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For Immediate Release
August 22, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

QUIZ TESTS KNOWLEDGE OF CONSUMER RIGHTS AND SCAMS


If you co-sign a loan, are you responsible for any of the debt if the borrower defaults, and if so, for how much? Can your credit card raise your interest rate if you make a payment late to another creditor? What portion of a security deposit can a landlord fairly keep?

These questions and more appear in a "Test Your Consumer IQ" quiz in the latest issue of Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. ’s Consumer’s Edge newsletter, which can be found online at www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/edge120.htm.

" The quiz covers issues and problems that we hear about all the time on our consumer hotline," Curran said. "After taking the quiz, a consumer should be able to avoid some of the most common consumer pitfalls."

Sample questions:

After you sign a contract, including a contract to buy a car, you have three days to cancel if you change your mind. True or False?

Answer: False. There are a few transactions for which the law allows a cancellation period (such as a door-to-sales or health club contract), but most contracts are binding when you sign them. The often-repeated myth that you can cancel a signed contract has given many consumers a false sense of security when making an expensive purchasing decision, like buying a new car.

Your credit card says it has a "universal default" policy. This means that:

a. If you make a payment late to another creditor, it will raise your interest rate.
b. It offers accident insurance when you rent a car.
c. If you default on your payments, it will close your account.

Answer: a. Credit cards with a universal default policy monitor your credit file. If you are late paying any creditor, they consider that you are a higher credit risk and they will raise your rate.

In addition to the quiz, consumers can find information on more than 100 consumer topics on the Attorney General’s website: www.oag.state.md.us.

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