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Fred Williams

Fred O. Williams is senior reporter for CreditCards.com. A business journalist since 1987, he writes about consumer financial issues from Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in USAToday and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, and he is the author of "Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices," published by FT Press.

Posts by Fred Williams

Living with credit, Protecting yourself

$3,000 mystery: AmEx sends big refund, little explanation

Beth was surprised when she got a big check from American Express. The check for more than $3,000 gave back the premiums she had paid into the company’s “credit protection” program for years and years. “The letter didn’t explain a…
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Research, regulation, industry reports

Struggling debtors help make nonprofit CEOs wealthy

If you can’t pay your mortgage or credit card bills, chances are you will seek help at a credit counseling agency. And if you give up your battle with debt, you’ll need one of their pre-bankruptcy filing certificates. Working from…
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Living with credit

Who is — and isn’t — looking out for consumers

Crush the little guy — that’s the mission of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. At least according to Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. He called the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, to a hearing…
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Living with credit

Cardholders have sympathy for surcharges

The Delaware man was surprised by a 25-cent surcharge on his bill for a $9 lunch. The food truck added the premium because he paid with plastic. But after managers of the mobile mex-asian eatery explained the surcharge, the consumer…
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Protecting yourself, Research, regulation, industry reports

Citi makes the case for stronger rules on debt collection

Wildly inflated interest rates. Altered court documents. Consumers kept in the dark. The settlement Citi signed with regulators last week presented a combination of shocking debt collection practices. Inadvertently, the bank and its collectors make a strong argument for new…
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