Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ Category

IRS Problems? Consumer Team Recommends Nick Nemeth

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX – Consumer Team News)    Consumers dealing with IRS tax issues are getting encouragement and education from a series of interviews on The Consumer Team.   Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, and local DFW attorney Nick Nemeth have been discussing the IRS tax problems that consumers face in a series of radio interviews.

Nick Nemeth - Endorsed by The Consumer Team

Nick Nemeth – Endorsed by The Consumer Team

Thomson said he became interested in the tax resolution because of the abundance of advertising targeting consumers with tax problems.   Thomson added, “Based on all the commercials on the air from national companies, it’s very apparent that there’s a big consumer need for assistance with IRS issues.”   The problem with many of the national companies, according to Thomson, is that they don’t deliver.   He added, “Many of the big national companies you hear on the air are making big promises.  When a consumer calls, they’re often dealing with someone who is not an attorney.   And, the results are bad for the consumer.”

The Consumer Team endorses Dallas-Ft. Worth attorney Nick Nemeth, a local attorney who helps consumers with IRS tax problems.   Commenting on Nemeth’s addition to The Consumer Team, Thomson said, “It’s simple.  Nick Nemeth is experienced in this category.  He’s local so a client can meet with him face to face.  And he gets results for his clients.   That’s why Nick Nemeth is the choice of The Consumer Team.”

Nick Nemeth is a regular guest on The Consumer Team.   Thomson says the goal of the radio segments is two-fold.   He added, “First we want to educate consumers regarding what the options are when you’re facing an IRS tax problem.   Many of the national ads are deceptive and make claims that aren’t based on reality.   Beyond education, we want to encourage consumers to be proactive and not delay getting help.”

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast Saturdays from 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas, Texas.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

Consumer Team: Nick Nemeth is “Best Practices” for Helping Consumers

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TEXAS – Consumer Team News)   The Consumer Team’s Pete Thomson regularly promotes ‘shopping local’ on his consumer advocacy radio program.   When it comes to getting help dealing with an IRS tax issue, Thomson says picking a local attorney is critical.   “We believe shopping local is very important to achieving success as a consumer.  When it comes to dealing with an IRS tax issue, hiring a local attorney is very important.   Nick Nemeth is our choice on The Consumer Team.”

Nick Nemeth - DFW Tax Attorney

Nick Nemeth – DFW Tax Attorney

Nick Nemeth is a regular contributor to The Consumer Team talk radio program which is broadcast Saturdays, 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s KRLD.   Thomson commented on Nemeth’s contributions to The Consumer Team.  He commented,  “Besides being local, Nick Nemeth is what we consider best practices when it comes helping consumers in North Texas get IRS problems resolved.   He’s smart, honest and very consumer friendly.”

The consumer waters are filled with sharks, according to Thomson, when it comes to tax resolution services.   “Just listen to talk radio or surf the web,” Thomson added, “and you’ll find a number of national companies that aggressively market their services.   They make big promises but, in the end, deliver little to the consumer.   With some of the national companies, the consumer doesn’t even talk to an attorney.   It’s a bad deal for consumers.”

Thomson encourages anyone dealing with an IRS tax issue to call Nick Nemeth.  He added, “We love the fact that Nick offers a free initial consultation.   During that time, a consumer can get good counsel from an attorney who is well respected in Dallas-Ft. Worth.”    To reach Nick Nemeth, call 972-484-0829.

The Consumer Team is DFW’s longest running and highest rated consumer advocacy radio program. The program is focused solely on Dallas-Ft. Worth and promotes locally owned and operated business sponsors.   The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

 

Consumer Team: Ventana is Changing Retirement in Dallas

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX – Consumer Team News)   The corner of Northwest Highway and Central/Hwy 75 is about to change in a big way. Ventana, a luxury high rise retirement community, is being built at this location by Buckner Retirement Services.   The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is airing a series of educational segments on retirement in DFW and the new Ventana.

Ventana - Coming to Northwest Highway & Central in Dallas

Ventana – Coming to Northwest Highway & Central in Dallas

Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, says  he considers Ventana to be the future of retirement living. Thomson said, “People are very impressed with the the luxury of Ventana.  It will be a stunning community with beautiful views of the Dallas skyline.   There are some other major benefits.  First, Buckner Retirement Services is building Ventana.  Buckner is one of the most trusted names in North Texas.   Beyond that, Ventana will be a continuing care retirement community which means that residents will have access to many healthcare and medical services on-campus at Ventana, and at rates that are very predictable.   Over the span of a person’s retirement, we believe that Ventana’s pricing model delivers much more for the dollar and gives consumers more control over their budgets during retirement.”

The Consumer Team will feature different aspects of Ventana during on-air interviews on 1080 KRLD Radio.   Thomson said, “Our interviews on retirement and Ventana will be very educational.  We’ll be talking to the leadership of Ventana and Buckner Retirement Services.   We’ll also feature several people who will be among the first to move to Ventana when it’s complete.”

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast Saturdays from 6-8 PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, Texas.

CONSUMER TEAM ALERT: Homeowner’s Insurance Exclusions

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX – Consumer Team News)   Homeowners count on their homeowner’s insurance policies to be there when they experience a loss.   It’s the nature of insurance and why we buy it.  Still, according to Consumer Team host Pete Thomson, there is a growing number of consumers who are discovering that their homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover certain losses.   Exclusions on seemingly normal and routine claims such as roof damage and slow water leaks come as a big surprise to homeowners.  According to Thomson, the problem is a result of big insurance companies trying to be price competitive.  Thomson said, “The big insurance companies are trying to capture market share by offering lower priced policies.   However, as they slash premiums they’re also cutting coverage.  And consumers are largely unaware that they’re buying policies that have coverage exclusions.”    Thomson reports that the biggest insurance companies are the culprits.  He added, “It’s the biggest direct writers. It’s the big national companies that advertise all the time and have their names on football stadiums and blimps.”

Roger Harkins of Tri-Star Insurance Professionals

Roger Harkins of Tri-Star Insurance Professionals

To address the problem with insurance policy exclusions, The Consumer Team has launched a series of special broadcasts entitled ‘Bad Insurance’ on 1080 KRLD Radio, Dallas, Texas.   Roger Harkins, an independent insurance agent from Dallas, Ft. Worth is joining Thomson for the broadcasts.   Thomson called Harkins a valuable resource for the broadcasts.   He said, “Roger Harkins has been our insurance industry contributor for over 10 years.  With over 30 years in the industry, he understands the marketplace and is able to make solid recommendations to our listeners.”     Harkins is the owner of Tri-Star Insurance Professionals, a Dallas-Ft. Worth based independent insurance firm.

Thomson said that The Consumer Team insurance segments will be educational and address what consumers can do to make sure their homeowner’s insurance policies will cover them adequately.   Thomson said, “Roger and Tri-Star Insurance Professionals are offering Consumer Team listeners a free insurance check-up. They’ll analyze a policy and identify any exclusions that could create problems for a homeowner.  And because Tri-Star Insurance Professionals is a trusted choice agent, they can shop the market to a number of different insurance companies to find the consumer the very best deal.”

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast Saturdays from 6-8 PM Central on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD Radio.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

Consumer Team Launches Series on Senior Scams

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)   The Consumer Team talk radio program today announced the creation of a multi-part series focusing on senior scams.  Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, announced the new series.  He commented, “Consumer Team has been addressing scams targeting senior consumers for several years.  Our new senior scam series of broadcasts will address a number of aspects of elder or senior scams.”

Senior Scams - The Consumer Team Investigates

Senior Scams – The Consumer Team Investigates

Thomson said that seniors are a huge target for fraud and even violence.  He said, “Seniors are a perfect target for bad guys.   They have money saved.  The bad guys know that and they’ll do almost anything to steal from them.  In our series on Consumer Team we’re going to try to arm our listeners with information that will protect them and their loved ones from fraud targeting seniors.  One thing that will never change is the greed of the criminal.  However, with the right information consumers can fight back.  That information will be our focus on Consumer Team.”

A recent Consumer Reports article estimates that senior fraud is big business.  The publication estimates the annual cost to be around $3 billion per year.   Tobie Stanger of Consumer Reports who contributed to the recent story will be a featured guest on several Consumer Team interview segments.  Thomson added, “Tobie Stanger’s work in elder fraud and senior scams is outstanding.  I look forward to having her on Consumer Team to add valuable detail to this important story.”   Thomson said that Stanger will review law changes that are designed to better protect senior consumers.

Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7 PM (Central) on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.   Pete Thomson is a 40 year veteran of the broadcasting industry and has worked in consumer advocacy journalism for over 10 years.  The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, TX.

Consumer Team Investigates Payday Loans

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)    The Consumer Team is investigating payday loans in a series of interviews with Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney at Consumer’s Union.   Martindale and CU have been lobbying for stricter guidelines to protect consumers from high interest rates and other payday loan tactics that often result in trapping consumers into long-term and high interest debt.

The Consumer Team Investigates Payday Loans

The Consumer Team Investigates Payday Loans

Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team, commented on the interviews with Suzanne Martindale.  He said, “We’re all about consumer education on The Consumer Team.  Suzanne Martindale is a very good resource for information on banking and other financial issues that consumers face.  With payday loans, we’re concerned about the trap that consumers are getting into which can stretch the term of even a small loan to many months with a triple digit APR.”

Thomson said that The Consumer Team will feature several interviews with Ms. Martindale regarding payday loans.   Thomson added, “First we want to educate our listeners regarding the dangers of getting a payday loan.  Beyond that we’ll talk about Consumers Union’s efforts to impact legislation to protect consumers.   And we’ll also shed a needed light on the Wall Street connection with the payday loan industry.”

Thomson cited Consumer’s Union’s work in consumer advocacy as vital to the American Consumer.  Thomson stated, “Consumer’s Union does so much to protect the consumer.   We regularly consult their resources for The Consumer Team radio program.  Their efforts to impact legislation are so important, and with the powerful industry lobbies that they face, it’s vital the consumers understand and support the efforts of Consumer’s Union.  The fight for consumer rights would be much more one-sided without Consumer’s Union fighting on our behalf.”

The Consumer Team is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7 PM (Central) on CBS Radio’s KRLD in Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas.  The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc, Dallas, TX.

Why Big Banks Are Losing to Credit Unions

Frustrated by high fees, disappearing rewards and a generally non-consumer friendly reputation, many Americans are considering breaking up with their bank.   And oftentimes, the refugee consumer is taking their money to a local credit union.  It’s an exodus of money from Wall Street to Main Street that appears to be gaining momentum.  To talk about this trend, we’re welcoming Sonya McDonald, Vice President and Chief of Staff from Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, to The Consumer Team.   Our interview will air Saturday, September 20th at 5PM Central on 1080 KRLD Radio.

Credit Unions:  Consumers Like Lower Fees, Non-Profit Structure

Credit Unions: Consumers Like Lower Fees, Non-Profit Structure

An product of 19th Century England and Germany, the credit union was invented by communities as a solution to either non-existent or onerous loan terms from the local bankers.    The credit union was, in its simplest form, neighbors helping neighbors.   Money was gathered into a central repository and loaned to its members so they could build their homes, businesses and dreams.   The credit unions were non-profit and existed to serve its members.  What a concept.

In our discussion of current day credit unions with Ms. McDonald, we’ll discuss the reasons behind the trend of consumers moving to credit unions from big banks.   We’ll review the advantages of working with a credit union versus a bank (it goes well beyond just a lack of fees or better rewards) as well as how to select a credit union.

The trend of consumers, especially the middle class, breaking up with their bank is part of a larger discussion regarding big banks and why they are bad deal for consumers.  If you’d like to get a deeper understanding of big banking in America, I recommend several books:

The Creature From Jekyll Island – G. Edward Griffin:   Although the title suggests a science fiction novel, this book is hardly fiction.  It’s about the formation of The Federal Reserve in 1911 on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia.   The book, which reads like a murder-mystery masterpiece, is sad and very troubling.  After reading “Creature”, you’ll understand clearly the cartel that is Big Banking in America.  You’ll understand their power and how it affects you as a citizen, taxpayer and a consumer.

The Big Short – Michael Lewis:   Lewis is the author of several best-sellers including Money Ball, Liar’s Poker and Flash Boys.  The Big Short is a very effective chronicle of the events that caused the economic crisis of 2007-2009.   It vividly describes the mortgage meltdown along with the role that big banks played in the near destruction of our economy.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap – Matt Taibbi:   Known for his writing in Rolling Stone Magazine, Matt Taibbi is able to connect the dots between income inequality in America and its impact on justice and our legal system.    To be clear, this isn’t just another book about income redistribution, it’s an accurate accounting of how both the middle and lower classes of America are living in a much different America from the mega-uber-wealthy 1%.    This is a book that will disgust you.

Pete Thomson

The Consumer Team

Editor’s Note:   Pete Thomson has worked in broadcasting since 1972.   Thomson is President/CEO of McQ Media, an advertising and media firm based in Dallas, TX.  McQ Media works in the areas of consumer and business advocacy and produces The Consumer Team radio program. 

 

For Profit Colleges: Big Promises, Huge Debt, Shattered Dreams

I’m not a proponent of lots of government regulation.  In fact, whenever I hear the words “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”,  I immediately run.  However, after researching some of the malarkey going on in the “For Profit” college category, I’m beginning to think that a good, government sponsored, butt kicking might be in order.

For Profit Colleges:  Leaving Students Jobless and In Debt

For Profit Colleges: Leaving Students Jobless and In Debt

What is a For Profit College?    You probably know them well, but by their heavily marketed names such as University of Phoenix, DeVry University or ITT Technical.   These schools bombard the television airwaves with spots touting that you can find a job, a career and a great life by getting one of their degrees.   Dig a little deeper and you find the problems.   For profit colleges are very expensive, especially when compared to a local, non-profit community college.   And, as many a for profit grad have discovered, a for profit degree often leaves a person in huge debt with no job prospects.   Even more troubling is the for profit college mega-aggressive marketing strategy that targets low-income and veteran consumers.   And similar to the payday loan industry that I’ve written about previously, for profit colleges also appear to be harvesting huge gains at the expense of people who are already experiencing great pain and challenge in their lives.   This last fact is what makes my blood boil.

Consumer Team Investigates For Profit Colleges:   I interviewed Consumer’s Union attorney Suzanne Martindale for my consumer advocacy radio program The Consumer Team.   The interview will be broadcast on Saturday, August 30, 2014.   Martindale, who is on the front lines of fighting for increased scrutiny of for profit colleges, voiced concern about Wall Street’s involvement in the for profit college industry.    That’s right, a number of these colleges are public companies.   As Martindale shared in our interview, the for profit college industry is currently under fire from a number of angles.   The Securities and Exchange Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are both investigating the category, as are the attorneys general from 30 different states.

Buyer Beware:   In spite of my comments above regarding government regulation of this business category, I believe that the marketplace is generally better served by an informed consumer who votes with their feet.   Anyone considering attending a for profit college needs to do additional research.   Indeed, one doesn’t have to do much digging to find serious dirt.     And, compliments of Ms. Martindale, the links below provide some valuable facts.

http://consumerist.com/2014/07/18/your-corinthian-operated-school-is-closing-but-you-might-not-be-completely-screwed/

http://consumerist.com/2014/07/17/student-corinthian-colleges-demise-is-like-watching-a-house-fall-on-a-witch/

http://consumerist.com/2014/07/24/corinthian-colleges-employee-we-work-for-the-biggest-scam-company-in-the-world/

http://consumerist.com/2014/07/31/comcast-makes-money-off-everest-university-ads-even-as-schools-are-being-sold-or-closed/

 

Pete Thomson

CEO – The Consumer Team

Editor’s Note:  The Consumer Team talk radio program is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7PM on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.  Pete Thomson has been working in consumer advocacy and investigative journalism for over 10 years.   Thomson is President/CEO of McQ Media, a Dallas-based advertising and marketing firm that promotes consumer and business advocacy.

 

Consumer Team Radio: Best & Worst Fast Food, Tax Resolution Tips & Preparing for Power Outages

Every weekend, The Consumer Team brings you the information you need know to be a successful consumer.   Join host Pete Thomson on 1080 KRLD, Saturday from 5-7PM (Central).  On this week’s program (July 26, 2014):

Pete Thomson - The Consumer Team

Pete Thomson – The Consumer Team

Best & Worst Fast Food:  Consumer Reports will join us to discuss their new reader survey that talks about the best and worst fast food restaurants in America.  From the cleanest to the cheapest to the best service, we’ll tell you about the winners and losers from this year’s survey.

Tax Resolution Tips:   The good news is that there are ways for people who owe back taxes to get a break on their tax bill.   However, the consumer needs to be very careful.   High-profile tax resolution ‘specialists’ are charging high retainers for work that a CPA can do much more inexpensively.   We’ll also give you tips for resolving tax debt for a fair price.

Preparing for Power Outages:   Ernie Sprance join us for a report on how to be prepared for a power blackout.  We’ll address what supplies you should stock up on and how to successfully ride out an extended power outage.

The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD on Saturdays from 5-7PM (Central).    To listen live, click here.  The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

Consumer Team Shares Tax Tips on KRLD

(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX)   The Consumer Team talk radio program will air a special segment on tax law changes impacting consumers who are preparing 2013 tax returns.   Bill Robinson, a CPA from Ft. Worth and regular contributor on The Consumer Team, will join host Pete Thomson for the special tax segment.

The Consumer Team on 1080 KRLD Radio

The Consumer Team on 1080 KRLD Radio

Pete Thomson, commenting on the special tax feature, said that listeners will be surprised to hear some of the changes to the tax laws. He commented, “There are some significant new tax laws that are impacting 2013 taxes, including several that are tied to the new healthcare laws.   Bill Robinson always brings interesting information to The Consumer Team.”
Another aspect of the interview, according to Thomson, will be a discussion on tax preparation software programs as well as issues that can act as audit triggers.

The Consumer Team is heard Saturdays, 5-7PM (Central) on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas.   For more information and to listen live, go to http://www.myconsumerteam.com.   The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas, Texas.

 

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