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FDIC Consumer News - Summer 1997

Important Update: Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage

The FDIC deposit insurance rules have undergone a series of changes starting in the fall of 2008. As a result, certain previously published information related to FDIC insurance coverage may not reflect the current rules. For details about the changes, visit Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage. For more information about FDIC insurance, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.

News Briefs

Savings Bonds

Many consumers have questions about the rules governing U.S. Savings Bonds. That's especially the case recently as the Treasury Department has made changes to make Savings Bonds more attractive. For example, Series EE Bonds (those sold in denominations as low as $50) purchased on or after May 1, 1997, now earn 90 percent of the average yield for five-year Treasury notes, up from 85 percent previously. Also, interest on the new bonds accrues monthly instead of every six months.

How can you get information about the rules governing a new or an old bond, or about ways to buy, replace or redeem a bond? The Treasury Department says that, in most cases your local bank can answer your Savings Bond questions. But you also can contact the Treasury directly. Write to the Bureau of the Public Debt, U.S. Savings Bonds, Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328. Or, if you have access to the Internet, you can find answers to frequently asked questions at the Bureau's World Wide Web site (www.savingsbonds.gov) or send questions by e-mail to SavBonds@bpd.treas.gov. And for recorded information about current interest rates, you may call 800-4US-BOND (800-487-2663).

Mortgage Guide

For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has revised its official guide to shopping for a mortgage loan and understanding settlement costs. The new version of "Buying Your Home" is intended to be easier for consumers to understand, and it's been expanded and updated. As in the past, lenders are required to give the brochure to mortgage loan applicants, but copies generally are available to anyone who asks. Lenders must make the new version available to applicants by September 9, 1997. To get a copy, contact a lender or download the brochure to your computer from HUD's Internet site and click on "Buying Your Home". Copies also are available for a $1.75 fee from the Government Printing Office (phone
202-512-1800).

Also...

The 1996 law intended to give consumers more assurances about the accuracy and privacy of their credit histories -- including the right to be excluded from unsolicited offers of credit cards -- officially goes into effect September 30, 1997. For a brief overview of that law, see the fall 1996 edition of FDIC Consumer News, but for more specifics contact the Federal Reserve System (listed in For More Help) or the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Response Center, Washington, D.C. 20580 (phone: 202-326-2222)...

Do you want to learn more about fair lending laws and about FDIC efforts to encourage lenders to identify and meet local credit needs? Contact our Public Information Center for the new brochure, "The FDIC's Community Affairs Program," issued by our Division of Compliance and Consumer Affairs (DCA)...

National Consumers Week, an annual educational event coordinated by the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs in cooperation with a wide range of government and private organizations, runs October 25-31, 1997. For information about workshops, exhibits or other activities around the country, write the USOCA at 808 17th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006 or call 202-565-0040. For details about the FDIC's participation in National Consumers Week, contact our consumer affairs division listed in For More Help...

A correction: In our spring 1997 edition about retirement savings, we incorrectly said that after age 70 1/2 you must begin withdrawing money from a 401(k) account. That was true for years before 1997, and it remains true for Individual Retirement Accounts. However, because of a 1996 law change, many people in 1997 and later years who continue to work after age 70 1/2 do not need to start withdrawing from their 401(k) until after they retire. For more details, contact your company's personnel office, your accountant or the Internal Revenue Service toll-free at 800-829-1040arents generally know when and how to teach their children to ride a bike or drive a car. But when it comes to helping kids understand financial responsibility, many parents can use a little teacher's ed. That's where we...and you...come in.

In an upcoming issue of FDIC Consumer News, we'll give tips and information about ways to help grade-schoolers and high-schoolers learn about money. About saving and investing. Spending and borrowing within limits. Being smart shoppers. Learning to accept financial obligations. And last but not least, the importance of being charitable with money.

How can you help? Send us your best advice and anecdotes.

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Last Updated 12/7/2011 communications@fdic.gov