Co-signing a Loan

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank highlights what you should consider before co-signing a loan

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.What do you do if a friend or relative asks you to co-sign a loan? Before you say yes, think about the obligations involved and how they may affect your own finances and creditworthiness. When you agree to co-sign a loan, you’re taking a risk a lender won’t take.

Despite the risks, there may be times when you want to co-sign. Your child may need a first loan, or a close friend may need help. Before you co-sign, consider how it might affect your financial well-being.

  • Can you afford to pay the loan? If you're asked to pay and can't, you could be sued, or your credit rating could be damaged.
  • Even if you're not asked to repay the debt, your liability for the loan may keep you from getting other credit. Creditors will consider the co-signed loan as one of your obligations.
  • Before you pledge property to secure the loan, like your car, furniture or jewelry, make sure you understand the consequences. If the borrower defaults, you could lose these items.
  • Ask the creditor to calculate the amount you might owe. The creditor doesn’t have to do this, but might, if you ask. You also may be able to negotiate specific terms of your obligation. For example, you may want to limit your liability to the principal on the loan, and not include late charges, court costs, or attorneys' fees. In this case, ask the creditor to include a statement in the contract — like "The co-signer will be responsible only for the principal balance on this loan at the time of default." — before you co-sign.
  • Ask the creditor to agree, in writing, to notify you if the borrower misses a payment or the terms on the loan change. That will give you time to deal with the problem or make back payments without having to repay the entire amount immediately.
  • If you're co-signing for a purchase, make sure you get copies of all important papers, like the loan contract, the Truth-in-Lending Disclosure Statement, and warranties. These documents may come in handy if there's a dispute between the borrower and the seller. The creditor doesn’t have to give you these papers; you may have to get copies from the borrower.
  • Check your state law for additional co-signer rights.

 

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.

 

Unordered Merchandise

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank points to Q & A about unordered merchandise

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.What do you do when you receive merchandise that you didn’t order? According to the Federal Trade Commission, you don’t have to pay for it. Federal laws prohibit mailing unordered merchandise to consumers and then demanding payment.

Here are some questions and answers about dealing with unordered merchandise.

Q. Am I obligated to return or pay for merchandise I never ordered?

A. No. If you receive merchandise that you didn’t order, you have a legal right to keep it as a free gift.

Q. Must I notify the seller if I keep unordered merchandise without paying for it?

A. You have no legal obligation to notify the seller. However, it is a good idea to write a letter to the company stating that you didn’t order the item and, therefore, you have a legal right to keep it for free. This may discourage the seller from sending you bills or dunning notices, or it may help clear up an honest error. Send your letter by certified mail. Keep the return receipt and a copy of the letter for your records. You may need it later.

Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?

A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.

Q. Is there any merchandise that may be sent legally without my consent?

A. Yes. You may receive samples that are clearly marked free, and merchandise from charitable organizations asking for contributions. You may keep such shipments as free gifts.

Q. Is there any way to protect myself from shippers of unordered merchandise?

A. When you participate in sweepstakes or order goods advertised as "free," "trial," or "unusually low priced," be cautious. Read all the fine print to determine if you are joining a "club," with regular purchasing or notification obligations. Keep a copy of the advertisement or catalog that led you to place the order, too. This may make it easier to contact the company if a problem arises.

Q. Where can I go for help in dealing with unordered merchandise problems?

A. Always start by trying to resolve your dispute with the company. If this doesn’t work, contact your state or local consumer protection office, local U.S. Postal Inspector, or the Better Business Bureau in your area for help.

 

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.

 

Kids and Computer Security

 

Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank advises speaking with children about computer security

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.The security of your computer can affect the safety of your online experience — and your kids’. Talk to your kids about what they can do to help protect your computer and your family’s personal information.

Talk to your kids about:

    • Protecting their personal information. Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords are examples of information to keep private.
    • Watching out for "free" stuff. Free games, ring tones, or other downloads can hide malware. Tell your kids not to download anything unless they trust the source and they've scanned it with security software.
    • Using strong email passwords and protect them. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Personal information, your login name, common words, or adjacent keys on the keyboard are not safe passwords. Kids can protect their passwords by not sharing them with anyone, including their friends.

In addition, be sure your family computers are protected by reputable security software.

 

 

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.

 

Dealing with Job Loss

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank highlights the important aspects of a recent job loss

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Losing a job is stressful, plain and simple. Looking for a new one is no easy task either, especially if you worry about how to pay the bills. But take a deep breath. Here are some tips to help you get back on your feet professionally and financially.

    • Look to your employer for help. Your company may offer a range of services, from workshops to retooling your resume to classes on how to look for jobs.
    • Contact your State Unemployment Insurance Officefor information about applying for unemployment insurance benefits in your state.
    • Make a budget. Add up your monthly expenses and create a survival budget to get a sense of how long your savings can keep you afloat. Look for expenses you may be able to eliminate.
    • Contact your creditors. They may be willing to discuss some type of minimum payment. They’re much more likely to be reasonable with you if you tell them your situation upfront, rather than waiting for them to contact you after you’ve missed a payment. 
    • Order a free copy of your credit report. It has information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you have filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting companies and other businesses that provide background information sell your file to potential employers that, in turn, use it to evaluate your applications for jobs. It’s a good idea to dispute inaccurate information in your report so it can be corrected before your next job interview comes along.
    • Form a network. Networking is about building relationships and is a key part of job hunting. All it means is talking to others — either formally or informally — about your job search and career goals.
    • Join a professional, business, civic, or some other kind of association or club.  It can be a good way to learn about trends and unadvertised jobs.  Members often know employers with open positions. Association and club listings can be found online or at your local library.
    • Visit CareerOneStop. Sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, this site offers tools to help people look for work, and a directory of resources to help you cope while unemployed.
    • Be wary of job scams. It’s tough enough to find a job without scammers trying to take advantage. During your job search, you may see ads for job placement firms that promise results. Unfortunately, some firms misrepresent their services, promote nonexistent vacancies, or charge high fees in advance for services that don’t guarantee placement.

  

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.

 

 

Rebate Offers

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank warns against rebate offers that may be scams

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.Rebate offers can be irresistible to consumers, slashing the price of consumer goods at the time of purchase or promising partial or full reimbursements after the purchase.

Some manufacturers and retailers entice shoppers with instant cash rebates that can be redeemed immediately at the checkout counter.

But most rebates are of the mail-in variety. They require consumers to pay the full cost of an item at the time purchase, then to send documentation to the manufacturer or retailer to receive a rebate by mail.

The documentation required generally includes the original sales receipt, UPC code, rebate slip, and the customer's name, address and telephone number. In most cases, this paperwork must be sent to the manufacturer or retailer within 30 days of the purchase. Consumers generally receive their rebates up to 12 weeks later.

But the Federal Trade Commission cautions consumers against being "baited" by rebates that never arrive or arrive far later than promised. By law, companies are required to send rebates within the time frame promised, or if no time is specified, within a "reasonable" time. "Reasonable" in this case often is interpreted as within 30 days.

When purchasing a product that offers a rebate, the FTC encourages consumers to:

    • Follow the instructions on the rebate form and enclose all required documentation in the envelope when filing for a rebate.
    • Make a copy of all paperwork to be mailed when applying for a rebate. It's the only record a consumer will have of the transaction if anything goes wrong.
    • Contact the company if the rebate doesn't arrive within the time promised.
    • If the rebate never arrives or arrives late, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the state Attorney General or the local Better Business Bureau.

 

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.