -- Scarecrow looks o.s. to right -- points

for Dorothy --

OZ'S VOICE

Think yourselves lucky that I'm....

LS -- Shooting past the Four at left to the Wizard at the controls of the

throne apparatus -- the Four react as they see him after Dorothy calls

their attention to him --

OZ'S VOICE

...giving you audience tomorrow, instead

of....

MS -- The Wizard at the controls -- his back to camera -- he speaks into

the microphone -- he turns, looks o.s. to f.g. and sees that the curtain

is gone -- reacts and turns back to the controls --

OZ'S VOICE

...twenty years from now. Oh -- oh oh!

The Great Oz has spoken! Oh -- Oh ---....

LS -- Shooting past the Four at left to the Wizard as he pulls back the

curtain --

OZ'S VOICE

... Oh .... Oh ....

MS - The Wizard peers out from behind the curtain -

MS - Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and Scarecrow react as they look at the Wizard

o.s. to right - Dorothy speaks

DOROTHY

Who are you?

MCU - The Wizard peering out from curtain - he ducks back out of sight and

his voice booms out again -

OZ'S VOICE

Oh - I - Pay no....

LS -- Shooting past the Four at left to the Curtain in b.g. -- Dorothy

goes over to it and starts to pull it aside --

OZ'S VOICE

...attention to that man behind the curtain.

Go - before I lose my temper! The Great and

Powerful ---....

MCS -- Dorothy pulls back the curtain to reveal the Wizard at the controls

-- he reacts as he sees Dorothy -- Dorothy questions him -- the Wizard

starts to speak into the microphone -- then turns weakly back to Dorothy --

CAMERA PULLS back slightly as the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man enter and

stand behind Dorothy --

OZ'S VOICE

... -- Oz -- has spoken!

DOROTHY

Who are you?

OZ'S VOICE

Well, I -- I -- I am the Great and Powerful

-- Wizard of Oz.

DOROTHY

You are?

WIZARD

Uhhhh -- yes...

DOROTHY

I don't believe you!

WIZARD

No, I'm afraid it's true. There's no other

Wizard except me.

MCS -- Dorothy and her three friends react -- Camera shooting past the

Wizard at left -- the Scarecrow and Lion speak angrily --

SCARECROW

You humbug!

LION

Yeah!

CS -- Wizard -- shooting past Dorothy, the Lion and Scarecrow -- the

Wizard speaks --

WIZARD

Yes-s-s -- that...that's exactly so. I'm

a humbug!

DOROTHY

Oh ....

MCU -- Dorothy -- Tin Man and Scarecrow behind her --

DOROTHY

...you're a very bad man!

I'm the Mangy Little Dog tugging at the curtain.

Which Character are YOU?

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I'm the character that hangs himself in the background of one the scenes.

LOLOLOL!!! That's too funny! Here, make a wish...

glenda.jpg

I'm the person buys the uncle's farm at auction when the bank forecloses on it after Dorothy wakes up and realizes she never really went anywhere, and her dog isn't as smart as he appeared in her dream.

Merrily-Merrily-Merrily-Merrily... I-Wish-it-WAS-a-Dream.

They DO try to keep you under the Ether though, Don't they?

And You have to have a Dream to make a Dream come true.

Ahhh, the one in the woods that swings back and forth as the happy trio skips off to meet the Lion....I remember that. Wasn't that right after "...a little fire, Scarecrow?" scene?

Holy Cow... I Don't remember... and I've only seen it like 4000 times. Am I gonna have to go rent the movie now... OOOH Why Not?

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RENT??? You mean you don't own a copy?? How can that be? <<In my best Jimmy Stewart voice....>>> "Why, ..why, ..why thats preposterous!"

That was GREAT... C'mon... do the Jimmy Stewart Voice AGAIN!!

Uh Oh... did I actually reveal to the world that I no longer own a copy of OZ. Lets just say I lost it in the past. Your right though, everyone should own that movie.

Of course the OZ story, much like the story surrounding Debt Elimination, is the subject of much debate. The image of the hanging man is actually a bird flapping it's feathers. And the speculation that Baum was writing a veiled political piece is revealed to be just that... pure unfounded speculation. As with the negative and mythical stories that surround OZ, so it goes with many misconceptions including those surrounding True Debt Elimination. You must dig deeper to discover the REAL facts. Take a good look at the REAL facts behind OZ...

http://www.eskimo.com/~tiktok/

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_392.html

http://www.indiana.edu/~econed/pdffiles/summer02/bhansen.pdf

http://www.movieprop.com/tvandmovie/reviews/wizardoflinks.htm

I had a very wise man tell me once... "Remember, its ONLY a Movie."

That statement helped remind me to keep it all in perspective... good advice I think.

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The image of the hanging man is actually a bird flapping it's feathers.

First you claim I wear a skirt, now you're telling me I'm a bird. Wow, are you heading for a banning.

8-)

I still haven't done the Oz/Dark Side of the Moon thing yet. :? Start the CD on the MGM lion's third roar, right?

:?

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The image of the hanging man is actually a bird flapping it's feathers.

First you claim I wear a skirt, now you're telling me I'm a bird. Wow, are you heading for a banning.

8-)

HA! Its definitely a compliment. I appreciate a cute "chick" that occasionally wears a skirt. I'm just surprised at your hem length. :oops: Please be careful kneeling in the forums. This is a Family Show. :D

ME... Banned? Why... I'd be Honored to be banned by such a cute chick! I don't know much about computers, so will I be able to lurk once I'm Banned? I want to see what your wearing even though I'll be unable to compliment your outfit. *Sigh* So close... and yet so far away.

I still haven't done the Oz/Dark Side of the Moon thing yet. :? Start the CD on the MGM lion's third roar, right?

:?

Dude, I'm not there yet... I'm still trying to verify that Paul McCartney is really Dead. I just KNOW its true 'cause a little banker told me so. I'm straining to hear the "I buried Paul" message during the fade-out on Strawberry Fields Forever. They say that's his voice from beyond... how exciting! Yeah, I know its been 39 years... I know 'cause I'm still making payments on a credit card that very same banker talked me into when I was Six years old... my Cat got one too. Except her credit card offer came to her in the mail. She just loves to sit on the mailbox and wait for her "Kitty Letter".

I have a question though... How come the balance on our cards is actually growing? I thought if I made the minimum payment, SOMEDAY I'd pay it off! Oh well, I won't despair. I'm sure we'll get 'em zero'd out... prolly right about the time I hear Paul speak to me from the "other side". It'll have to be pretty soon though, Kitty's lookin' kinda weak. Hey, Paul did die in that car wreck didn't he? That little banker wouldn't lie to me would he? Would someone PLEEEEZZZE send me a PM if its not true!

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I'm bumping this thread due to the absence of certain answers. Questions were posed and answers were provided in this discussion... mostly unilaterally... and mostly by me. I have provided U.S. Statutory evidence that specific approaches to LEGAL debt elimination are successful under the law. These laws are very clear and are being utilized successfully by thousands of Americans every single solitary day to LEGALLY combat an industry that's doing more harm to more people than good.... I AM the King of understatement. Here's a highly credible, and very recent study that illustrates my point...

http://www.ethomasgarman.net/press/Press%20Release%20-%20Financial%20Distress%20Report%20-%20Garman%20-%20032305.pdf

So will someone PLEEEEEASE show me where it's against the law to initiate a dispute under the FCBA? Will someone PLEEEEEASE show me where it's illegal to ask for specific validation that a debt truly exists? Will someone show me where the "money" came from to fund my unsecured credit card account in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices). Will someone show me where BOTH parties do not have to be at risk and that consideration is not required for a contract to be legal and binding upon the parties? Will someone show me where contractual non-discosure is okay? Because if you can, you've proven that the law is meaningless and that our legal system is now impotent to protect us. And if that's the case, "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore." We're at the mercy of the Wizard of OZ... and that's DIS-PLEEEEEASING to me.

I'll now take the very same posture the creditors take regarding a claim of indebtedness. Unless you dispute the validity of my position... by your silence, I will assume my argument to be ABSOLUTELY TRUE IN FACT. And if my arguement is true (which it is), then there REALLY is a LEGAL method of Debt Elimination aside from BK 7... and all prior posts to the contrary violated the spirit of these forums by providing untrue answers to a legitimate question... a question that has been undoubtedly raised here many times in the past. And so in the spirit of providing good information to those who come here for real life help and not a cooking question, I'll ask once more to...

... please be careful that you do not dismiss and denegrate something you haven't THOROUGHLY researched. I won't if you won't... Agreed?

C-YA on the boards :wink:

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  • 1 month later...

Read the original post:

"I have seen a couple of websites claiming that cc companies are not actually lending you their money, they are lending you your own money using your signiture. According to these web sites, this is against the law and they have to forgive your debts."

There's nothing to "prove". Anyone who takes the time to learn how interchange works will see this is a scam. It's not your money - the merchant gets paid before your payment is even due to the company that issued your card.

If you have spare time on your hands to ask your creditors for proof you owe them money, then knock yourself out - there's nothing illegal about that.

The question was about debt elimination. To eliminate your debt, you have 2 choices. One is BK, and the other is to defraud your creditors. This is the wrong place if you're looking to do the latter.

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Read the original post:

"I have seen a couple of websites claiming that cc companies are not actually lending you their money, they are lending you your own money using your signiture. According to these web sites, this is against the law and they have to forgive your debts."

There's nothing to "prove". Anyone who takes the time to learn how interchange works will see this is a scam. It's not your money - the merchant gets paid before your payment is even due to the company that issued your card.

If you have spare time on your hands to ask your creditors for proof you owe them money, then knock yourself out - there's nothing illegal about that.

The question was about debt elimination. To eliminate your debt, you have 2 choices. One is BK, and the other is to defraud your creditors. This is the wrong place if you're looking to do the latter.

Doc Don... please rethink your statement about the party initiating the fraud. Research will reveal and illuminate CC Banker's insidious ILLEGAL business tactics.

Still waiting!

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Again, I don't understand the point. Did you write your concerns to your elected officials? I think we can all agree CC companies are evil. :cool:

DocDon... With All Due Respect... our elected officials are well aware of these serious concerns. Very recently Senators met to discuss only a few of their harmful practices:

UPDATE 2-US Senators call for clear credit card disclosure

Tue May 17, 2005 03:19 PM ET

(Recasts, adds details, quotes throughout)

By Kristin Roberts

WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) - U.S. senators on Tuesday criticized the credit card industry for unfair practices and for failing to disclose account information to consumers in a clear, understandable way.

"Credit card issuers have become the victims of their own success and are now turning credit cards into nothing less than wallet-sized predatory loans," said Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher Dodd at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

"At a time when access to credit is easiest and cheapest, credit card companies are making more money than ever. Credit card issuers are charging usurious rates and fees and engaging in my view in a very serious amount of abuses and deceptive practices," he said.

About 6,000 financial institutions have issued more than 640 million credit cards in the United States, according to industry estimates. Annual domestic transactions involving credit cards exceed $1 trillion, according to industry data.

Sen. Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, top Democrat on the committee, listed some of what he said were egregious practices by credit card companies, such as aggressive and misleading direct mail solicitations to seniors and college students and excessive late-payment penalties that can double or triple interest rates.

Sarbanes also challenged claims that individuals alone are responsible for racking up excessive debt at unaffordable interest rates. He said people may be led into credit card use through "misinformation or clever statements" by card issuers.

While charging credit card companies with various unfair practices, senators also criticized federal banking regulators for allowing the industry to employ marketing strategies that target vulnerable groups of people.

"We benefit from the credit card industry, but only if we know what we're buying, what we're signing up for," said Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. "A lot of people don't."

The Truth in Lending Act is the primary federal law governing disclosures for consumer credit, including credit cards. It is implemented in the Federal Reserve Board of Governors' Regulation Z.

In December 2004, the board started a review of Regulation Z, and a public comment period recently closed.

The Federal Reserve is now reviewing comments from industry and consumer groups about proposed revisions to the regulations. Federal Reserve Gov. Edward Gramlich told the Senate panel he expects the Fed to publish the proposed revisions in 2006.

Both he and the acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Julie Williams, said any revisions should be tested through consumer focus groups to determine if new disclosure rules would more effectively give people the information they need about credit card accounts.

But the two banking regulators disagreed on whether they have the powers they need to fulfill their supervisory roles.

In response to a question from the committee, Gramlich said the Fed has enough authority to oversee the credit card industry. But Williams said the OCC should have authority to write rules defining unfair and deceptive practices.

Sorry, I dont have the LINK.

DocDon... as you noted in an earlier post, the questions posed by the OP pertained to the legitimacy of an approach to debt reduction/elimination.

I have seen a couple of websites claiming that cc companies are not actually lending you their money, they are lending you your own money using your signiture. According to these web sites, this is against the law and they have to forgive your debts. This sounds too good to be true. Anybody know anything about this tactic?

Some frequent posters offered the OP a flat interpretation of their preconceived notions and opinions... clearly, they haven't studied the law in this regard. This was an irresposible and very dangerous offering IMHO. So my POINT was simply to set the record straight with thoughtful and concrete evidence to the contrary. How one personally feels about this particular LEGAL approach to debt relief is their business. Personally, I feel all other approaches are inferior... and that bankruptcy is the worst.

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It was the OCC working with some Attorneys General that woke Providian up to the tune of $450M...

Our elected officials don't know squat - only a couple are NOT receiving campaign monies from these "evil companies" they speak of.

First and foremost, it is up to US to understand what we're about to sign. If you can't, don't accept the contract. We want our estimates for auto repairs to be clear and understandable, but a majority of us don't even read our cardholder agreements let alone understand them.

http://debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=25007

Watch this story. Pay attention to the part where the person who teaches contract law can't even make sense of a cardholder agreement.

As to the other comment, learn how interchange works. It's the entire process your credit card takes from the time you swipe it, to the time you sign the receipt - it makes about 10 stops before the cycle is done.

If you have a 30-day grace period, I can assure you the merchant has already had the money deposited into their account.... so whose money is it? That's where the "extending you credit" part comes in, and it is certainly not lending you your own money.

Your $5K credit limit is not yours - it is what the issuer decides you can borrow "no questions asked". Could you imagine filling out loan papers each time you wanted to use credit (ie: gas, food... etc)? That's what the card replaces.

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It was the OCC working with some Attorneys General that woke Providian up to the tune of $450M...

Excellent... so glad you invested the time to watch the Frontline program! Maybe you noticed there's a clear dispute as to who actually lowered the hammer in the Providian case.

Our elected officials don't know squat - only a couple are NOT receiving campaign monies from these "evil companies" they speak of.

Good point... we have the finest Congress MONEY can Buy!

First and foremost, it is up to US to understand what we're about to sign. If you can't, don't accept the contract. We want our estimates for auto repairs to be clear and understandable, but a majority of us don't even read our cardholder agreements let alone understand them.

The statement you make below about the Harvard contract law professor sheds light on this statement... FAIR? Equitable? or Criminal?

http://debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=25007

Watch this story. Pay attention to the part where the person who teaches contract law can't even make sense of a cardholder agreement.

I assure you I have. You may recall my link to the program earlier in this thread.

As to the other comment, learn how interchange works. It's the entire process your credit card takes from the time you swipe it, to the time you sign the receipt - it makes about 10 stops before the cycle is done.

This is true... but whether it makes 1 stop or 50 stops, the CC industry needs to stop their insidious bottom-feeding.

If you have a 30-day grace period, I can assure you the merchant has already had the money deposited into their account.... so whose money is it? That's where the "extending you credit" part comes in, and it is certainly not lending you your own money.

Well, as a matter of fact it is your money. Do you really believe the banks "lend" their own or depositor assets. NO they Do Not... never have and never will... this is part and parcel of a fiat currency and fractional reserve banking... REALLY!

Your $5K credit limit is not yours - it is what the issuer decides you can borrow "no questions asked". Could you imagine filling out loan papers each time you wanted to use credit (ie: gas, food... etc)? That's what the card replaces.

The issue is... where did the money come from... and do private banks have the right under Constitutional law to create money and issue credit. DocDon, look for an interesting document that I will not post openly... primarily because of its length. You may gain some insight into the true nature of our Federal Reserve Banking system. I just don't know how to get it to you... email?

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