Friday, September 19, 2014

Occupy movement buys student loan debt, forgives it


The Occupy movement has introduced a new twist in the debt collection world.  It has bought some bad student loan debt for pennies on the dollar and then forgiven it.  NPR has a story on the matter by Anya Kemenetz here. This is only privately funded debt, not federal loans.  Generally, student tlon debt cannot be cleared by bankruptcy.
    
This does seem indeed very “pro-active”.  When I worked for RMA as a debt collector in 2003 while still in Minnesota, one person with “only” a $65 “small balance” asked if I would pay his debt! Sounds Biblical.  Some debtors blamed their problems then on September 11, as if a collector (not living in NY or DC) calling them hadn’t heard of it. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Home Depot is the latest big retailer to have a major breach


Home Depot is the latest company with a security breach, apparently affecting debit cards, up to 40 million customers, Wall Street Journal story here

I purchased a small GE replacement refrigerator on a credit card from a Falls Church VA store last spring without incident.

The use of more modern chip technology in both debit and credit cards is beginning to seem more critical and many banks will have it available by 2015.
 
Update: Sept. 19
 
Home Depot offers a statement on the breach here.  
 
Bloomberg Business Week has a detailed story explaining the hack, and how it could affect consumers.   It predicts that 70% of affected consumers may find at least one fraudulent purchase, likely of a big ticket item.  The story also explains the practice of "friendly fraud".