Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Some banks bump up credit card payment due dates

Although this posting really is not about identity protection, it does relate to credit scores and financial "reputation" of consumers.

For the August 2007 bill, Bank of America, after buying many Mastercard and Visa accounts from the previous company MBNA, decreased the payment period from the statement date from 25 days to 20 days. They did print it on the bill, but I usually don't look at them in the mail; I look at them online when I know them to be due. My ICCP Visa used to be due on the eighth of the month, and suddenly it got bumped up to the third. When I looked online yesterday, I found a $29 charge logged already on Aug 3 as a late fee, and that would count against my credit report as a late payment. I scheduled the proper balance payment immediately yesterday and called the bank's 800 number. After a very long wait (needless to say, many other consumers were probably complaining about this surprise) I reached someone who explained the new policy, and said I should have read the statement carefully when it arrived. He agreed to reverse the $29, which did happen this morning.

My Master Card got bumped up last year when MBNA was taken over.

Many people count on stable due dates and make household budgets around these dates, in relation to their paycheck dates. This is a most objectionable practice. Any comments?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The USPS NCOA form; Selective Service form; WHOIS registration

I’ve shown a few of the forms that show up in any USPS lobby. The most important form is the “Official Mail Forwarding Change of Address Order.” Shown here is the paper cardboard form, but in software terms it is an object, an instance in a class. The “behavior” of filling in and submitting this object is to create a legal record of where a person wants to be contacted if some matter comes up that another party needs to notify him or her of.

Likewise, when someone owns an Internet domain, he or she (if an individual) registers a preferred contact address. This preferably (for reasons of personal security) should not be a residence address but it may be a land mail box address such as those offered by UPS. This ought to be the same as the NCOA address for legal purposes. It is noteworthy that Network Solutions and other companies offer private registration, too, where only the company knows the address but still can reach the owner. The Network Solutions link for this is here:

Note the Selective Service registration form available in all post offices. It says “MEN: 18-25 YEARS: You can handle this: REGISTER: It’s quick and easy. It’s the law." Selective Service mails back a Registration Acknowledgment Card. It does sound sexist, doesn’t. I came of age during the era of the Vietnam draft and student deferments and this has a lot of moral meaning to me.