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					ALSO INSIDE: If Your Home Equity Line Has Been “Frozen” • Beware of Phone and Fax Fraud • “Green” Banking




                                             Summer 2008




        Get a Good Night’s Sleep
  Rest Assured, Your Money Is Safe in an FDIC–Insured Account




  Answers to Common Questions
  •	 Do	I	Need	to	Know	If	My	Bank	Is	Healthy?

  •	 How	Can	I	Be	Sure	I’m	Fully	Insured?

  •	 What	Happens	If	a	Bank	Fails?




       F E D E R A L      D E P O S I T      I N S U R A N C E        C O R P O R A T I O N
                                 Get a Good Night’s Sleep
         Rest	Assured,	Your	Money	Is	Safe	in	an	FDIC–Insured	Account	
                                         Here are answers to common questions




Do I Need to Know If My Bank Is Healthy?
The	FDIC’s	guarantee	to	protect	insured	deposits	is	ironclad,
regardless	of	an	institution’s	financial	condition
If you’ve ever wondered about the            the chances that your own bank could
health of your banking institution, here     fail are remote. However, if that does
are answers to some common questions         happen, the FDIC will be there — as
that can help give you peace of mind.        always — to protect your insured
                                             deposits.”
Should	I	be	concerned	about	the	
health	of	an	FDIC-insured	bank	              Added Kathleen Nagle, FDIC
or	savings	institution	where	I	have	         Associate Director for Consumer
deposits?                                    Protection, “The bottom line is
                                             that bank customers who keep all
If your deposits are within the FDIC’s
                                             of their deposits within the federal
insurance limits, as is the case for most
                                             insurance limits can rest assured with
bank customers, those deposits are safe
                                             the knowledge that their deposits
regardless of the financial condition of
                                             — principal and interest — are 100
your bank. Here’s why.
                                             percent safe.”
First, the FDIC’s guarantee — that we
                                             What	if	some	of	my	deposits	are	
will protect against the loss of insured
                                             over	the	FDIC’s	insurance	limits?	
deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or                                                     For information about what depositors
savings associations fails — is ironclad.    Deposits above the FDIC’s coverage         can expect if they have uninsured
Since the creation of the FDIC               limits may be at risk if the bank fails.   deposits at a failed bank, see Page 4.
75 years ago, we have handled the            To make sure all your deposits are
failure of more than 2,200 insured           fully protected, consult with the FDIC     If	I	want	information	about	my	
depository institutions and “no one          or your bank and, if necessary, make       bank’s	health,	where	can	I	go?	
has ever lost so much as a penny of          adjustments to bring your accounts         There are private companies that
FDIC-insured deposits — not a                within the federal insurance limits.       provide their own ratings and opinions
single penny,” said FDIC Chairman            See the article the next page for more     of FDIC-insured banks and savings
Sheila C. Bair.                              about your options.                        associations, often for a fee. The
Depositors at a failed bank also get                                                    FDIC posts information about these
                                                                                        private companies on our Web site at
quick access to their insured funds —              “No one has ever lost
usually by the next business day after                                                  www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/bank/
the institution closes (see Page 4).              so much as a penny of                 index.html as a public service and not
                                                                                        as an endorsement or confirmation of
“The banking system in this country              FDIC-insured deposits —                the companies or their conclusions.
remains on solid footing through                    not a single penny,”
the guarantees provided by FDIC                                                         If you don’t have access to the Internet
insurance,” said Chairman Bair. “The              said FDIC Chairman                    at your home or office, your local
overwhelming majority of banks in                                                       library or a friend or relative with
this country are safe and sound, and
                                                      Sheila C. Bair.                   Internet access can print out the list
                                                                                        for you. Q

                                                        FDIC Consumer News                                      Summer 2008
  2
                                                                               G E T A G O O D N I G H T ’ S S LE E P WI TH FDIC INS UR ANC E




FDIC Insurance: How Can I Be Sure I’m Fully Insured?
To be confident that your deposits at an    • Trust accounts can be protected up to        for example, moving some money
insured institution are fully protected,    $100,000 for each named beneficiary            from a single account into a joint
it’s important to understand how            provided that FDIC requirements                account with someone else means
FDIC insurance works and how to get         are met. For example, if a mother              that you are giving that other person
more help or information. Here’s an         has a $300,000 deposit account in              legal ownership of the money. Your
overview.                                   connection with a living trust                 second option is to move funds over
                                            (a legal document for distributing             the insurance limit to accounts at
What	is	covered	by	FDIC	
                                            her assets upon her death), and she is         other insured institutions. This option
insurance?
                                            leaving all the deposits equally to her        works well for people who don’t want,
If an insured bank or savings               three children, that account would             or don’t qualify for, other ownership
association fails, the FDIC protects        be insured in full up to $300,000              categories at their existing bank.
deposit accounts — including checking       ($100,000 for each child).
                                                                                           For more help or information, contact
                                                                                           the FDIC (see Page 5) or your bank. Q
and savings accounts, money market
                                            Because of the separate insurance
deposit accounts and certificates of
                                            coverage for deposits in different
deposit (CDs) — against any loss up
                                            categories, a family of four could                FDIC Advertising, Education
to the federal limits. For a look at your
                                            have well over $1 million in                      Campaign Reminds Consumers
rights as an FDIC–insured depositor,
                                            deposit insurance coverage in one
see Page 5.                                                                                   About Deposit Insurance Limits
                                            FDIC-insured institution. To learn
What	is	not	protected	by	FDIC	              how, see the FDIC publication “Your
                                                                                              On June 16th, exactly 75 years
insurance?                                  Insured Deposits,” which is online at
                                                                                              after President Franklin Delano
                                            www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/insured.
FDIC insurance doesn’t protect against                                                        Roosevelt signed legislation
losses on non-deposit products —            How	can	I	know	that	all	my	deposits	              creating the FDIC in 1933,
such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds,        are	within	the	FDIC’s	insurance	                  Chairman Sheila C. Bair
life insurance policies, annuities or       limits?                                           announced a public education
municipal securities — even if they                                                           campaign designed to raise
                                            If you (or your family) have $100,000
were offered by insured banks.                                                                consumer awareness about deposit
                                            or less in all of your deposit accounts
                                                                                              insurance coverage limits.
For more information about what             at the same insured bank, you don’t
is and is not covered by FDIC               need to be concerned about the safety             “We at the FDIC are very proud
insurance, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/      of your money. That’s because the                 to say that no depositor has ever
investments/index.html or contact the       basic insurance limit is $100,000 per             lost a penny of insured funds at
FDIC (see Page 5).                          depositor per insured bank, plus an               an FDIC-insured institution,” she
                                            additional $250,000 per depositor for             said. “As bank customers age and
How	much	coverage	does	the	FDIC	
                                            certain retirement accounts.                      accumulate wealth in savings and
provide?
                                                                                              retirement accounts, now more
                                            If you have questions about your
The basic insurance coverage is                                                               than ever, it’s important for people
                                            insurance coverage, visit www.fdic.
$100,000 per depositor per insured                                                            to know their deposit insurance
                                            gov/deposit/deposits, which features
institution, but you may qualify for                                                          limits.”
                                            our Electronic Deposit Insurance
more than $100,000 in coverage at
                                            Estimator (EDIE), an interactive Web              The education campaign includes
one insured bank if you own deposit
                                            site that can be used to calculate your           national advertising in major
accounts in different “ownership
                                            deposit insurance. You can also call              newspapers and magazines, and
categories.” For example, your deposits
                                            FDIC deposit insurance specialists                a series of meetings around the
in:
                                            toll-free at 1-877-ASK-FDIC                       country to bring FDIC officials
• Single accounts (in one name only) are    (1-877-275-3342).                                 and community leaders together
insured up to $100,000;                                                                       to discuss deposit insurance
                                            What	if	some	of	my	deposits	are	
                                                                                              coverage and other consumer
• Joint accounts (for two or more           over	the	insurance	limit?	How	can	I	
                                                                                              protections, in areas such as
people) are protected to $100,000 per       get	them	fully	insured?	
                                                                                              mortgage lending.
owner;
                                            In general, you have two options. One
• IRAs and certain other retirement         is to divide the funds among various              For more information about the
accounts are covered up to $250,000;        ownership categories at the same                  FDIC’s 75 years of service and the
and                                         institution. But this is an option you            public education campaign, visit
                                            need to think about carefully because,            www.fdic.gov/anniversary.


  FDIC Consumer News                                       Summer 2008
                                                                                                                                         3
G ET A GOOD NIGHT ’S SL E E P W I T H F DI C I NSURANC E




What Happens If a Bank Fails?
How	the	FDIC	protects	depositors,	including	providing	quick	access	to	insured	funds
Here’s important information about                If the FDIC cannot find another             will depend on how much the FDIC
what the FDIC pays and when if                    institution to buy the failed bank’s        recovers by selling the bank’s assets.
an FDIC-insured bank or savings                   insured deposits, one of two things         While that process can take several
institution is closed by its federal or           can happen. The FDIC can transfer           years, most payments to uninsured
state government regulator.                       the insured deposits to a newly created     depositors are made within a year or
                                                  bank that would be operated by the          two of the bank failure. In some cases,
How	soon	after	a	bank	fails	can	I	
                                                  FDIC. This new bank, referred to as         the FDIC is able to make an advance
expect	to	have	access	to	my	insured	
                                                  a “bridge bank” or “conservatorship,”       payment to uninsured depositors.
money?
                                                  enables depositors to access their
                                                                                              What	about	other	bank	services	
Federal law requires the FDIC to make             insured funds by the next business day
                                                                                              such	as	safe	deposit	boxes,	loans,	
payments of insured deposits — all the            and to maintain other banking services
                                                                                              credit	cards	and	securities	held	by	
money determined by the FDIC to be                until the FDIC can find a buyer for
                                                                                              the	trust	department?
within the federal insurance limits —             the new bank. The other alternative is
“as soon as possible” after the failure           for the FDIC to issue checks directly       Access to the contents of safe deposit
of an insured institution. In most                to depositors, in amounts up to the         boxes typically will be available the
cases, the FDIC makes insured funds               federal insurance limit. That process       next business day after the bank
available to depositors quickly, usually          can take longer than one business           closing.
on the first business day after the bank is       day but usually not more than three
                                                                                              A loan or credit card you have at the
closed.                                           business days.
                                                                                              failed bank will either be sold to a
“The FDIC works very hard before                  No matter how the FDIC resolves             healthy bank or retained temporarily
a bank is closed, all very quietly and            a failed bank, some types of deposits       by the FDIC, and you’ll receive written
behind the scenes, to evaluate data and           present special challenges that             instructions on where to send future
identify the amounts due to insured               mean it may take the FDIC longer to         payments. Either way, your use of
depositors,” said Michael Spaid,                  obtain documentation that is needed         these loans and your obligation to pay
who manages an FDIC section that                  to finalize the insurance payments.         will continue until you are instructed
develops policies for handling deposit            Examples include accounts linked            otherwise, in writing, by the acquiring
insurance claims. “It’s that advance              to a formal written trust agreement,        bank and the FDIC.
preparation, followed by long hours of            deposits placed by an administrator of
                                                                                              Securities and other assets held in
work after the closing, that enables the          an employee benefit plan, and bank
                                                                                              trust, fiduciary or custodial accounts
FDIC to provide insured depositors                certificates of deposit (CDs) sold to the
                                                                                              at a bank are not assets of the failed
access to their funds so quickly.”                public by deposit brokers. In the case
                                                                                              bank and are not subject to claims
                                                  of the latter, the bank’s records often
The preferred way to pay insurance                                                            by the failed bank’s creditors. These
                                                  only note the name of the broker, not
on deposits — and the most common                                                             assets will either be returned to you
                                                  the individuals who made deposits, and
one — involves finding a healthy                                                              or arrangements will be made for
                                                  it can take more time for the FDIC
bank to quickly buy the rights to                                                             another institution to become the new
                                                  to gather documentation from the
assume the insured deposits and other                                                         custodian or trustee of your accounts.
                                                  broker and make an accurate insurance
business of the failed bank. Depositors
                                                  determination.                              How	can	I	get	more	information	
automatically become customers of the
                                                                                              about	what	happens	if	a	bank	fails?
assuming bank, and offices of the failed          What	happens	to	my	money	that	is	
bank reopen under the name of the                 over	the	FDIC’s	insurance	limits?           You can find useful information,
acquiring institution — usually by the                                                        including the FDIC brochure “When
                                                  Let’s say you alone have one deposit
next business day. Depositors will have                                                       a Bank Fails,” at www.fdic.gov/bank/
                                                  account at a bank with a balance of
full access to their insured funds at                                                         individual/failed. Or, call or write the
                                                                                              FDIC (see the next page). Q
                                                  $105,000, including interest earned.
branch offices or by check, automated
                                                  If your bank fails, you’ll immediately
teller machine and debit card.
                                                  be paid $100,000 covered by FDIC
“The depositors would barely be                   insurance and you’ll receive a
affected,” explained Spaid. “Their                “claim” against the closed bank for
insured funds would be preserved and              the remaining $5,000 that is not
they could continue banking as usual              FDIC-insured. The amount you
or they could open a new account                  recover on your uninsured deposits
elsewhere.”

                                                             FDIC Consumer News                                        Summer 2008
  4
                                                                            G E T A G O O D N I G H T ’ S S LE E P WI TH FDIC INS UR ANC E




                   An FDIC-Insured Depositor’s Bill of Rights
1.	You have the right to automatic deposit insurance            6. You have the right to confirm that your deposits are
coverage when you open a deposit account at an                  within the insurance limits by using the FDIC’s Electronic
FDIC-insured bank, with no additional cost or action on         Deposit Insurance Estimator and other online resources at
your part.                                                      www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits or by calling the FDIC at
                                                                1-877-275-3342.
2.	You have the right to separate FDIC insurance coverage
for deposits held at different FDIC-insured banks.              7. You have the right to be informed when a financial
                                                                product offered by your bank is not covered by FDIC
3.	You have the right to confirm that a bank is insured by
                                                                insurance.
using the FDIC’s Bank Find service at www2.fdic.gov/
idasp/main_bankfind.asp or by calling the FDIC toll-free at     8. You have a right, if your bank fails, to prompt access to
1-877-275-3342.                                                 your insured deposits.
4.	You have the right to deposit insurance coverage of          9. You have the right, if you are an uninsured depositor,
$100,000 for your deposits at an FDIC-insured bank — up         to receive distributions from the receivership as the sale of
to $250,000 for your IRA deposits.                              assets permits.
5. You have the right to deposit insurance coverage of more     10. You have the right to sleep well, knowing that since the
than $100,000 at a single bank when deposits are held in        creation of the FDIC 75 years ago, no depositor has ever
different “ownership categories,” such as single, joint and     lost one penny of insured deposits. Q
trust accounts.


                                                                                    For More Help or Information from
                                                                                    the FDIC about Deposit Insurance

                                                                                    Call	toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC
         Insuring deposits up to                                                    (1-877-275-3342) from Monday
                                                                                    through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00
                                                                                    p.m., Eastern Time. For the
                                                                                    hearing-impaired, the number is
                                                                                    1-800-925-4618.
                                                                                    Read	or	print	consumer	information	
                                                                                    online 24 hours a day, seven days a
                                                                                    week, at www.fdic.gov. For brochures,
                                                                                    videos and other information on
                                                                                    FDIC insurance, go directly to
                                                                                    www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits.
                                                                                    There you’ll also find our interactive
                                                                                    Electronic Deposit Insurance
                                                                                    Estimator (EDIE), which you can use
                                                                                    to calculate the insurance coverage of
                                                                                    your accounts and generate a printable

         without anyone losing a                                                    report that clearly states if your
                                                                                    deposits are fully insured or not.
                                                                                    E-mail	questions	to	the	FDIC using
                                                                                    our Customer Assistance Form at
                                                                                    www2.fdic.gov/starsmail.
                                                                                    Mail	us	a	letter by writing to the
                                                                                    FDIC, Division of Supervision and
                                                                                    Consumer Protection, 550 17th Street,
                                                                                    NW, Washington, DC 20429-9990.


FDIC Consumer News                                        Summer 2008
                                                                                                                                      5
Tips for Trying to Fix a Clogged or
“Frozen” Home Equity Line
For years, homeowners have turned to        be possible to offer alternative types
home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)        of credit or other arrangements that
as a way to borrow against their home’s     can minimize the negative effects of
value to pay for college tuition, home      credit-line reductions or suspensions,”
improvements, medical bills and other       added Luke Brown, FDIC Associate
major expenses. (A home’s equity is the     Director for Compliance Policy.
market value minus what is owed on
                                            Ask	the	bank	to	reconsider	if	your	
the mortgage. If you owe $100,000 on
                                            home’s	value	has	declined	less	than	
your mortgage but your home is worth
                                            other	properties	in	your	area. If,
$250,000, your equity is $150,000.)
                                            for example, the lender’s decision
But now, with home values dropping,         relied heavily on information about
the collateral securing individual          property sales for your city, but your
HELOCs is worth significantly less,         home’s value has held up better than         reasons for the action. The letter
and many lenders are responding             the average — and you can back that          should also provide information on
by reducing the amount that can be          up, perhaps by paying for a new,             how to appeal.
borrowed or by “freezing” (suspending)      independent appraisal of your home
                                                                                         In addition, the Equal Credit
access to these loans entirely, even for    — you may be able to get the lender
                                                                                         Opportunity Act and the Fair
people who have been making their           to reconsider. Be aware, however, that
                                                                                         Housing Act prohibit lenders from
loan payments on time.                      your appeal might not be successful.
                                                                                         discriminating on the basis of race,
“Reducing or freezing credit lines          Make	sure	your	home	equity	lender	           gender or other specified factors.
may be a prudent response for lenders       knows	if	you	have	significantly	             And the Federal Trade Commission
managing their risks,” said Mindy           reduced	the	balance	on	your	first	           Act prohibits banks from engaging
West, Chief of Policy and Program           mortgage. If you made larger-than-           in unfair or deceptive practices in all
and Development in the FDIC’s               usual payments on your first mortgage,       aspects of a loan transaction, including
Division of Supervision and Consumer        you may be a lower risk to your              servicing and collections.
Protection. “But for consumers who          home equity lender, who may not be
                                                                                         If	you	think	you’re	being	treated	
use home equity lines to pay for major      aware of that development.
                                                                                         unfairly	and	you	can’t	resolve	
purchases or to pay off higher-priced
                                            Shop	around	for	a	new	line	of	credit,	       a	problem	directly	with	the	
credit, having their source of funding
                                            but	be	prepared	for	a	challenge. You         institution,	consider	contacting	its	
reduced can result in significant
                                            may find a lender willing to provide         government	regulator.	The FDIC
financial hardship.”
                                            an attractive HELOC based on your            and other banking regulators may be
What can you do if your home equity         credit rating and the equity you’ve built    able to help by providing information
line has been reduced or frozen?            up in your home, but that could take         about your consumer rights or by
                                            longer than in the past, especially with     contacting an institution that doesn’t
Contact	your	lender	if	you’re	
                                            mortgage foreclosures rising and real        appear to be responding to your
facing	a	major	cash	shortage	as	a	
                                            estate values falling in many areas.         complaint. In addition, a regulator
result	of	its	decision. The FDIC has
                                                                                         also can seek corrective action if an
urged the banks we supervise to work        Remember	that	home	equity	
                                                                                         institution is in violation of a federal
with customers who may experience           borrowers	have	rights	under	federal	
                                                                                         law or regulation.
financial hardship or significant           laws	and	rules. In particular, the
inconvenience as a result of a reduction    Truth in Lending Act permits a lender        While the FDIC insures deposits in
or suspension of their credit limits. For   to reduce or suspend a consumer’s            nearly all banking institutions
example, a borrower relying on a line       credit limit if there’s been a significant   in the United States, we may not
of credit to fund a home renovation or      decline in property value or a material      be the primary regulator of a particular
make a college tuition payment may          change in the borrower’s financial           institution. To find out who regulates
need some quick assistance finding an       circumstances (such as a significant         an institution, you can call the FDIC
alternate source of financing.              decrease in income). However, the            toll-free at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (that’s
                                            law also requires the lender to provide      1-877-275-3342) or check the FDIC’s
“We have told banks that, depending
                                            written notice to each borrower not          Bank Find directory at www2.fdic.gov/
                                                                                         idasp/main_bankfind.asp. Q
on a borrower’s creditworthiness and
                                            later than three business days after the
overall financial circumstances, it may
                                            action is taken and to include specific

                                                       FDIC Consumer News                                         Summer 2008
  6
Dialing for (Your) Dollars                                                                      FDIC
Beware	of	fraud	originating	in	phone	messages	and	faxes                                    Consumer News
                                                                                      Published by the Federal Deposit
FDIC Consumer News has warned               Another fraud to beware of involves       Insurance Corporation
before about crooks who call or             faxes. Recently, for example, the FDIC
e-mail consumers and pretend to be          uncovered a scam in which fake FDIC       Sheila C. Bair, Chairman
legitimate companies or government          notices were faxed to businesses and      Andrew Gray, Director,
agencies wanting people to ”verify”         consumers in an attempt to collect        Office of Public Affairs (OPA)
or “resubmit” (divulge) confidential        confidential information.
                                                                                      Elizabeth Ford, Assistant Director, OPA
information such as bank account or
                                            What can you do to protect yourself?      Jay Rosenstein, Senior Writer-Editor, OPA
credit card numbers as well as Social
Security numbers, passwords and             Don’t	give	out	personal	                  Mitchell Crawley, Graphic Design
personal identification numbers. Here       identification	information	over	
are variations to know about.               the	phone	unless	you	initiate	the	        FDIC Consumer News is produced
                                                                                      quarterly by the FDIC Office of
                                            contact	with	the	other	party	and	you	
One involves pre-recorded phone                                                       Public Affairs in cooperation with
                                            know	it’s	reputable.	“Scammers may
messages, supposedly from a financial                                                 other Divisions and Offices. It is
                                            even pose as government agencies such
institution or a government agency,                                                   intended to present information in a
                                            as the Social Security Administration,
describing some “urgent” matter                                                       nontechnical way and is not intended
                                            the Internal Revenue Service or the
involving your bank account. If you                                                   to be a legal interpretation of FDIC
                                            FDIC,” said Jeff Kopchik, an FDIC
return the call, you’ll be instructed                                                 or other government regulations and
                                            Senior Policy Analyst for technology      policies. Mention of a product, service
to answer a series of questions about
                                            issues. “For the average consumer,        or company does not constitute an
yourself and your bank account
                                            there is no way to know for sure who is   endorsement. This publication may be
using the touch-tone keypad on your
                                            the actual caller or sender of a fax.”    reprinted in whole or in part. Please
telephone. Unfortunately, it’s possible
the sensitive information you provide       Remember	that	your	bank,	credit	          credit FDIC Consumer News.
can be used to gain unauthorized            card	company	and	the	FDIC	                Send	your	story	ideas,	comments,	
access to your bank account or commit       would	never	contact	you	asking	for	       and	other	suggestions	or	
identity theft.                             personal	information.	Assume any          questions	to: Jay Rosenstein, Editor,
                                            such unsolicited request — by phone,      FDIC Consumer News, 550 17th
“The incoming call and the recorded
                                            fax or e-mail — is fraudulent.            Street, NW, Washington, DC 20429
message may look and sound very
                                                                                      jrosenstein@fdic.gov
legitimate, right down to the phone         Don’t	rely	on	a	phone	number	
number appearing on your caller-ID          provided	in	an	unsolicited	call,	         Find	current	and	past	issues	at:	
screen,” explained Michael Benardo,         e-mail	or	fax.	Any time you want to       www.fdic.gov/consumernews
manager of the FDIC’s Financial             call your bank, credit card company,      Subscriptions: To receive an e-mail
Crimes Section. “We’re especially           a government agency or other              notice about each new issue with links
concerned that some people who              organization regarding matters            to stories, go to www.fdic.gov/about/
think they’re less vulnerable to fraud      involving personal or financial           subscriptions/index.html. To receive
because they rarely or never use the        information, use the phone number         FDIC Consumer News in the mail,
Internet will let their guard down          provided in the phone book or another     free of charge, call the FDIC toll-free
against phone fraud, especially when        resource you trust, not the number        at 1-877-275-3342, send an e-mail to
they hear convincing messages about         listed in a voice-mail message, e-mail    publicinfo@fdic.gov or write to the
some ‘emergency’ and that they must         or fax. Q                                 FDIC Public Information Center,
respond to right way.”                                                                3501 North Fairfax Drive,
                                                                                      Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226.
  Reminder: Beware of Mortgage Rescue Frauds
                                                                                          For More Information
  Thieves posing as lenders or housing counselors continue to offer to “help”                 from the FDIC
  people at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. Beware of anyone who                  Go to www.fdic.gov or call
  charges a large upfront fee and “guarantees” (falsely) to save your home from
                                                                                        toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC — that’s
  foreclosure. Instead, seek help from a reputable housing counselor certified by
  the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Find one                           1-877-275-3342 —
  by contacting the nonprofit Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline (1-888-995-4673 or                      Monday through Friday
  www.995hope.org) or get a referral directly from HUD (1-800-569-4287 or                      8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.,
  www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm).                                                         Eastern Time.


  FDIC Consumer News                                      Summer 2008
                                                                                                                              7
“Green” Banking: Saving the Environment as You Save and Borrow Money
You’re probably already recycling           debit or credit card, or using your        Special	financing. Some banks will
paper, glass and plastic. But did you       telephone or cell phone instead of         offer a lower interest rate on a loan
know you also may be able to help           writing and mailing checks. But            for energy-efficient cars or home
save the environment as you do your         make sure you know what fees may           improvements that will save energy.
banking? Here are options that may be       be assessed for using these options.       Why? “If the energy efficiencies
available from your bank.                   Also be careful to record electronic       can significantly lower a borrower’s
                                            withdrawals in your checkbook, so          monthly expenses, the lender may see
Paperless	statements. Receiving
                                            you don’t inadvertently overdraw your      the loan as less risky,” said Reynolds.
monthly bank statements and credit
                                            account.                                   “But don’t let an offer of ‘green’
card bills electronically instead of
                                                                                       financing stop you from shopping for
in the mail can save a lot of trees,        Automatic	withdrawals	and	deposits.	
                                                                                       the best rate.”
“particularly when inserts and              You may be able to pay utility bills and
envelopes are factored in,” said Luke       other routine, recurring transactions      Buy	less,	save	more. For example,
W. Reynolds, Chief of the FDIC’s            by having the funds automatically          consider new ways to reuse or borrow
Community Affairs Outreach Section.         withdrawn from your checking               items instead of buying new ones.
But because old statements may              account or charged to your credit card     “You’ll help the environment by
prove helpful during tax time or help       before the due date. Be sure, though,      consuming less,” Reynolds explained.
substantiate a previous transaction, find   to review the bill each month for          “But in addition, you can save more
out how long electronic statements will     errors and record the transactions in      money that can go into a savings
be available online to view and perhaps     your checkbook or personal finance         account for more important use.”
download to your computer. Also ask         software. Another option is to have        Added Janet Kincaid, Chief of the
about the fees you’d pay if you need a      your payroll or Social Security checks     FDIC’s Consumer Response Center,
paper copy of an old statement.             deposited directly into your bank          “Going green can help you save your
                                            account, which reduces paper and saves     green, silver and copper.” Q
Electronic	banking	and	bill	
                                            gas by cutting down on car rides to the
payments. This includes conducting
                                            bank or ATM.
transactions over the Internet, via a

				
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