The Ethical Credit Repair Alliance – WELCOME!

arrow The Ethical Credit Repair Alliance   WELCOME!The Ethical Credit Repair Alliance is the “Watchdog” organization of the credit repair business, committed to protecting consumers from credit repair scams and unscrupulous practices rampant in the profession.
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3 Methods for Easy Identity Theft Detection

bigstockphoto Business Meeting 4563474 3 Methods for Easy Identity Theft Detection

Sometimes the best measures to prevent identity theft fail; in such cases, the next best thing is early, or rather, the earliest identity theft detection. How do you do that? How would you know when your identity has been stolen and misused? Fortunately, there are ways to do this:

-    Set up fraud alerts with the three major credit bureaus. This means that credit providers would be extra careful when opening a new line of credit in your name. Often, this is simply phone verification with the applicant before the credit is approved. However, if the thieves have enough of your information- this action may fail. Though not foolproof, it is often enough to dissuade the thief.

-    Credit caps – This is an excellent way to insure that you will never have to worry about paying for genuine or fraudulent purchases above a pre-determined amount. This action causes the credit company to freeze or suspend any further purchases once that amount has been reached.

-    Alerts for each credit and/or payment made through credit/ debit cards – Alerts are an excellent way to tell you in real time what is happening to your financial life. This is one of the easiest and most popular ways of identity theft detection. It helps you quickly identify activity which you did not initiate and allows you to take proactive measures immediately.

Source:   3 Methods for Easy Identity Theft Detection

Mail Identity Theft – More Dangerous Than It Looks

bigstock Spam 6877943 Mail Identity Theft – More Dangerous Than It Looks

Most people do not pay too much attention to mail identity theft, but this is much more dangerous than it seems. For one, you are most likely to have private information somewhere in your inbox that the identity thieves can put to fraudulent use.

Another reason is that the thieves would get ahold of all your contacts and possibly financial or other sensitive information for your friends, relatives and colleagues that are listed among the correspondence in the email inbox.

Something as simple as a birthday card can be used to commit fraud. For example: Happy Birthday, Grace! Remember when we grew up on Spruce Street in New York and you fell off the bike uncle Mike bought you? I still laugh. Glad you’re moving closer to me. Can’t wait until you get to Maine!!! (We need to find me a husband)  Love Always, Jane Apple.

In this one birthday card, a thief has gotten the recipients’ full name (including their maiden name), a former street name and city where they lived, two family member names, their birthday and where they will be moving to in the near future. Many of the things needed to prove identity for credit purposes at any time.

Yet another way that mail identity theft can harm you and your dear ones is when the thieves appeal to some or all of your friends/ family, seemingly on your behalf, for funds. There have been many instances where friends sent money for their “stranded friend/ family member,” only to discover later that they had been duped by hackers.

It is important, therefore, never to keep private information in your emails, even if seems innocent enough. Ensure that you delete any such email that comes with login and passwords for any financial and/ or non-financial accounts. Remember, mail identity theft can jeopardize your financial security, cause havoc among your friends and family and leave you all vulnerable to further financial devastation.

Source:  Mail Identity Theft – More Dangerous Than It Looks

Identity Theft – Protect Yourself Today

bigstock Identity Theft Prevention 2787055 Identity Theft   Protect Yourself Today

Some of the best ways to protect against identity theft are by using common sense. Of course, you will also need to educate yourself on how identity theft happens and how often it happens, so you will understand what will give you the best protection.

-    Change your passwords often and never keep them written down in your wallet, handbag or stored on or near your computer.
-    When accessing your bank from internet cafes remember to clear all passwords, logins and if possible the cache in the history folder. If you cannot personally clear the history- ask an employee to do so in front of you.
-    Always watch for the little lock on websites. That lock is designed to show when you are using a secure network.
-    All bank and financial transactions should always be made only on websites that start with “https://”; the “s” is for secure. If the website address reads only “http://”, it is not secure and not safe for financial transactions. Also, ensure that the site does encryption of vital data.
-    Be very alert about messages that ask for personal information through email; be even more cautious if it uses an “emergency” as the reason for needing the information immediately.
-    Closely monitor your credit card statements for excess payments or payments or transactions that you do not remember making.
-    Shred financial documents you do not need to prevent identity theft. A decent shredder can be bought for around $20. Diamond cut shredders are best.

Source:  Identity Theft – Protect Yourself Today

Credit Card Theft – Be Protected

Credit card theft can be a major irritation at the very least and a massive financial blow at its worst. Say, you are travelling and your credit cards are lost or stolen. This can, and more than likely would, create a very unpleasant turn of events, even with the best help at your disposal.

The solution is to ensure that you are protected against credit card theft to the best of your ability. A few no-cost suggestions are listed below:

-    Keep your credit cards carefully in a wallet or purse in front of your body instead of in your back pocket or on your shoulder.
-    Take advantage of credit card fraud protection assurance from your credit card provider. In such cases, all you have to do is reach the nearest phone and inform the credit company of the loss of the card. By doing this, you would be exempt from paying for any purchases made after the company was informed of the loss.
-    Have the number on hand (more than likely toll free) and/or any other means to contact the credit card provider. Remember if you lose the card- how will get the number off the back of the card?
-    Photocopy your credit cards for ready reference of the numbers and other details in the event of credit card theft. Also photocopy all identifications in the event that those are lost as well, in order to prove your identity.

Source:   Credit Card Theft – Be Protected

What is bankruptcy code 523?

bigstock Debt 263328 What is bankruptcy code 523?

The bankruptcy code 523 is the clause which describes or lists the types of debts that cannot be included for discharge, even when you file for bankruptcy. These are debts that the person who files for bankruptcy will still have to pay regardless of financial circumstances.

Among the debts that fall under the bankruptcy code 523 are:

-    Education loans
-    Taxes and custom duty
-    Any type of credit that was obtained fraudulently
-    Any debt not listed under section 521 (1)
-    Funds obtained through embezzlement of any defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity
-    Alimony, spousal support or child support payments
-    Any willful destruction of anyone’s property
-    Fines, penalty or fee payable to the government
-    Monies owed for injury or death caused while driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or any other substance
-    Funds payable following an unreviewable order or decree, or consent order of the USA

There are other items on the list. What the bankruptcy code 523 seeks to do is clarify all such debts that will not come under the general protection of bankruptcy status, where the Court automatically stays all debts.

Source:   What is bankruptcy code 523?

You can stop foreclosure without bankruptcy – did you know this?

bigstock Family At A House 1630121 You can stop foreclosure without bankruptcy – did you know this?

If you are late by more than 30 days on your mortgage payment, the lender can declare the mortgage in default. When this happens, the owner of the house has two choices – either pay the mortgage amount due immediately or face a foreclosure lawsuit that would auction off his/ her home to recover the mortgage costs that were outstanding. If you are currently facing this scenario do not despair– you can stop foreclosure without bankruptcy declaration. In order to do this, the property owner must utilize the Chapter 13 clause, which allows the house owner some time leeway in which they could pull together resources in order to pay the lender.

Chapter 13 is a very powerful tool for people who wish to keep their homes – but it requires following stringent rules so the money due could be repaid in the court allotted time. The mere fact that you can stop foreclosure without bankruptcy is enough for most people to accept any conditions stipulated during the process. With that being said, it is best that you educate yourself on the stipulations of the Chapter 13 clause of the Bankruptcy Act so that you fully understand the process, the ramifications, the projected goal and the consequences of not meeting the specified deadline. In most cases, at least a consultation with a qualified professional is recommended.

Source:  You can stop foreclosure without bankruptcy – did you know this?

What is voluntary bankruptcy?

Voluntary bankruptcy is a court proceeding that someone with more debt than they can pay initiates the process instead of any irate creditor. In this case, the debtor declares that he/ she is finding it impossible to pay their outstanding debts, and therefore is seeking protection from debtors through the intervention of the court. The court would then look into the petition and could approve or deny the voluntary bankruptcy request.

The cost and process of voluntary bankruptcy differs very much from that of an involuntary bankruptcy. Before you decide to make use of this legal proceeding, you need to understand the pros and cons of such process. Each state has its own rules, so ensure that you do sufficient research and weigh your options carefully. Bankruptcy follows filers for a very long time and is not a process that should be undertaken haphazardly.

If approved, the court would then decide what assets would be sold to enable the creditors to recover whatever possible of their outstanding debt; and what assets would be protected under a clause known as “minimum livelihood necessities.” Voluntary bankruptcy is a double-edged sword to be used with extreme caution. It is best to seek the advice of a well- qualified, experienced attorney to guide you through understanding the process before you decide to file for voluntary bankruptcy.

Source: What is voluntary bankruptcy?

Share Your Identity Theft Story – Save Others from a Similar Fate

bigstock Identity Theft On The Web 2696671 Share Your Identity Theft Story – Save Others from a Similar Fate
You hear these stories so many times and the identity theft story is never the same. Every person has his/ her own experience and it is a painful one. Unfortunately, very few people come forward to share their identity theft story with others. When asked, they often say, “What is the use? Nothing can be helped now.”

There is plenty that can be accomplished by merely sharing your identity theft story:

•You build awareness about the “modus operandi” (method of operation)
•Prevent the same identity theft story from happening again to others with the same vulnerabilities
•Bring your case to the attention of the authorities so they can work on finding ways to track such theft or build measures for safeguarding against future crimes
•Help in identifying the thieves and bringing such said person to  justice
•You will teach that there is no shame in being a victim and that the power can be taken back from the criminals

Besides, when you come out and share your experience with others it can help you heal. Most victims explain that they felt violated, frustrated, filled with rage, depressed among others – and sharing the identity theft story facilitates and accelerates healing.

Source:  Share Your Identity Theft Story – Save Others from a Similar Fate

How do you file “cheap bankruptcy?”

Is there such a term as cheap bankruptcy? If so, how can consumers facing bankruptcy use it? Yes, there is such a term; and yes you can use this intelligence to keep the bankruptcy costs at the lowest minimum possible. The good news is that cheap bankruptcy comes in a number of ways – choose the one that suits you best:

•Pro Se bankruptcy filing – This is when you file for bankruptcy yourself. This involves free legal assistance, and you can even file a court motion to waive the bankruptcy filing fee. This is a good recourse, when you know what you are doing; if not, this method could drag you in to more problems than you can imagine. Tread this path carefully because it could end up costing you much more in the long run.

•Cheap bankruptcy by hiring a bankruptcy petition preparer’s services – This is a low-cost option of hiring a professional to assist you in the bankruptcy process. This is an excellent option when your bankruptcy case is as simple as it comes, yet, you do not feel comfortable doing the process all yourself.

•Hire a new (inexperienced) bankruptcy attorney – This is another cheap bankruptcy option, but not without its risks. Very often you find this professional by “word of mouth.” Look for an ambitious young professional who is knowledgeable in the field but charges minimally because of lack of experience in the actual field.

Source:  How do you file “cheap bankruptcy?”

Why Identity Theft Lawyers Are Important?

bigstockphoto Greeting 2219601 Why Identity Theft Lawyers Are Important?Like many people, you may think you do not need identity theft lawyers? Identity theft is a serious threat to your life, finances and peace of mind. There are a million and one ways to steal someone’s identity. This type of crime is one of the most fastest rising in the USA and globally.

Many people justify their action by saying to themselves “what could someone do with my identity?” The thief could use the stolen information to make expensive purchases using your credit card, open a new credit card account in your name, take a major loan in your name – and even get arrested using your name. When such things happen, the “best case scenario” is that you have to pay some thousands of dollars for credit that you have never used. The worse can be anything from complete financial ruin to jail for fraud or even for a crime that you never committed.

Unfortunately, until it is proven that you are a victim of identity theft; you will be fully liable for all that the perpetrator does in your name or under your line of available credit. This is where identity theft lawyers could be priceless for you, as they would find the best ways to protect your interests when such calamity happens.

Source:  Why Identity Theft Lawyers Are Important?