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50th Anniversary Through education and advocacy, nonprofit Consumer Action fights for strong consumer rights and policies that promote fairness and financial prosperity for underrepresented consumers nationwide.

 

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Consumer Action INSIDER - February 2021 The February 2021 issue of Consumer Action INSIDER introduces the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new debt collection rule and what it will mean for debtors; highlights our latest COVID-19 Educational Project webinar, on disaster preparedness and recovery; guides internet users on what they can do to delete their personal information from the web; details our recent coalition efforts; shares the latest happenings at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and announces new settlements posted in our Class Action Database. (Monday, February 01, 2021)

Debt collection (Winter 2020-2021) In this issue, Consumer Action helps consumers learn how to exercise their debt collection rights: to demand information about a debt, stop a debt collector from contacting them, and avoid resurrecting debts that are too old to be sued over. The issue also discusses other key aspects of the laws and regulations designed to protect people being targeted by debt collectors, and includes a sample validation request and a communications preference letter you can customize and send to debt collectors. (Thursday, January 21, 2021)

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Recent Publications

Privacy and security when using FinTech apps

Library: English | Privacy and security when using FinTech apps Share financial data with care  

This fact sheet gives FinTech users the knowledge to make wise decisions when choosing and using FinTech apps, take effective steps to keep their financial account data safe, and understand their options if something goes wrong. (Our companion guide, What you need to know about how FinTech apps work, offers an overview of financial technology and what privacy and security considerations users should be aware of before choosing and using digital financial tools.)

Category: Internet Money Management Privacy Rights Technology on Feb 16, 2021

What you need to know about how FinTech apps work

Library: English | What you need to know about how FinTech apps work Share financial data with care  Financial technology can offer attractive benefits for consumers who want to take their personal finances digital. But, like all internet-based tools and services, FinTech apps need to be chosen and used with care. This publication explains the types of FinTech tools available, how they work, and what that means for your data privacy and security. (Our companion guide, Privacy and security when using fintech apps, offers actionable tips for managing and protecting your data.) Category: Internet Money Management Privacy Rights Technology on Feb 16, 2021

The Contact Lens Rule and the Eyeglass Rule (Spanish)

Library: Spanish | The Contact Lens Rule and the Eyeglass Rule (Spanish) Importantes derechos del consumidor sobre el cuidado de la visión  The approximately 75% of U.S. adults who need some type of corrective lenses spend billions of dollars each year on eye exams and eyewear, yet few understand their rights under the federal Contact Lens Rule and Eyeglass Rule. This publication explains those rights, provides links to additional information, and tells you where you can report violations of the rules. Filed Under: Consumer Rights Medical/Healthcare on Jan 28, 2021

Get Credit for Your Hard Work (2020 Tax Year)

Library: English | Get Credit for Your Hard Work (2020 Tax Year) Low-income working taxpayers may qualify for the federal EITC  The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps low-income working taxpayers and families get more money back when they file their federal income tax return. This publication contains EITC guidelines for the 2020 tax year (for taxes due in April 2021).

NOTE: Announced on Dec. 20, a “lookback” provision will allow low-income workers to apply their 2019 earned income to their 2020 tax returns for the purposes of calculating the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). For both these credits, the more you earn (while still remaining below the maximum), the higher your credit. The lookback measure will allow filers to receive a credit in line with their normal earnings level, rather than be penalized with a lower credit on top of reduced 2020 earnings caused by the pandemic. However, taxpayers must actively “opt in” to the lookback provision (it won’t automatically occur).

Category: Money Management Taxes on Jan 04, 2021

Get Credit for Your Hard Work (2020 Tax Year) (Spanish)

Library: Spanish | Get Credit for Your Hard Work (2020 Tax Year) (Spanish) Los contribuyentes activos de bajos ingresos pueden calificar para el Crédito Tributario por Ingreso del Trabajo (EITC)  The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps low-income working taxpayers and families get more money back when they file their federal income tax return. This publication contains EITC guidelines for the 2020 tax year (for taxes due in April 2021).

NOTE: Announced on Dec. 20, a “lookback” provision will allow low-income workers to apply their 2019 earned income to their 2020 tax returns for the purposes of calculating the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). For both these credits, the more you earn (while still remaining below the maximum), the higher your credit. The lookback measure will allow filers to receive a credit in line with their normal earnings level, rather than be penalized with a lower credit on top of reduced 2020 earnings caused by the pandemic. However, taxpayers must actively “opt in” to the lookback provision (it won’t automatically occur).

Filed Under: Money Management Taxes on Jan 04, 2021

Establishing or replenishing emergency savings (Spanish)

Library: Spanish | Establishing or replenishing emergency savings (Spanish) Cómo hacerle frente al COVID-19  Many consumers went into the COVID-19 crisis with little or no savings, while others depleted theirs trying to stay afloat after losing their jobs. This guide covers the purpose of, and target balance for, an emergency fund, what to consider when choosing where to keep your fund, tips and inspiration to help you reach your goal, and a list of some FinTech tools that can help savers get and stay on track. Filed Under: COVID-19 Pandemic Money Management on Dec 29, 2020

Telemedicine: What to know about virtual doctor visits (Spanish)

Library: Spanish | Telemedicine: What to know about virtual doctor visits (Spanish) Cómo hacerle frente al COVID-19  

The pandemic has driven non-urgent doctor visits online to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. As more people receive medical care remotely, via a smartphone, tablet or computer, it’s important to understand when and how virtual visits might be an option, whether they’re covered under private and government-sponsored health plans, and what privacy issues they raise.

Filed Under: COVID-19 Pandemic Insurance Internet Medical/Healthcare Privacy Rights Technology on Dec 11, 2020

Take control: Customizing your social media privacy settings (Spanish)

Library: Spanish | Take control: Customizing your social media privacy settings (Spanish)  

This publication explains how to achieve your desired level of privacy on the most popular social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube) and provides useful general privacy tips, tools and resources.

Filed Under: Internet Privacy Rights on Dec 11, 2020

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