HIGHTOWER: Instant Loans=Instant Ripoff

America's big bankers are terribly upset with you consumers! It seems that more and more of you are taking advantage of the bankruptcy laws by -- [gasp!] -- declaring bankruptcy.With the incomes of the middle class being knocked down, lots of working folks are having to use credit cards just to make ends meet. They have to pay-off their debt on one credit card by using another card, and then pay-off that one with another ... until the whole load comes crashing down on them. Then they declare personal bankruptcy to try to claw their way out of the financial rubble.This has mightily upset the bankers, who are now asking congress to limit your access to bankruptcy.But, wait a minute, who shoved these credit cards at consumers in the first place? Right. These very same bankers, sending out ten cards in 1996 for every man, woman and child in America, saying spend, spend, spend! And even now, they continue to find ever-more creative ways to put you deeper into their debt.The banker's latest gimmick is the [quote] "instant loan." This is a devious devise in which banks are sending "live checks," -- real money -- unsolicited, to potential customers. Victor and Debra Goldberg in Ithaca, New York, for example, told the Associated Press they were stunned to get a $7,500 check from Signet Bank in far away Virginia. A loan they never sought from a bank they never heard of. They refused the come on, but Signet has signed-up nearly a billion dollars in new debt with these flim-flams.Beneficial Corp. is putting-out similar live-check loans, telling unsuspecting customers "This is a real check -- cash it for an instant loan." No forms to fill out, not even a phone call -- take it, it's yours! Never mind the fine print, which quietly notes that the interest rate is more than 25 percent!This is Jim Hightower saying ... Rep. Maurice Hinchey has a bill to stop this ripoff. Contact him at 202-225-6335.For more information:Rep. Maurice Hinchey: 202/225-6335Source:"Consumers, lawmakers wary of bank loans through mail" by Marcy Gordon. Austin American-Statesman: August 14, 1997. House Banking Reps. Hinchey...press release from U.S. House of Representatives. June 25, 1997.

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