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BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2012
Roberto Pagan-Franco didn't have a bank account for decades. His employer paid him in cash or with a check that the Baltimore resident took to a check-cashing store. A few years ago he lost his job after a severe illness and for a time was homeless. Not exactly the type of customer you'd expect a big bank to court. But Pagan-Franco enrolled in a PNC Bank program that targets consumers who otherwise might be shut out of the banking system. And today, the 54-year-old has checking and savings accounts at PNC and is in the process of getting a credit card.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Laura Schneider and For The Baltimore Sun | March 19, 2014
I've never really done anything by the book. I also didn't spend the entirety of my childhood planning my wedding. But the man of my dreams, Brian, dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him, so here I am, planning my own wacky wedding. I never planned on getting married on my actual wedding day. What if I forgot to sign something during all the craziness? So when a friend suggested we get married in Las Vegas since we were already going to be there for her wedding, it was kind of a no-brainer.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, Ian Duncan and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2013
In the black market of Maryland's prisons and jails, where the right price can secure cellphones and drugs, transactions unfold through a complex system of currency. Among the key elements: 14-digit codes, prepaid debit cards and text messages. One brand of cards - Green Dot - is so ubiquitous that it has become part of the lexicon on the inside. The recent federal indictment of two dozen inmates and corrections officers in an alleged Black Guerrilla Family corruption scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center notes several instances in which suspects refer to "dots" in transactions.
NEWS
August 25, 2013
Fear not, boardwalk vacationers. Labor Day may be approaching, but one of summer's favorite pastimes, the Whac-A-Mole game, is getting an extended run. We speak, of course, of Maryland's unceasing efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous payday lenders. Just like those varmints that pop up unpredictably - and must be hammered with authority - these modern-day Shylocks charging their 400 percent interest rates are not easily thwarted. Since 2005, every state in the union has adopted laws banning such loans, yet an estimated 12 million Americans are trapped in the payday lending cycle.
NEWS
By Mel Tansill | January 19, 1993
The C&P bill sits on our kitchen table atop the Master Card bill atop the Spiegel billatop the State Farm bill atop the BG&E billThey sit atop the Barnes & Noble bill atop the Lears billatop the Prudential bill atop the Sinai Hospital billatop the Sunpapers bill atop the IOU to my parentsChanging our jobs might be the answerif money is what matters, which it doesn'tnever will as long as we can help it)So we keep treating our checking account like our love-- temperamental and passionate -- pushing it to the limitto feed our simultaneous hunger for pleasure and survival
BUSINESS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | December 4, 2005
Many single seniors today are financially secure. Their wills are signed, and they have insurance for any medical crisis. But what if an emergency or injury leaves you incapacitated? Large funds and assets can end up sitting in accounts, inaccessible. Bills must still be paid for utilities and groceries and other necessities. Money could also be needed for extra medical services, such as lengthy hospital stays or home care. Moreover, family members could have to spend thousands of dollars in airline tickets to visit you and handle your affairs.
NEWS
By Georgia C. Marudas and Georgia C. Marudas,Evening Sun Staff | April 15, 1991
It was Valentine's Day when Stuart Turney of Laurel received a sweetheart of an offer.Turney was the target of a phone solicitation for a credit program called Dollars & Sense marketed by Capitol Financial Group out of Dallas.Turney said a fast-talking salesman told him the program guaranteed he would get a Visa or MasterCard plus financial advice materials. At one point during the 15-minute pitch, the salesman said the cost was $120 and asked for his checking account number, which Turney gave them.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | August 4, 1991
WASHINGTON -- To avoid being ripped off by dishonest telemarketers, here's advice from an expert: inmate Thomas Newberry, now serving time in prison for wire and mail fraud.First, Newberry said, don't give your credit card number (or worse still, your debit-card number, which allows withdrawals from a checking account) to a telephone salesperson making unsolicited calls.And second, if you do -- and if you're unhappy with the results -- it's essential that you complain. Complain to the company.
BUSINESS
By Marcia Myers and Marcia Myers,Sun Staff Writer | July 13, 1994
A federal grand jury yesterday indicted the former president of Riggs National Bank of Maryland and First Fidelity Bank, charging him with conspiracy to misapply bank funds and to deceive bank regulators. A former Riggs vice president also was indicted.John E. Donahue, 52, of Alexandria, Va., conspired with two employees between 1986 and 1989 so that he could write checks that would not be charged to his accounts, prosecutors said.The purported scheme began when Mr. Donahue was president of First Fidelity and continued after the bank became Riggs National in 1987.
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,Sun Staff Writer | August 9, 1995
Banks in Maryland charge their customers some of the highest fees in the nation, including a hefty $222 a year on average to maintain a checking account, according to a survey released yesterday by a consumer advocacy group.The survey by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group also found that banks in the state charge consumers higher fees to use ATMs as well as to maintain savings and basic checking accounts than banks in other states."The results of this survey are outrageous," said Daniel Pontious, executive director of Maryland Public Interest, a nonprofit consumer and environmental group.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 26, 2013
Most checking accounts pay little or no interest, and fewer and fewer are free. But at Patapsco Bank in Dundalk, checking customers can earn about 2 percent a year in a free account or choose cash back or even iTunes rewards. And members of Money One Federal Credit Union in Largo can receive as much as 3 percent. Both institutions participate in a national rewards program for community banks and credit unions called Kasasa that helps them structure and market free checking accounts.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, Ian Duncan and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2013
In the black market of Maryland's prisons and jails, where the right price can secure cellphones and drugs, transactions unfold through a complex system of currency. Among the key elements: 14-digit codes, prepaid debit cards and text messages. One brand of cards - Green Dot - is so ubiquitous that it has become part of the lexicon on the inside. The recent federal indictment of two dozen inmates and corrections officers in an alleged Black Guerrilla Family corruption scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center notes several instances in which suspects refer to "dots" in transactions.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2012
Roberto Pagan-Franco didn't have a bank account for decades. His employer paid him in cash or with a check that the Baltimore resident took to a check-cashing store. A few years ago he lost his job after a severe illness and for a time was homeless. Not exactly the type of customer you'd expect a big bank to court. But Pagan-Franco enrolled in a PNC Bank program that targets consumers who otherwise might be shut out of the banking system. And today, the 54-year-old has checking and savings accounts at PNC and is in the process of getting a credit card.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2012
In early 2010, officials at Baltimore's public housing agency noticed a few thousand dollars had gone missing — transferred without authorization to the bank account of a man who rented his Northeast Baltimore home to a low-income tenant, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday. The agency confronted the landlord, a convicted bank robber named DaRen Kareem "D" Gadsden, the indictment says. And though he denied any wrongdoing, he agreed to pay $1,400 to help cover the agency's loss.
BUSINESS
Liz F. Kay | October 4, 2011
Citibank will start charging fees in December for several checking accounts that were formerly free , reports the Los Angeles Times. Customers can avoid the fees either by maintaining high balances or by downgrading to a basic account and commiting to direct deposit of paychecks along with at least one automatic payment. You could also keep a combined balance of $1,500 in checking and savings to avoid fees. The news comes on the heels of news that Bank of America will now be charging customers who use their debit cards to make purchases . Citi customers, have you received your notice in the mail?
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2010
Use your debit card to make a purchase, and the merchant will pay a fee to the bank for processing the transaction. You don't see this interchange fee, which is equal to about 1.5 percent of the amount of your purchase. But you can end up paying for it anyway if the merchant passes the cost to you through higher prices. As part of financial reform last summer, the Federal Reserve was charged with writing rules to ensure that interchange fees were "reasonable and proportional" to processing costs.
FEATURES
By Niki Scott and Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate | January 26, 1992
What I wanted was a temporary line of credit from a bank where I've been a steady, uncomplaining, service-fee-paying, sporadically saving, non-check-bouncing customer for seven years.The young woman who answered the phone said, "Oh, yes. Sure. Of course," enough times to give the impression that she was hanging onto every word.She was not.The next day she called with news that my "loan" had been approved, adding, "You can come and get your money any time. On the other hand, interest begins accruing now."
BUSINESS
By Timothy J. Mullaney | August 14, 1991
Call it ExamScam.Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust Co. customers are finding notices in their checking account statement this month warning them that telephone con men have found one of the most creative ways yet of reaching out and touching your wallet -- by claiming to be federal bank examiners.The irony of con men pretending to be the very people who are supposed to keep banks honest is lost on few. These fine "public servants" just need a little help from you or your business -- in the form of your checking account number -- to conduct a very, very important investigation.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | August 17, 2010
Holly Rhodes of Baltimore says she's willing to pay a fee if she overdraws her checking account, something she acknowledges happens a little too frequently. But the 25-year-old complains that her bank processes her checks and debit card transactions in a way that's designed to wring out even more overdraft fees from her. PNC Bank clears transactions from highest to lowest — not in the order they occurred — so her account empties faster and more penalties are incurred. At $36 a pop, overdrafts can add up quickly.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2010
New federal rules to protect consumers from being surprised by hefty overdraft fees on debit cards transactions have come a little too late for Stephanie George Hirschberg. The Ellicott City artist says she tries to leave more than enough money in her bank account to cover debit card purchases. Besides, she adds, the bank usually denies transactions when her funds are too low. But not last month. A dozen of George Hirschberg's transactions over a few days sailed through, even though she didn't have enough cash in her account.
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