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Military deployment and credit


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#1 breeze

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 04:22 PM

I am putting together some notes and stories for Denise's non-profit work about the credit issues faced because of deployment.

First, I need stories - the horror stories, resolved and unresolved of current or recent deployed military. We want to shed some loght on this issue and possibly bring some pressure to bear on the problem. We're not asking you to while and cry, but we need real life human interest stories about what happens and the effect of this on your morale and your lives. We here know this is one area where our military make a sacrifice that most people know nothing about.

Second, I need a list of resources you may have found - organizations, Military recources, VA help, as well as tips and tricks you might have learned from experience.

Denise will use a lot of these (I'm assuming we'll get a lot) and I will put together something for publication in general, later.

You can be anonymous - we won't be asking for your real name for this one. If you need changes to your ID here in order to post the full story, let me know.

You can post in this thread or email to admin at creditboards dot com, with military project in the subject line.

Keep this one bumped too!



#2 sara21200

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 04:31 PM

Breeze - after my little ones settle down - I can post a huge list of resources, but if you haven't read the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) also called by the old name Soldiers and Sailors Act, then that would be something that would be very beneficial to look at. IMHO, about.com has the best breakdown and info on this act:

http://usmilitary.ab.../blscramenu.htm

There are so many protections for servicemembers and their families covered under this act.

I will post more in the form of resources later when I can have a bit more quiet here at home.

#3 GolfNut

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:07 PM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.

#4 Momof5

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:26 PM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


And how is this the troops fault? It took 3 weeks for a letter to get from here to there and vice-versa. SOOO, you pay you bill by mail and just hope it gets there? (BTW, many of our military ARE single and have no one whom they can trust to pay thier bills.) The 'internet cafe' charges exhorbitant amounts per minute. And YES many soldiers trust their spouse to pay the bill in their absence and come home to ruined credit - a REVOKED security clearance and an absent spouse!

You are lucky to be in the AF. The Army can regularly FUBAR a soldier's pay....delays for up to 6 months their genuine entitlements (not interest 'cause we are the government) and then when things go south because of what the Army failed to do.....you lose your clearance, get jacked up on UCMJ or CH14 and are thrown out with a less than honorable.

And AF isn't perfect either. I kept telling those wonderful enlisted guys at finance that they were over paying me. For 6 months these 'educated' men kept telling me, "NO! (you stupid butter bar....) You are getting a correct amount!" Well, after 6 mo, I got a "paycheck" for $0.56....yep, someone had finally figured it out and you BET the gov't takes it all in one shot! (Of course, there are those butter bars that were smart enough to set aside the extra..... ;) :lol: )

Here is the intelligence of the Army:
- NO you don't get separation pay...you are under E-4! (not true)
- 6 months after they were married, my daughter AND her hubby (both Army) have YET to get the higher rate they are supposed to receive.
- After 6 months of their failure to pay the bonus, I reported Wheeler AAF finance to the US Pacific Command Commander. My son received his bonus 4 days later....and we were told that they way they were attempting to accomplish this.... my son would NEVER have gotten it! BTW, they simultaneously corrected (1) a SFC who hadn't gotten paid in 6 months (Uh, yeah....tell him it is his fault!) and (2) an SSG who had $800/mo "garnishment" no one could identify (and yes, he got all the back pay!)

#5 BigDiesel

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:35 PM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


This is very true... One can properly plan ahead of time. When I was carrier deployed as a Naval Aviator (O-3) in 2002, I did not have any problems paying bills, nor did my wife.

#6 MarvBear

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:56 PM

ttt

#7 breeze

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 07:10 PM

!

#8 sara21200

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:22 PM

Here's a real quick one that is not too bad. Chase will reduce deployed servicemembers interest rates to 6% under the SCRA as long as they receive a faxed copy of your deployment orders. Sounds great right?

Maybe not....

1) Balance Transfers are not allowed during the deployment timeframe.

2) Chase DOES NOT update to the CRA's while the servicemembers account is under the SCRA. I have gone back and forth with Chase almost every single month because they do not update. Paid a card down from 6k to 0 and I have had to send them a number of emails asking them to update. This has been going on for 2 years (dh was deployed, came home for a short period of time and then deployed again). Another issue is that when a servicemember returns from a combat zone, Chase is not updating until the SCRA status is removed from the account, so many servicemembers are applying for car loans, mortgages other forms of credit immediately when they come home (many times they will be debt free because they were deployed and not spending any money) and they are turned down because Chase hasn't updated. Example - Soldier goes to Iraq w/ 100% utilization on Chase card. While in Iraq, they pay the card off. When they come home, it still reports as being maxed out and they have no idea why they are denied that loan until they are told by the creditor (if they are so lucky to be told in the 1st place).

3) CLI's are put on hold while under the SCRA.

#9 sara21200

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:33 PM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


I really don't want to turn this into a debate, however your last comment is VERY misleading for many reasons:

1) First and Foremost: I have worked in military family advocacy and it is not pretty common for a troop to leave his wife behind to pay the bills and she spends the money instead of pays. I could very easily make the comment that I dealt with a number of cases where the servicemember took out CASH advances from the finance 'cage' while deployed and when the check was direct deposited, there was very little money left for the spouse to pay bills/care for children.

2) If a servicemember is having financial difficulties and is counseled by the command group/finance, he OR she does not want to be reprimanded and can and will tell finance/command group that the spouse overspent when in reality the financial difficulties were there well before any deployment.

3) Soldiers have been known to leave spouses behind with NO money to pay bills, leaving the spouse in a position where he or she has to apply for loans, grants, and public assistance.

#10 Nighthawk78

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:50 PM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


This is very true... One can properly plan ahead of time. When I was carrier deployed as a Naval Aviator (O-3) in 2002, I did not have any problems paying bills, nor did my wife.


I am sorry to say but as an O-3 you are not 18 fresh out of high school, you didn't enter the military until at least 21 or so. Those extra years make allot of difference in financial responsibility as an O-3 you are closer to 25 or 30. You cannot compare you stellar performance to that of a green 18 year old; it is apples and oranges. I am very happy that you have not run into problems but I would expect as a Lieutenant to have you act together or be on your way out of the Navy.

Creditors prey on 18 to 21 year old enlisted men because they are easy marks. Many of them are from small towns and do not have experience of the broader world. The military takes care of all the necessities so they do not learn or practice budgeting.

I can remember being stationed at Camp Pendleton right out the front gates were 30 cash checking, 3 stores that would only loan to military personal (2 unsecured loans and one big box item financing). Every other week there was a bulletin posted warning of some kind of scam.

I do not condone the actions of those kids that don't make payments on time but more often then not mistakes happen, errors happen, and if you are deployed then the odds of catching it before your deployment is up isn't all that likely.

#11 sara21200

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:50 PM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


And how is this the troops fault? It took 3 weeks for a letter to get from here to there and vice-versa. SOOO, you pay you bill by mail and just hope it gets there? (BTW, many of our military ARE single and have no one whom they can trust to pay thier bills.) The 'internet cafe' charges exhorbitant amounts per minute. And YES many soldiers trust their spouse to pay the bill in their absence and come home to ruined credit - a REVOKED security clearance and an absent spouse!

You are lucky to be in the AF. The Army can regularly FUBAR a soldier's pay....delays for up to 6 months their genuine entitlements (not interest 'cause we are the government) and then when things go south because of what the Army failed to do.....you lose your clearance, get jacked up on UCMJ or CH14 and are thrown out with a less than honorable.

And AF isn't perfect either. I kept telling those wonderful enlisted guys at finance that they were over paying me. For 6 months these 'educated' men kept telling me, "NO! (you stupid butter bar....) You are getting a correct amount!" Well, after 6 mo, I got a "paycheck" for $0.56....yep, someone had finally figured it out and you BET the gov't takes it all in one shot! (Of course, there are those butter bars that were smart enough to set aside the extra..... :rofl: :D )

Here is the intelligence of the Army:
- NO you don't get separation pay...you are under E-4! (not true)
- 6 months after they were married, my daughter AND her hubby (both Army) have YET to get the higher rate they are supposed to receive.
- After 6 months of their failure to pay the bonus, I reported Wheeler AAF finance to the US Pacific Command Commander. My son received his bonus 4 days later....and we were told that they way they were attempting to accomplish this.... my son would NEVER have gotten it! BTW, they simultaneously corrected (1) a SFC who hadn't gotten paid in 6 months (Uh, yeah....tell him it is his fault!) and (2) an SSG who had $800/mo "garnishment" no one could identify (and yes, he got all the back pay!)


The Defense Finance Account System (DFAS) is notorious for paying soldiers incorrectly. They will always catch up and we always advised soldiers and families that when they are overpaid, to put that money in a seperate account as it will be debited back eventually. The only problem with this is that you may have a PV1 who has a wife and 3 kids and can't make it month to month anyway and are already receiving public assistance (food stamps, WIC) and NEED the extra money to get by. It is so sad to see a soldier and his/her family receiving public assistance - - - to me there is something seriously wrong with this picture.

#12 Nighthawk78

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:59 PM

I have a horror story from the military.

As I was getting out of the Marines, I was told to take my DD214 down to the San Diego county clerk’s office and have it "registered".
I did that and 9 months later someone in Romania decided to go online and request a copy of it paid the fee and not had my last address, SSN, DOB, full legal name and all the goodies. 6 months later I went to buy a house and found out I had bought a BWM (in Europe), and opened 14 high interest high limit credit cards and maxed them out and never paid the bills. $68,000 total. it took me 4 years to get it all removed. it took me 3 years to stop the release of the DD214 from the county clerk’s office to anyone who paid the $17 fee.

#13 Seabee

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 05:36 AM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


This is very true... One can properly plan ahead of time. When I was carrier deployed as a Naval Aviator (O-3) in 2002, I did not have any problems paying bills, nor did my wife.


I am sorry to say but as an O-3 you are not 18 fresh out of high school, you didn't enter the military until at least 21 or so. Those extra years make allot of difference in financial responsibility as an O-3 you are closer to 25 or 30. You cannot compare you stellar performance to that of a green 18 year old; it is apples and oranges. I am very happy that you have not run into problems but I would expect as a Lieutenant to have you act together or be on your way out of the Navy.

Creditors prey on 18 to 21 year old enlisted men because they are easy marks. Many of them are from small towns and do not have experience of the broader world. The military takes care of all the necessities so they do not learn or practice budgeting.

I can remember being stationed at Camp Pendleton right out the front gates were 30 cash checking, 3 stores that would only loan to military personal (2 unsecured loans and one big box item financing). Every other week there was a bulletin posted warning of some kind of scam.

I do not condone the actions of those kids that don't make payments on time but more often then not mistakes happen, errors happen, and if you are deployed then the odds of catching it before your deployment is up isn't all that likely.


Another difference between the O3 w/ 5 years in and the E1 with <2 is the slight difference in the amount of the paycheck. I know my bills would have been much easier to pay if I had been making over 3 times the salary as an E1.

#14 tman

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 06:00 AM

If you have a cc with USAA they will reduce the interest rate to 4% when you transfer for a year. I disagree with the earlier poster a lot of these horror stories are not the troop faults. I know when I was deployed to Iraq, we did not always have access to the internet. Theen you have these scam artists out there i.e. payday loan clowns preying on the military personnel.

#15 GolfNut

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 04:58 PM

In short, if a troop (and their spouse if they have one) practice money management skills at all times and set up a web bill pay prior to deploying, 99.9% of all problems will be avoided.

The ones who are saying that a member deploys and leaves no money behind for the spouse. That's a money management issue, aka the members fault. A troop makes more money being deployed vs. staying at the base. #1, every married member gets approx $280/mo BAS (food allowance). When not deployed, the troop will have to eat therefore uses money to pay for it. When you're deployed you get free food and still get paid that $280 BAS. You can also get tax free hostel fire pay, $225/mo. Lastly, when you return, you get tax free $250/mo for family separation. Lastly when deployed you get taxes taken out of your pay. ONce you arrive back at your base, you get a tax credit to equal "tax free".

We have a horrible pay system, DJMS. It's DOS based, everything is in arbitruary codes. DJMS piggybacks off of the personal computer system. Sometimes there's an error in the piggybacking. Eg, someone gets promoted, our DJMS isn't reading the new promotion. We're all going to have a new milpay system, therefore they won't spend another dime on improving DJMS. One last thing, we PAY GROSS and take back NET. That's a really bad thing IMO.

#16 mmonfreda

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 07:51 PM

QUOTE(Bacardi @ Jul 31 2007, 05:07 PM) *
I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


I really don't want to turn this into a debate, however your last comment is VERY misleading for many reasons:

1) First and Foremost: I have worked in military family advocacy and it is not pretty common for a troop to leave his wife behind to pay the bills and she spends the money instead of pays. I could very easily make the comment that I dealt with a number of cases where the servicemember took out CASH advances from the finance 'cage' while deployed and when the check was direct deposited, there was very little money left for the spouse to pay bills/care for children.

2) If a servicemember is having financial difficulties and is counseled by the command group/finance, he OR she does not want to be reprimanded and can and will tell finance/command group that the spouse overspent when in reality the financial difficulties were there well before any deployment.

3) Soldiers have been known to leave spouses behind with NO money to pay bills, leaving the spouse in a position where he or she has to apply for loans, grants, and public assistance.


You've obviously never worked on LeJuene. Unfaithful wives and empty bank accounts are the number one sob story.

#17 breeze

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:23 PM

I need some stories. I do not blame anyone for not wanting to post in this thread. You can email stories to me admin at creditboards dot com, or use the PM function on the board. Do not use board email, it will not go through.

#18 DRTDEVL

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 02:17 PM

What's the deadline?

Once I am settled in, I could give you one.

#19 1Zeta1

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:29 AM

Chase actually DID update the balance for me while DH was under the SCRA. I simply requested they do so. Maybe they've become more understanding recently. We, too, paid down a significant balance while he was deployed. Anyone know who to contact regarding late removals through Bank of America and/or Navy Fed? Thanks!

Edited by 1Zeta1, 06 August 2007 - 09:30 AM.


#20 breeze

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:47 PM

No specific deadline - this will be an ongoing project for a while anyway.

#21 collins135

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 02:07 PM

In short, if a troop (and their spouse if they have one) practice money management skills at all times and set up a web bill pay prior to deploying, 99.9% of all problems will be avoided.

The ones who are saying that a member deploys and leaves no money behind for the spouse. That's a money management issue, aka the members fault. A troop makes more money being deployed vs. staying at the base. #1, every married member gets approx $280/mo BAS (food allowance). When not deployed, the troop will have to eat therefore uses money to pay for it. When you're deployed you get free food and still get paid that $280 BAS. You can also get tax free hostel fire pay, $225/mo. Lastly, when you return, you get tax free $250/mo for family separation. Lastly when deployed you get taxes taken out of your pay. ONce you arrive back at your base, you get a tax credit to equal "tax free".

We have a horrible pay system, DJMS. It's DOS based, everything is in arbitruary codes. DJMS piggybacks off of the personal computer system. Sometimes there's an error in the piggybacking. Eg, someone gets promoted, our DJMS isn't reading the new promotion. We're all going to have a new milpay system, therefore they won't spend another dime on improving DJMS. One last thing, we PAY GROSS and take back NET. That's a really bad thing IMO.


Have you ever LOOKED at an LES??? Yes they give us $250 BAS BUT they take out $230 WHETHER OR NOT my husband is deployed. That leaves only an extra $20 a month for food, not much (and payments for dental eat that up anyways). We dont see a dime of the BAH and we spend WAY more on uniforms a year then we get in stipend from them (roughly double of what they give). And they only give you seperation pay IF you have been seperated for more than 60 consecutive days. You get that but it takes them forever to get it to you, so it is not something you can count on as you never know when it will start or end. They will usually bring them back in on the 59th day to avoid paying it or send them out and bring them back in all the time. I have only spent 65 days with my husband this year and not consecutively, the rest he has been gone. We have not seen a penny of seperation pay this year. You do NOT get a tax credit after you come back from deployment (unless Iraq deploys have different rules) and navy doesn't get hostel fire pay no matter where they go. I have never seen any extra pay from the navy that they didnt give grudgingly. It took them nearly a year to give us BAH after we were married and they never back payed us either. When my husband made second class, it took them 6 months to pay him the extra 200 a month and he was never back payed to the day he got promoted either. there are too many rules and red tape for them to do anything.

99.9% of all problems are not avoided by simple money management. You need to have a POA for a lot and most companies will not accept a general. Companies such as KAY's Jewelers require a specific POA for me to even talk to them about my husband's account. I had to find that out the hard way. It is sooo frustrating when you are the one dealing with it and you can not get anything done. And Navy federal, as wonderful as they are, have to see the POA everytime I try to do something in his name even though I am joint on the account. They will not make a copy of it and keep it on file. I have to go into a branch and literally show them the copy for them to discuss certain things. We keep seperate credit accounts and I can not talk to the companies without faxing them the POA, talking to legal, and figuring out what companies require a specific POA. It is a PITA.

The only time we have had money issues on deployment has been when I pay the bills and my husband would look at our account and pull out whatever he wanted without knowing what bills I paid. So we had overdraft fees and all kinds of issues because HE spent the money while I was paying the bills. I am sure he told them it was all MY fault. That ended quickly because I put him on an allowance only giveing him so much allottment every month out of his paycheck. After he spent his money he had to call me and ask if there was enough in the account. This worked out better and never once have I had to turn him down for money. It really is more about the communication than the spending of the money. Once we worked out our goals and issues we began to grow more responsible financially.

Web Bill pay is the best thing in the world! We have not missed a payment since we started using it. The Legal services office is really helpful when doing the credit repair stuff and NMCRS was so helpful with the layette profram and budgeting/financial help. Sometimes the FFSC is helpful also.

#22 kabloomz

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:30 PM

I remember when I joined the service I had about 6k in credit card debt that i was making minimum payments on. My salary during that was about 3,000 - 3,500 a month. At the time when I joined Privates were paid about $800/month... my first paycheck they took money out for uniform + some other crap. The next 3 months I prollie took home approx $300 every two weeks after taxes. It was impossible to pay off the credit card debt. I did not know about the soldiers and sailors act until after my credit was fubar'ed... slowly I had to talk with the creditors and mentioned the soldiers and sailors act. This helped out tremendously....


kabloomz

#23 sara21200

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE(Bacardi @ Jul 31 2007, 05:07 PM) *
I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


I really don't want to turn this into a debate, however your last comment is VERY misleading for many reasons:

1) First and Foremost: I have worked in military family advocacy and it is not pretty common for a troop to leave his wife behind to pay the bills and she spends the money instead of pays. I could very easily make the comment that I dealt with a number of cases where the servicemember took out CASH advances from the finance 'cage' while deployed and when the check was direct deposited, there was very little money left for the spouse to pay bills/care for children.

2) If a servicemember is having financial difficulties and is counseled by the command group/finance, he OR she does not want to be reprimanded and can and will tell finance/command group that the spouse overspent when in reality the financial difficulties were there well before any deployment.

3) Soldiers have been known to leave spouses behind with NO money to pay bills, leaving the spouse in a position where he or she has to apply for loans, grants, and public assistance.


You've obviously never worked on LeJuene. Unfaithful wives and empty bank accounts are the number one sob story.


No I have not - I have mainly worked with Army families. Again - you are hearing only the soldiers side of the story. I have spoken to JAG and Finance on a number of occassions and this is not something that frequently happens.

#24 devshan

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 06:21 PM

My husband is active duty army, but was previously national guard. He was activated by the guard to go to a military school for 1 year. At that time, we had a car loan through our credit union with a 12% interest rate. Over a year later, we learned about the 6% interest rate limit. We contacted out bank, faxed them copies of all orders, he had been activated by the guard several times, the bank added the service time, recalculated the loan and by the time they were done crunching numbers, we only owed them $200 and the loan was paid. This saved us over $2000. Easy, smooth and beautiful. Wish being in the military made everthing that easy! Good Luck!

#25 devshan

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 06:34 PM

Here's a situation that happened to me last week. My hubby is deployed to Iraq. He came home from R & R a few weeks ago and while he was home we were notified by our bank that our debit card number had been stolen and used. Since both hubby and I had the same debit card number, both cards had to be cancelled. The bank overnighted us new debit cards with seperate numbers. We then had to wait for the over $500 worth of transactions to process before we could dispute the charges, which didn't happen until hubby went back to Iraq. I have both a General Power of Attorney and a Special Power of Attorney. Once I received the dispute paperwork from the bank, I completed it and took it to a branch of my bank to have it notarized. They would not notarize it as the debit card was in my husband's name, even though both our names are on the bank account. Anyway, finally went to Bank of America, where I do not have an account, however, they reviewed my POA, and notarized my document at no charge! The moral of this story is....
1) Make sure you and hubby have seperate debit card numbers.
2) Your debit card numbers can be used without the card being present and without the PIN number
3) Make sure you always have a SPECIAL and GENERAL POA if your spouse is in the military, not just when they are deployed, they go out training sometimes for a few weeks and you never know when you are going to need these documents.
4) Some places/people are more knowledgeable than others in regards to POA's. These are very powerful documents, some people just don't realize it.
5) The guy at Bank of America today was very nice and helpful, maybe I will open an account there.

GOOD LUCK......from an ARMY spouse who does not appreciate the deployed spouse stereotype....you can shop and still pay bills, even if your hubby is enlisted! And DFAS does screw things up A LOT!!!! Watch out and don't hesitate to get Congressional help, it works FAST!




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