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Thursday, March 1, 2012

So what is behind the debt issue?

     As we see the debt issues on a global scale with Greece and Italy, on a state level with governors and legislatures struggling to balance budgets, we also have seen how personal debt has exploded with credit cards, home equity loans and student loans.  According to a  report from a Bankrate survey, " Many Americans live in a constant state of financial ignorance or denial. About 75% of respondents, for example, claim they don't make any major purchases on credit cards unless they can pay them off immediately. But 74% say they are concerned about being able to pay their credit card bills every month. And if people's claims about themselves are deceptive, their take on their fellow consumers is beyond cynical. Fifty-eight percent of respondents claimed to pay off their credit cards in full every month -- a marked contrast to studies that show that number closer to 40%. But remarkably, only 3% of respondents believe that most other people pay off their cards in full."

    Are savings, layaway and delayed gratification things of the past?  In conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week, County Executive Ken Ulman and the Howard County Council have declared next week to be “Consumer Protection Week” in Howard County!  As part of our celebration, the Office of Consumer Affairs will be hosting an informational seminar at the East Columbia Library on the services provided by the Office of Consumer Affairs and on “Dealing with Debt Collection.”  The seminar will be at 7pm on Wednesday, March 7.  

     During Howard County’s Consumer Protection Week, residents are encouraged to visit OCA’s website at or check out their Twitter and/or Facebook page (/HoCoConsumer), for helpful tips on how to make smarter decisions in the marketplace, spend and manage one’s money more wisely, and what to do if you believe you have been the victim of a scam.  OCA also mediates disputes that arise between consumers and merchants, landlords, creditors and other businesses.

     For more information about Howard County’s Office of Consumer Affairs or “Consumer Protection Week,” visit their website or contact the Office at 410-313-6420.  For more information about National Consumer Protection Week, visit

P. S.
With yesterday's leap day it reminded me of the rules on leap years that are more complicated than just adding a day every 4 years.  When do we skip the rule of adding a day every 4 years?  We have all experienced this exception but just to remind everyone here is the rule.

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