know your legal rights to protect your money

Posted : February 21, 2018
Last Updated : February 21, 2018
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know your legal rights to protect your money

There are many consumer protection laws that protect your rights as a consumer, and knowing your legal rights can help you protect your money.

Federal Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations

There are many federal consumer protection laws. In fact, there are too many to cover here. However, you should know that financial institutions must follow certain laws and regulations that protect your rights as a consumer.

Truth in Savings Act
The Truth in Savings Act (TISA) requires financial institutions to disclose the terms and conditions of bank accounts clearly and in writing. Some of the required information that a bank must give to consumers includes:
  • Interest rate information.
  • Balance requirements.
  • Fee information.

Because of this law, the bank must send you statements for your accounts periodically and provide account information to you any time you ask for it. This allows you to shop for the best account and make informed decisions before opening a deposit account.

Electronic Fund Transfer Act
The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) establishes rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of:
  • Customers who use electronic fund transfer services.
  • Banks that offer these services, which include the use of automated teller machines, debit cards, and online banking.

Expedited Funds Availability Act
The Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFAA) limits the amount of time a bank can put a hold on deposits to your checking or savings account.

Deposit Investment Products

FDIC Deposit Insurance Regulations
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) deposit insurance regulations protect your money if the bank fails. However, FDIC doesn’t insure non-deposit investment products (e.g., stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and annuities).

If you have any questions or problems with your deposit account, contact your financial institution and document the discussion. If you don’t receive a response, contact your bank’s regulatory agency.

FDIC insures funds in deposit accounts at FDIC-insured institutions including:
  • Checking.
  • Savings.
  • Money Market Deposit Accounts (MMDAs).
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs).

Non-Deposit Investment Products

The FDIC doesn’t insure non-deposit investment products (e.g., bonds, mutual funds, and annuities). It only insures funds held in deposit accounts at FDIC-insured banks. When deposits are placed at an insured bank, the FDIC will provide up to at least the maximum amount allowed by law.

Here are some important tips you should keep in mind when considering buying investment products:
  • Have enough emergency money in a savings or other readily accessible account to support yourself for at least six months before investing in non-deposit products.
  • Do your homework. Never invest in a product you don’t understand.
  • Attend classes, seminars, online courses or check the business reference section of the public library to become better informed.
  • Understand the risks before investing. Investments always have some degree of risk.
  • Be sure your sales representative knows your financial objectives and risk tolerance.
  • Take your time when making investment choices. Be careful of “act now” or “before it’s too late” statements.
  • Retain and maintain account statements and confirmations you receive about your investment transaction.
  • Document all conversations with brokers.
  • Take immediate action if you detect a problem. Time is critical so don’t be afraid to complain.
  • Make checks payable to a company or financial institution, never an individual.
  • Invest wisely online and offline. Be wary of investment scams.

Find out about the broker’s background via the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck at finra.org, or by calling the FINRA BrokerCheck Hotline at 1-800 289-9999. You may also contact the state securities office and Better Business Bureau.

Privacy Notices

Opting Out
If you prefer to limit the promotions you receive or don’t want marketers and others to have your personal financial information, you must take steps to “opt out.” Federal privacy laws give you the right to stop or opt out of some sharing of your personal financial information. You can opt out of most, but not all, information sharing with other companies.

Information about your relationship with a company may also be shared with companies that are jointly owned or similarly affiliated with that company. If you opt out, you limit the extent to which the company can provide your personal financial information to non-affiliates. If you don’t opt out within a reasonable period of time (generally about 30 days after the company mails the notice), the company is free to share certain personal financial information.
  • If you didn’t opt out the first time you received a privacy notice from a financial company, it’s not too late. You can always change your mind and opt out of certain information sharing. Contact your financial company and ask for instructions on how to opt out.
  • Remember, your right to opt out doesn’t apply to personal financial information shared before you opted out.

In addition, you can call a toll-free number to opt out of receiving most preapproved offers of credit or insurance. To opt out, call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) or visit optoutprescreen.com.



Source: PlanningYourDreams.org

 

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