Financial Resources

Banking sites:

  • This Web site provides a great database of mortgages, loans and certificates of deposit. You can see the best rates anywhere in the country for one-year CDs, five-year CDs, whatever length you want. It's a great place to shop for money market accounts, auto loans -- you name it.

Credit unions:

Federal banking:

  • FDIC Office of the Ombudsman - 800-250-9286
    550 17th St, NW
    Washington, DC 20429
    e-mail: [email protected]
  • FDIC Consumer News
    Subscriptions are free of charge.
    To order, write:
    Room 7118, 550 17th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20429

Keeping records:
Cancelled Checks - 7 years
Bank Deposit Slips - 7 years
Bank Statements - 7 years

Congress has given the responsibility of banks and federal credit unions to several federal agencies. If a consumer has a complaint against either a bank or federal credit union concerning debt collection, credit reporting, credit card disputes, or any
other banking regulation problem, they can contact the following agencies:

  • FDIC - Division of Compliance & Consumer Affairs - (877) 275-3342
    The agents at this number can respond to or refer all inquiries - deposit
    insurance coverage, open bank complaints, closed bank questions (lien
    releases, etc) E-mail: [email protected]
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency - Customer Assistance Group - 800-613-6743
    1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710
    Houston, Texas 77010

Savings bonds:

Bankruptcy: - National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Find links and phone numbers for state and local member agencies in your area.

Bankrupcy Information:

Chapter 7 - this is most frequently used by individuals. Under this arrangement, a court appointed trustee collects your assets, sells them for cash, and makes distributions to creditors. You can keep assests that are exempt either under Federal law or the law of your home state. You cannont repeat this filing for 6 years.

Chapter 13 - this is designed for an individual debtor who has a regular income and stable job. Under this procedure, you pay debts off over a three to five year period and keep your property. At a confirmation hearing, the court either approves or disapproves the plan. A Chapter 13 can be filed at any time.

Chapter 11 - reorganization and is generally targeted to businesses.

Chapter 12 - farmers can use this procedure.

Under Federal law, bankruptcies remain on your credit report:
-Chapter 7, 11 - 10 years
-Chapter 12, 13 - 7 years

Credit reporting agencies:

  • Equifax
    P.O. Box 105069
    Atlanta, Ga 30348
    To report fraud: Call 800-525-6285 and write to address above
    To order credit report: 800-685-1111
    (free copies only obtained by mail)
  • Experian (formerly TRW)
    P. O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
    To report fraud: Call 888-397-3742 and write to address above.
    Fax: 800-301-7196
    To order credit report: 866-200-6020
    (free copies only obtained by mail)
  • Transunion
    P.O. Box 6790
    Fullerton, Ca. 92834
    To report fraud: 800-680-7289 and write to address above.
    To order credit report: 800-888-4213 or 1-800-916-8800
    (free copies only obtained by mail)

Remember, you are entitled to a free credit report if you are a victim of identity theft, if you have been denied credit, if you receive welfare benefits, or if you are unemployed. The following shows how long information stays on your credit report:

1. Trade (Sears, Rich's, Macy's, etc.) credit card companies or collections agencies stay on credit report for 7 years from date of last activity.

2. Judgements or liens stay on credit report for 7 years from date it is filed.

3. Chapter 7 stays on for 10 years.

4. Medical is difficult and has to be handled case by case.

Credit unions & other finance agencies:

  • National Credit Union Administration -678-443-3000
    If a consumer has a complaint against a federal credit union.
    If credit union is not federally, but is state chartered, call your State Banking Commission.
  • Credit Union National Association, Inc. - 800-356-9655


Credit card rankings and rates:

  • - CardWeb/CardTrak
    Best deals on credit cards.

To opt out of offers of credit card offers:

  • For all three bureaus, call 888-567-8688.
    This establishes a two-year opt-out.
    For permanent opt-out status, put your request in writing.

Investing / Investments/Accountants & Financial Planners:

Investment Advice & Information:

Investment fraud:

  • National Fraud Information Center 800-876-7060
  • National Association of Securities Dealers - 800-289-9999
  • Edgar's database - concerning everything filed with the SEC
    Type a person's name or a company name into a keyword search and it retrieves documents related to the company including enforcement actions and financial reports.
    For advice about what types of companies to avoid and what information to expect from companies in which you plan to invest.
  • National Fraud Information Center - 800-876-7060
    Provides information about areas such as bogus telemarketing, slamming and mail offers, including investment frauds.

Government regulations:


Retirement & Pension protection:

Taxes/Electronic filing:

Other related sites:

Tax counseling:

Record keeping:

  • Cancelled Checks - 7 years
  • Bank Deposit Slips - 7 years
  • Bank Statements - 7 years
  • Tax Returns - Forever
  • Employment Tax Returns - 7 years
  • Expense Reports - 7 years
  • Entertainment Records - 7 years
  • Financial Statements - Forever
  • Contracts - Forever
  • Minutes of Meetings - Life of Company plus 7 years
  • Corporate Stock Records - Forever
  • Employee Records - Period of Employment plus 7 years
  • Depreciation Schedules - Life of Business plus 7 years
  • Real Estate Records - Forever
  • Journal & General Ledger Life of Business plus 7 years
  • Inventory Records 7 years
  • Home Improvement Records Ownership period plus 7 years
  • Investment Records Ownership period plus 7 years
    Tax deductions:
  • - tax deduction help