The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘credit cards

Not with temps in the 70s!

Not with temps in the 70s!

Good Tuesday to you Widdershins!

Madamab is still in holiday/travel mode, dear chat is still having arm issues and I believe our loquacious Prolix has come down with some seasonal maladies.  So, that leaves yours truly to come up with something that will:  entertain you, enlighten you or bore you to tears.  Personally, my bet is on the last one.  I’ve collected a few things from the news today and I’ll share them with you.


Do the holidays put you in a celebratory mood?

And do you like to imbibe in some seasonal adult beverages?  And do those seasonal, celebratory drinks continue long past the holidays?  If so, that’s not surprising according to this article from the Washington Post.  It seems that we Americans are drinking ourselves to death at an alarming rate.  But…if we’re drinking ourselves to death isn’t any rate of it alarming?

Alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years, according to new federal data. Last year, more than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, which is primarily caused by alcohol use.

In 2014, there were 9.6 deaths from these alcohol-induced causes per 100,000 people, an increase of 37 percent since 2002.This tally of alcohol-induced fatalities excludes deaths from drunk driving, other accidents, and homicides committed under the influence of alcohol. If those numbers were included the annual toll of deaths directly or indirectly caused by alcohol would be closer to 90,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The article states that previously professionals in public health had been concentrating more on deaths from opioids or other prescription medications, “But in 2014, more people died from alcohol-induced causes (30,722) than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined (28,647), according to the CDC.”.  Now there was one quote from the piece that struck me as absolutely hysterical and here it is:

“Since the prevalence of heavy drinking tends to follow closely with per capita consumption, it is likely that one explanation for the growth in alcohol-related deaths is that more people are drinking more,” he wrote in an email.

Okay.  So one reason for higher alcohol-related deaths is because more people are drinking more.  Alrighty then.  So moving on…

What’s in your wallet? A credit card or
possible lawsuit against you?

Some research done by ProPublica revealed that Capital One had a tendency to file a “disturbing” number of lawsuits against its cardholders and for relatively small amounts.

During the years of the recession, particularly 2008 through 2010, when the number of credit card defaults surged, many banks filed more lawsuits. But Capital One dwarfed them all, reaching levels never matched by any company before or since, according to ProPublica’s review of data going back to 1996.

By our estimate, the suits exceeded half a million per year nationally during those peak years.

Oscar Parsons got his first credit card from Capital One and he decided to accept it since he banked at a Capital One branch near where he lived.

Initially, he had little problem keeping up with the payments. But after a run of construction jobs came to an end, he fell behind and found himself ducking the bank’s collections calls, he said. Each time the company’s TV commercials popped up, asking, “What’s in your wallet?” Parsons thought: “It’s not enough to pay you back.”

This year, Capital One provided Parsons with another first: his first lawsuit. For failing to pay his $1,800 debt, the company took him to court. Currently on public benefits and in a job training program, Parsons has nothing Capital One can take. But should Parsons find work, Capital One could use a court judgment to seize money from his bank account or take a portion of his wages.

It turns out that Capital One Bank tends to market its cards to those folks who are “living on the edge”, “said Steve Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. ‘A large majority of these cardholders carry balances from month-to-month, because they can’t afford to pay off the balance.’.

“A Capital One spokeswoman said the bank serves an important function by providing credit to large numbers of borrowers who might be unlikely to get it from other banks. When customers fall behind on payments, she said, the bank makes every effort to work with them.”  Uh-huh, sure.

ProPublica also found out this little interesting tidbit:

Debt collection lawsuits are especially prevalent in black neighborhoods, as ProPublica reported in October, where suits over smaller debts are more common. Capital One obtained judgments in mostly black neighborhoods at nearly twice the rate as in mostly white neighborhoods, a larger disparity than the other major card issuers, we found. Capital One’s spokeswoman said the bank did not take race into consideration when making a loan or filing a suit.

Yeah, okay, sure. Just remember all of that when you see the commercial that asks “What’s in your wallet?”.

This just in!

Mexican authorities caught that little b@stard who got off with probation based on the “affluenza” defense.

Mexican authorities have detained Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, in the beach resort town of Puerto Vallarta, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office confirmed late Monday.

Couch, 18, had been on the run since missing an appointment with his probation officer earlier this month — a violation of a 10-year-probation sentence he received for drunkenly killing four with his Ford F-350 pickup in 2013.

CNN first reported Monday evening that the Couches had been tracked down in Mexico.

Honestly, I can’t believe that the little turd got away with that 10-year probation to begin with.  And the prosecutor at the time warned:

In his closing statements, Richard Alpert, Tarrant County assistant district attorney, argued that if given a light sentence, Couch would likely veer off the path.

“There can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here,” Alpert said.

If anyone has a right to say “I told ya so”, it’s the A.D.A. Alpert.  And if he’s still with the Tarrant County D.A.’s office I hope he gets to try them both this time.

Welp, that’s all I got for today.  This is an open thread for anyone who stops by.  Take the comments in any direction you wish.  And in keeping with my visuals above here’s a sound effect to go with it.  Oh and Happy New New Year to all; I’ll see you in 2016.

And in keeping with the WaPo article, here’s some Sinatra to go with that one.






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