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The Smart Consumer’s Guide to Buying a Used Car

The new millennium has thus far been a decade of rampant consumer fraud. Shrewd companies and salespersons cook up new way to rip off the public on a daily, if not an hourly basis. Concealed collision damage, rolled-back odometers, “laundered lemon” cars, where the manufacturer has repurchased the vehicle under lemon laws and then neglected to disclose the car’s history to the next buyer, used cars sold as new – these are just a few areas where dealerships and manufacturers are frequently committing fraud against consumers. My firm, by the way, specializes in representing consumers who have purchased “lemon” vehicle or who have been the victims of car dealer fraud.

This short piece is designed to assist you in buying a used car, providing you with the proper tools to protect yourself from being ripped off on your next purchase. PLEASE PRINT THIS ARTICLE OFF AND CARRY IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU GO OUT TO PURCHASE YOUR NEXT USED CAR. SHOW IT TO THE USED CAR SALES-PERSON IF HE OR SHE BALKS AT PROVIDING YOU WITH ANY OF THE REQUIRED INFORMATION. I just purchased a used car with excellent results, and I am not an expert mechanic; rather, I’m just a shrewd consumer, which is an outgrowth of the fact that I’m a shrewd and effective consumer lawyer. The following tips, if followed, are much more likely to result in a satisfactory used car purchase.

BRENNAN’S EIGHT-POINT CHECKLIST OF REQUIREMENTS IN BUYING A USED CAR AND AVOIDING BECOMING THE VICTIM OF A FRAUD

1) Always insist on a warranty. “As-is” can easily be translated into legal jargon as, “You’re stuck, sucker.” Even a 30- or 10-day warranty is better than just “as-is”.

2) Insist that the dealer print on the warranty, in bold letters, “THIS CAR HAS BEEN INSPECTED FOR COLLISION DAMAGE AND COLLISION REPAIRS AND HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE FREE OF COLLISION DAMAGE OR REPAIRS.” This then becomes a part of the warranty.

3) Insist that the dealer prints on the warranty, in bold letters, “THIS CAR HAS NOT BEEN RETURNED TO A DEALER OR MANUFACTURER BECAUSE OF LEMON LAW DEFECTS OR COMPLAINTS.” If the dealer can run a warranty service print-out, insist that they do so and attach it to the warranty itself, with an additional message printed on the warranty: “THE ATTACHED WARRANTY SERVICE HISTORY REPRESENTS THE COMPLETE WARRANTY HISTORY FOR THIS CAR, ACCORDING TO ALL MANUFACTURER’S RECORDS.”

4) You will receive an odometer disclosure statement as part of the vehicle purchase. If there is any inscription on it such as “TMU” (stands for “true miles unknown”), watch out: this car’s odometer has probably been tampered with.

5) Insist upon a test drive of at least 10 miles. Insist on driving the car in varying road conditions: city streets, highway, straight and curvy roads both. Really shrewd consumers arrange to have a friendly professional mechanic, not affiliated with the selling dealership, to accompany them for the ride. Paying a friendly mechanic $ 50.00 to do the test-drive can spare you a lot of heartache later on.

6) Before you buy, have the car inspected by a non-dealer-affiliated professional mechanic. The friendly professional mechanic who accompanied you on the test drive should do just fine for this. Have the car thoroughly looked over, as you will probably be depending on the vehicle, especially for its safety and dependability, for the next several years. Later on, anything beyond routine maintenance expenses will prove galling, so know what you are getting into up front.

7) Do research. You may like the looks of the car, but it pays to check out the vehicle’s service record with Consumer Reports or on the Internet. See the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site (search under “NHTSA”) for warranty, defect and repair information about any car you are considering buying.

8) Although they are controversial, I recommend buying an extended warranty, particularly if you intend on keeping the vehicle for a long time.

That’s the checklist, which should provide joy rather than grief in most cases. It’s your insurance policy, so print it out and carry it with you when you next make a used-car purchase. Check off each number as you complete that step of the list; then you’ll stand a much better chance of not becoming the victim of a fraud in a used car sale.

I will now explain some issues concerning the documentation normally accompanying a used-car sales transaction, including points to keep your eyes peeled for and some definite red flags that signal you not to buy that car.

All dealerships try to put off the documentation step for the end. Whenever I buy a used car, I insist that the documentation step be done first. In short, after I’ve become interested in a car, I want to see the documentation then and there, before I begin discussing sales terms. All dealers have “dealer jackets” containing all documents for each separate car on the lot. Review these papers first, and only then go for a test-drive and mechanical inspection.

At the time of the sales close, you can expect that the salesperson or a clerk will present you with a stack of fine-print documents which would take a week to read. No one – not even an experienced lawyer – can read all of those documents in a short time. However, you must at least glance at these documents, and keep an eye out for the following pertinent information:

The “Odometer Disclosure Statement”

This is a document required by federal law to accompany all sales of used cars. Read it, and make sure the dealership signs it, for by doing so the dealership is certifying that the actual miles on the car are accurately reflected on the odometer. If the “Odometer Disclosure Statement” has an entry such as “TMU” (which stands for “True Miles Unknown”), or “Actual Miles Unknown”, or any such entry, don’t buy the car! In all likelihood, the vehicle has more miles on it than what is actually showing on the odometer.

The “BUYER’S GUIDE”

The “Buyer’s Guide” is the window sticker on a used car which shows whether the car comes with a warranty. My firm suggestion to all used car buyers: only buy cars with warranties. Do not buy cars “as-is.” The salesperson will frequently tell you that some little old lady only drove the car to and from church, and that dealership knows the service history of the car because that’s where it was serviced, etc., etc.–it’s all a pile of prairie pickles. If you buy a car “as-is”, expect to be ripped off. Expect problems with the car. When a dealership sells a car “as-is, it is telling you clearly that it wants no further responsibility for the vehicle as soon as you drive it off the lot. And if the dealership doesn’t want any responsibility for the car, what does that tell you about the vehicle?

The moral of the story: buy cars with warranties, even if the warranty is for only 30 days. Warranties give you rights in case the car was sold to you fraudulently or it turns out to be a lemon. When you buy a car “as-is”, that may be the end of the line for you as far as pursuing any fraud or lemon-law claim.

The ‘Warranty History”

You have to request this, and you should request it. Many dealerships have access to the warranty history of the cars they sell, and particularly in the case of new car dealerships for the same make of vehicles. For example, if you are buying a used Chevy from an authorized Chevy dealership which services and sells new Chevys, then that dealership has computerized access to the warranty history of the car. This means that you can learn of any repairs done to that vehicle while it was under its original warranty. You can quickly learn if the car was a lemon by its warranty history.

If you don’t understand the “warranty history”, have some knowledgeable explain it to you. Make sure you understand it before you buy the car.

And, insist that the “warranty history” be attached to the warranty itself, with a representation that it represents the complete warranty history for that car. This then gives the consumer additional legal rights if it turns out the vehicle was sold fraudulently or it is a lemon.

“DISCLOSURE NOTICES”

If you are given anything called a “Disclosure Notice”, or the like, BEWARE!!! Read over all the documents to ensure that you are not being sold a recycled, or “laundered”, lemon. Anything called a “Disclosure Notice” which discusses the mechanical condition of the car is a red flag to back out of the deal and leave the dealership. You do not want to buy a “laundered lemon” – it will likely cost you more trouble than you ever imagined possible. In short, don’t buy a car if there’s any indication that it’s a “laundered lemon.”

The above, then, are the basic documents you must keep your eyes peeled for. In fact, for your own protection you must demand to see them. The dealership may not have the “warranty history”, but it should have all the others.

Robert F. Brennan, Esq. is a principal with Brennan, Wiener & Associates, an AV-rated law firm in La Crescenta, CA.  His firm specializes in consumer protection litigation, including lemon law, car dealer fraud and consumer class actions.  He can be reached through his website: http://brennanlaw.com

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How To Read A Credit Report – A Basic Guide

Kieran was looking to get a new car and stopped by a Honda dealer. She really wanted a particular Accord that they had. But was very upset when she learned they would not approve her for a loan. She was told it was due to a couple of things on her credit report showing unpaid and defaulted. Just recently, she happened to get a copy of her credit report for another matter; however she really didn’t understand it. But she knew those accounts were already paid. Later that day she called the credit bureaus and faxed in the receipts. However the Honda dealer said everyone has to wait 90 days to re-apply. The Accord she really wanted sold. This situation could have been completely avoided and Kieran would have gotten that Accord if she only understood what the credit report said. Then she would have known to get it corrected and update it, BEFORE she ever applied for that car loan.

And that is the reason for this article. You will be given a basic overview of consumer credit reports. This article will be an easy guide on learning how to read and understand a credit report.

There are only 3 major credit bureaus in America. Experian (use to be TRW), Equifax, and Trans Union. Any other bureau that may be in your local area is in some way affiliated with one of these three major bureaus. Any person, or company, that pulls your credit is getting it either directly or indirectly from one of these three bureaus. These 3 are the only credit bureaus that matter in the U.S.

So now the question… How do I read my credit report?

It is not surprising to hear that, Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union all do their reports differently. But overall it really doesn’t matter because all credit reports are basically divided into four sections: Your Identifying Information, Your Credit History, Your Public Records, and the Inquiries which have been done on you.

1) Identity Information: This Identity Information section tells anyone reading the credit report exactly who you are. Name, date of birth, and social security number. Names may be listed more than once to reflect each way it has been previously spelled. If you applied for credit before and someone misspelled your name on the inquiry, it will be on your credit report indefinitely. Then if you are a female you will see the maiden last name and the married last name, also if you were divorced then went back to the maiden last name, if you marred again after that, etc. There is a possibility that you will see a lot of variations of your name. The important thing is that you review it closely to look for anything you do not recognize.

Additional information in this section will be your current address, previous addresses with telephone numbers. Plus driver’s license number, the employer, all past employers, the spouse name, etc. Any info that helps to indentify you.

2) Credit History: This is also sometimes called the accounts list, or your trade lines. This section will list your current and active accounts as well as any credit you have had in the past that was reported to the credit bureau.

In general, this section is going to list everything in the past 7 years. Most agree that the credit bureaus computers automatically delete anything that has “the date of last activity” that exceeds 7 years. For example if you open a account at Sears in June 1995 and made payments every month, then got delinquent and made your last payment on March 2004. Then March 2004 is the “date of last activity” and when the 7 years will start counting down. Then, say you want to try and fix your credit and sent them a payment in Oct 2007. The 7 years will start all over again from Oct 2007.

Each account listed will include the name of the creditor and the account number. The Credit History section will also include:

* Date account was opened * If the account is in your name only or if there is a co-signer * Total amount of the loan, which is listed as the high credit limit, or highest amount on the credit card * Existing balance as of date of credit report * The fixed payments each month for loans, or the minimum due each month for credit cards * The status as of the date of the credit report (open, inactive, closed, paid, etc.) * How have the payments been made on the account

How well you paid on the accounts is one of the main things that everyone checking your credit is looking at. It is reflected in a two part code.

The first part of the code is a letter that will either be an R or a I. The I stands for installment or fixed loan, these are set loans with a set payment amount, like car loans, mortgages, student loans, etc. And R stands for revolving which are mainly credit cards, department store cards, or line of credit, etc.

The second part is a number from 1 to 9. The 1 indicates that there have been no delinquencies and the account is current and paid on time. The 9 indicates numerous delinquencies, missed payments, partial payments, etc. Obviously 1 is the best, then 9 is the worst, and then there’s all the stages in between. Bottom line, anything other than a 1 is not looked at too favorably.

The codes are not difficult to understand once they are explained. People want to see I1 and R1. However they frequently create questions. Experian has started to insert plain language description like… never pays late… typically 30 days late… defaulted… etc.

3) Public Records: You do not want to see anything in this section. Only negative stuff that are the resort of court actions are listed in this section. Judgments, wage garnishments, bankruptcies, tax liens, etc. Something listed in this section will bring down your credit faster that anything else.

4) Inquires: Just as the name says, this section contains a list of companies that have requested to pull your credit report.

There are two types of credit inquires. Soft inquires are from companies who want to send out promotional information to a group, or either your current creditors monitoring your account. Then there are Hard inquiries which are the ones that you made happen by applying for credit somewhere like a loan, car financing, credit card, etc.

Most people are overly concern about inquires having a negative impact on their credit. It is true but it usually takes an awful lot of inquires before it will affect you. There is a certain amount that is just expected and considered normal. And when you want to buy something like a car, or a home, it is expected that you will shop around, therefore two or more of these type inquires in a 14 day period counts as just one.

As stated earlier, there are many credit companies who all get information either directly, or indirectly, from one of the main 3 credit bureaus. Then they format their credit reports in many different ways, and list things in different order. However they all will contain these 4 basic sections.

It is extremely important to know how to read your credit report. And knowing exactly what is on it is very important.

Many in the credit industry estimate that as many as 80% of all credit reports contain some kind of misinformation, mistake, or have not been updated.

If you do see an error on your report. You then need to speak to each of the bureaus, Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. You can fax directly to them, if you have acceptable documentation like a receipt or invoice. If not the creditors will have to be contacted and will have 30 days to respond.

We hope that this has been a benefit to you. Our goal was to provide the basic information that will teach anyone how to read and interpret a credit report. This is the only way to determine if it is correct, or if you need to have it updated. When you are planning to finance a car, buy a home, or applying for any kind of credit, you need to know what is on your credit report before the people making the decisions see it. Remember that when you request your own credit report it is never counts as an inquiry.

For over 10 years Consumers Info USA has been connecting people with the online services they need to help them live better. Go Now for more information on how to check your credit report and a link to order your online credit report

Home loan guide for first time home buyers in India

Our finance expert resolves some of your top home loan queries for the week, including joint loan, tenure eligibility and loan for leasehold property.

Watch full video: http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/the-property-show/residential-projects-starting-from-rs-30-lakh-in-mumbai-thane-navi-mumbai-and-pune/413561?yt

Download the NDTV news app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.july.ndtv&referrer=utm_source%3Dyoutubecards%26utm_medium%3Dcpc%26utm_campaign%3Dyoutube

PNB Housing finance presents a short video on Home Loan process. This short 2 and a half minute video explains step by step process of availing a home loan detailing every important aspect at each stage, beginning from applying for a home loan till disbursement.
Watch this video and put your qualms about availing a home loan to rest

Reach us at 18001208800 , SMS ‘PNBHFL’ to 56677,
Email : loans@pnbhfl.com

Log on to www.pnbhfl.com to know about PNB Housing finance offerings

A Basic Guide and an overview on Identity Theft

What’s Identity Theft? Identity theft is a crime for which a particular person utilizes someone else’s information or identity with techniques that include fraudulence or deception, usually for his or her economic gain. They are doing this using someone else identity instead of supplying the correct and real information with regards to their identities. And this is why activities the person, whoever identification was wrongfully used by others, will suffer from monetary hardships.

These days, identification theft is the fastest developing criminal activity in the usa. Everyone whose identification is in the hand of people are prone to identification theft, so basically, everyone is at an increased risk. Which is why identification theft security is quite helpful today.

In the United States alone, on average 27,000 men and women has been pilfered of their identities daily. And based on researches produced by the Identity Theft Resource Center, for each and every 2nd an individual’s identification has been taken. And every three moments, someone’s identification will be exposed to thieves.

There are different sorts of identity theft, offering enough reason behind everyone to obtain identity theft protection. Here are the different sorts of identity theft:

The first is the license Identity Theft. In this manner of taking somebody’s identity, the sufferer can be put through traffic violations he would not allow.

The second reason is Credit Identity Theft. Right here the theft uses someone else’s personal information to get financial loans, and so making the prey spending expenses when it comes to loans he or she is not taking pleasure in.

The third variety of identity theft and 3rd explanation to obtain identity theft defense may be the Social safety Number Identity Theft. Making use of someone else’s personal security quantity, the thief would apply for employment. The thief would get the income for that work, however the sufferer will be the one to pay for the fees.

The fourth may be the Medical Identity Theft. The thief would use someone else’s identity for consultations, prescriptions, and remedies, put another way, the victims insurance coverage will be employed by the thief, making the target to get rid of their insurance coverage.

Lastly is the fifth form of identification theft and another reason to get identification theft protection could be the Character Identity Theft. Inside particular identity theft involves crimes. Anyone, whose identity was utilized, is likely to be put through subpoena and you will be recharged of crimes he/she failed to devote.

And likewise to these forms of identity theft every person should know, everyone should also be aware that the most frequent way of identification theft is by cyberspace.

Downloaded files like papers, accessories and applications are often filled up with viruses. These viruses are circulated towards computer as soon as the downloaded data tend to be accessed or established.

Form internet, everybody must also be vigilant with phishing emails or fraudulence telephone calls because these will also be used to take one’s identification. And having an identity theft defense secures you from being a victim or identification theft. Identification theft defense may be quick ideas everyone else can use to guard themselves against identification theft.

One tip would be to update your anti virus pc software. Because most instances of identity theft happen on line, having your anti-virus software current is an excellent preventative measure against identification theft. Another tip would be to filter phishing mails by confirming with the organization when they actually are asking you personal information by phone calls with their official hotlines.

There are a great number of recommendations that any particular one can use against identification theft, and all sorts of are found on the web.

Identity theft is a significant crime because affects every element of everything. Remain safe from id theft because it is so difficult to recover from this variety of criminal activity. For more information on this you can travel to Free-Credit-Reports.com

More Identification Theft Posts

A Guide On How And When To Use Personal Loans

This week’s video is about personal loans… how and when to use them. Like every major financial cross road, the more knowledge that you have, the better you will feel about making an educated decision that will work for you, in your unique situation.
Taking out a personal loan for your financial goals can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t know what to look for. But this video that I made for you, helps demystify this process, so that if you need a personal loan, you know exactly what to look for, what key requirements are essential and most importantly how and why you need to pay it off as quickly as possible.

As promised, here is the link to the calculator that I refer to in the video….

https://www2.peopleschoicecu.com.au/p…

I found this website pretty helpful and time efficient from a comparison perspective. Anyway, let me know what you think of this video and any other special requests?

This video is made in collaboration with People’s Choice Credit Union.

xCC

SugarMamma.TV is all about educating, inspiring and empowering everyday people to create financial harmony, freedom and independence in your life. Bite sized videos, with quick and easy to understand tips, that you can apply straight away and see the results. SugarMamma.TV is a powerful movement making money and finance more approachable, energetic and enlightening.
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Beginners’ guide to mortgages – MoneyWeek investment tutorials

A property mortgage is the biggest debt most of us will ever take on. So choosing the right one is vitally important. Tim Bennett explains the basics of mortgages and highlights the main pitfalls to avoid.

Related links:

– Introduction to house price surveys
http://moneyweek.com/videos/introduction-to-house-price-surveys-10107/

– Why you need an Isa
http://moneyweek.com/videos/why-you-need-an-isa-10616/

– How to cut your tax bill
http://moneyweek.com/videos/how-to-cut-your-tax-bill/

– A beginner’s guide to pensions
http://moneyweek.com/videos/a-beginners-guide-to-pensions-60900/

MoneyWeek videos are designed to help you become a better investor, and to give you a better understanding of the markets. They’re aimed at both beginners and more experienced investors.

In all our videos we explain things in an easy-to-understand way. Some videos are about important ideas and concepts. Others are about investment stories and themes in the news. The emphasis is on clarity and brevity. We don’t want to waste your time with a 20-minute video that could easily be so much shorter.

We’ve already made over 200 financial videos and we add more each week. You can see the full archive here at MoneyWeek videos: http://moneyweek.com/video-tutorial/
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