Debt Settlement Programs

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank points to debt settlement program risks.

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.If you or someone you know is in financial hot water, consider these options: self-help using realistic budgeting and other techniques; debt relief services, like credit counseling or debt settlement from a reputable organization; debt consolidation; or bankruptcy. How do you know which will work best for you? It depends on your level of debt, your level of discipline, and your prospects for the future.

Debt settlement programs typically are offered by for-profit companies, and involve them negotiating with your creditors to allow you to pay a “settlement” to resolve your debt — a lump sum that is less than the full amount that you owe. To make that lump sum payment, the program asks that you set aside a specific amount of money every month in savings. Debt settlement companies usually ask that you transfer this amount every month into an escrow-like account to accumulate enough savings to pay off any settlement that is eventually reached. Further, these programs often encourage or instruct their clients to stop making any monthly payments to their creditors.

Although a debt settlement company may be able to settle one or more of your debts, there are risks associated with these programs to consider before enrolling:

1. These programs often require that you deposit money in a special savings account for 36 months or more before all your debts will be settled. Many people have trouble making these payments long enough to get all (or even some) of their debts settled, and end up dropping out the programs as a result. Before you sign up for a debt settlement program, review your budget carefully to make sure you are financially capable of setting aside the required monthly amounts for the full length of the program.

2. Your creditors have no obligation to agree to negotiate a settlement of the amount you owe. So there is a possibility that your debt settlement company will not be able to settle some of your debts — even if you set aside the monthly amounts required by the program. Also, debt settlement companies often try to negotiate smaller debts first, leaving interest and fees on large debts to continue to mount.

3. Because debt settlement programs often ask or encourage you to stop sending payments directly to your creditors, they may have a negative impact on your credit report and other serious consequences. For example, your debts may continue to accrue late fees and penalties that can put you further in the hole. You also may get calls from your creditors or debt collectors requesting repayment. You could even be sued for repayment. In some instances, when creditors win a lawsuit, they have the right to garnish your wages or put a lien on your home.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Thinking About Buying a Franchise?

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank informs you on things to consider before buying a franchise.

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Buying a franchise is a major financial investment and a serious personal commitment. Understanding your abilities and goals is one step toward deciding whether a franchise is right for you.

If you’re thinking about investing in a franchise, the FTC advises you to consider:

 

Your financial situation

Buying into a franchise is a major investment. How much do you have to safely invest? Can you afford to lose your entire investment? Will you invest on your own or with partners? Do you need financing? Where will you get it?

 

Your need for income

Do you need a specific minimum annual income? It can take years for an investment in a franchise to become profitable; some franchises never make it. Do you have savings or another source of income to support yourself and your family until the franchise can?

 

Your abilities and goals

Consider your experience as a business owner or manager. What special skills do you have? Do you want a franchise that requires technical experience, or specialized training or education, like auto repair, home or office decorating, or tax preparation? What kind of work environment and routines do you prefer? Will you run the business yourself or hire a manager?

 

Your timetable

Is a multi-year commitment right for you? Franchise agreements generally are for several years, often 5 or 10. It can be difficult to end an agreement early. Once you commit to a franchise contract, you have to stay with it until the term ends, even if you’re not making as much money as you expected, or making a profit at all. How long do you want to stay in one location and engaged in one business?

 

Your comfort working under a franchisor’s control

As a franchisee, you are a business owner, but you don’t operate independently. You’re part of a network and you must follow rules that call for uniformity. A franchisor may limit your choices about sales area, training, suppliers, or the merchandise you sell. You may pay advertising fees and buy or lease from suppliers the franchisor chooses. If exercising creativity is important to you, think about whether you would be comfortable working with a franchisor’s controls.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refund and Recovery Scams

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank highlights tips to avoid losing money to a recovery scam.

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Scam artists buy and sell lists with the names of people who already have lost money to fraudulent promotions. These crooks may call you promising to recover the money you lost or the prize or merchandise you never received — for a fee in advance. That's against the law. Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, they cannot ask for — or accept — payment until seven business days after they deliver the money or other item they recovered to you.

Here are some tips, provided by the Federal Trade Commission, to help you avoid losing money to a recovery scam:

  • Don't believe anyone who calls offering to recover money, merchandise, or prizes you never received if the caller says you have to pay a fee in advance. Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, it's against the law for someone to request or receive payment from you until seven business days after you have the money or other item in hand.
  • If someone claims to represent a government agency that will recover your lost money, merchandise, or prizes for a fee or a donation to a charity, report them immediately to the FTC. National, state, and local consumer protection agencies and nonprofit organizations do not charge for their services.
  • Before you use any company to recover either money or a prize, ask what specific services the company provides and the cost of each service. Check out the company with local government law enforcement and consumer agencies; ask whether other people have registered complaints about the business. You also can enter the company name into an online search engine to look for complaints.
  • Don't give out your credit card or checking account numbers in an attempt to recover money you have lost or a prize you never received.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Data Breaches

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank reminds you of your options to protect yourself from recent data breaches.

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Recent headlines about data breaches at retail stores and universities may have you wondering if there’s anything you can do to help protect your credit going forward. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, says the answer is yes. One option is a credit freeze. Also known as a security freeze, this tool lets you to restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. That’s because most creditors need to look at your credit report before approving a new account. If they can’t see your file, they may not extend the credit.

To place a freeze on your credit reports, contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You'll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

A credit freeze does not:

    • affect yourcredit score
    • prevent you from getting yourfree annual credit report
    • keep you from opening a new account, applying for a job, renting an apartment, or buying insurance. If you’re doing any of these, you’ll need to lift the freeze temporarily, either for a specific time, or for a specific party, say, a potential landlord or employer. The cost and lead times to lift a freeze vary, so it’s best to check with the credit reporting company in advance.
    • prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Shopping by Phone, Mail or Online

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank points to smart online shopping practices.

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Shopping on the Internet can save time, energy, and occasionally, money. However, because you cannot see the merchandise, it is important to be extra cautious when shopping online. The Federal Trade Commission recommends smart buying practices.

Tips for Shopping by Phone, Mail or Online

    • Consider your experience with the company or its general reputation before you order. If you've never heard of the seller, check on its physical location and reputation with the local Better Business Bureau or the state Attorney General's office.
    • Ask about the company's refund and return policies, the product's availability and the total cost of your order before you place your order.
    • Get a shipment date.
    • Keep records of your order, such as the ad or catalog from which you ordered; the company's name, address and phone number; any shipment representation the company made to you and when it made it; the date of your order; a copy of the order form you sent to the company or, if you're ordering by phone, a list of the items and their stock codes and the order confirmation code; your canceled check or the charge or debit statement showing the charge for your order; and any communications to or from the company.
    • Track your purchases. When you order online, keep printouts of the web pages with the details of the transaction, including the merchant's return policies, in case you're not satisfied.

 

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters:718-682-1509

Mobile:917-715-8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.