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Stolen Wallet Tips

A client of ours had her wallet stolen recently on Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts. After commiserating with her and then looking around the web, we have come up with a few suggestions should the same happen to you.
1. Use only initials on your printed checks so a thief will not know how you sign your name. Do not have your phone number on your check. Never put your social security number on your checks.
2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Write “photographic identification required” in the signature spot.
3. When paying a credit card bill, only write the last four numbers of the credit card on the check.
4. Make a copy of each and every document in your wallet (front and back) and keep it in a safe place. You can also make a PDF file of these documents and have them available in a web based storage account. Be careful with passwords for that account, however. You can do the same with your passport.
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Do We Need a Consumer Financial Product Agency?

Many of our Massachusetts bankruptcy clients who come in for a consultation say that they would be able to pay their bills if only the interest rate on their credit card hadn’t jumped so high because of one late payment. The credit card “agreement” they signed has so many clauses that enable the banks to do whatever they wish, when they wish. There are very few contract clauses to help the consumer in these situations.
Harvard University’s Elizabeth Warren, who grew up poor in Oklahoma, is a tenured professor at Harvard Law School and has been appointed to chair the Congressional Oversight Panel.
She is charged with monitoring the federal bailout of the financial institutions; her task is to examine how they spent the $700 billion bailout. For many years, Ms. Warren has been advocating that we need a few federal agency: the Consumer Financial Product Safety Commission. The model for the new agency is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an independent health and safety regulatory agency founded in 1972 by the Nixon Administration. Most folks would agree that this federal agency has added tremendous benefits to society. Since 2001, Canada has a financial products agency, which from all reports seems to be working quite well.
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Trial Lawyers Help Massachusetts Consumers

Notwithstanding all the rhetoric promulgated by the insurance companies and the corporate media, trial lawyers in Boston, throughout Massachusetts, and elsewhere, are actually consumer friendly. We are the ones representing the little guy against the insurance companies and other corporate interests.
Take the automobile collision resulting in injury or death. Who can afford to hire an experienced corporate attorney, qualified to go to court if necessary and who charges $300 – $500 per hour, to try to get your lost wages and your medical bills paid? Who even knows those lawyers in the towers overlooking the Boston Harbor? No normal folks. However, if you look in the phone book, online, or even on a billboard in town, there will be a personal injury attorney advertising that he or she will represent you on a contingent basis; you pay NOTHING until and unless you get a settlement. Then, you pay a contingent fee, usually one third. There is no chance for overreaching, no need for negotiating a bill, and, all along, you have an experienced attorney, that you chose, on your side representing your interests against the insurance company.
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