What's up with that? prepaid cards and tax refund delays - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

What's up with that? prepaid cards and tax refund delays

Posted: Updated:

We're in the middle of tax season. Some people are turning to pre-paid cards as an option for deposits. But that option certainly didn't work for one Focus@ 4 viewer.

In a recent "What's Up with That" post, Savannah Dunaway Wilson wrote about her experience with Rushcard said the card didn't disclose..."...that they require loads of your personal information such as copies of tax returns, social security cards, and marriage licenses sent to them multiple times before they will even begin to consider crediting your money to your card."

The company's website says that additional documents are needed for direct deposits of tax refunds. Wilson contends she applied over the phone and was never told that.

Wilson says she asked a Rushcard representative to have her family's tax refund placed on her husband's Rushcard. They filed a joint tax return. She says the tax refund was available February 26th. But she says someone with the company told her-- in order to have it released--she must fax in forms of identification like a marriage licence, social security cards and photo IDs.

"I'm doing everything I can to satisfy what you required of me. Let's forget the fact that you never told me you needed this stuff in the first place," Wilson says while talking about those conversations.

Wilson says she sent multiple copies. One time, she says she was told the faxes were too dark. On the Better Business Bureau's website, Rushcard has had more than 500 complaints within the last three years, many of which concern the release of tax refunds. Nearly 300 of the complaints have been completed.

UAB finance professor Andreas Rauterkus says tax refund issues are among many that can come along with pre-paid cards.

"There are fees for activation, there are fees for using an ATM, there are fees if you don't use them for a while," Rauterkus says.

Attorney Suzanne Martindale with the Consumers Union says read the fine print. The cards, she says, often come with lots of red tape that traditional banks may not require.

"The banks already knows who you are you got an account with them and they have your identifying information...while we are still in tax season I think the better option may be to direct deposit into a bank account, of if you don't have a bank account, then you may want to look into getting a paper check and finding a cheap way to cash it," Martindale advises.

As for Wilson, that lesson came too late.

"We're not wealthy people. We don't have a lot of money...I'm sure I'm not alone in this. This is our hail Mary every year," Wilson says.

Focus @ 4 reporter Marissa Mitchell called the Rushcard company and emailed it several times Tuesday. Mitchell has yet to receive a response.

There are no federal regulations to consumer protections on pre-paid cards. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working to change that as these cards have become so popular. Experts encourage consumers to read and understand cardholder agreements as well as check to make sure a prepaid card company is FDIC-insured.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:59:40 GMT
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
  • Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:32 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:32:28 GMT
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
  • Hackleburg High School preps for first home game in three years

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:57 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:57:25 GMT
    Tonight is a homecoming three years in the making for Hackleburg High School. The team takes the field tonight in their new stadium, finally completed after an E-F five tornado destroyed it on April 27, 2011.It is sure to be a packed house at Ray Stadium as the Hackleburg panthers take on Marion County, tonight at 7:00 p.m. This is going to be an emotional night, not only for the school, but for the community as well. "This is going to be an emotional game, an emotional crowd. This field ho...More >>
    Tonight is a homecoming three years in the making for Hackleburg High School. The team takes the field tonight in their new stadium, finally completed after an E-F five tornado destroyed it on April 27, 2011.It is sure to be a packed house at Ray Stadium as the Hackleburg panthers take on Marion County, tonight at 7:00 p.m. This is going to be an emotional night, not only for the school, but for the community as well. "This is going to be an emotional game, an emotional crowd. This field ho...More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Rescue workers digging to save man buried in a hole

    Rescue workers digging to save man buried in a hole

    Saturday, August 30 2014 3:56 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:56:01 GMT
    Birmingham Fire and Rescue units are on the scene of an accident where a man has been buried in a hole.More >>
    Birmingham Fire and Rescue units are on the scene of an accident where a man has been buried in a hole.More >>
  • City Council to get update on education in Birmingham

    City Council to get update on education in Birmingham

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:55 PM EDT2014-08-30 00:55:45 GMT
    The Birmingham City Council is hosting a lunch meeting with the Birmingham Board of Education to discuss the current state and direction of the Birmingham City Schools. The meeting will be held Tuesday, September 2, 2014 from 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Regions Bank in the Executive Dining Room."We want to make sure that as a council we are engaged in all aspects of development for our city," Council President Jonathan Austin said. "It is very important that are continually updated on areas such ...More >>
    The Birmingham City Council is hosting a lunch meeting with the Birmingham Board of Education to discuss the current state and direction of the Birmingham City Schools. The meeting will be held Tuesday, September 2, 2014 from 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Regions Bank in the Executive Dining Room."We want to make sure that as a council we are engaged in all aspects of development for our city," Council President Jonathan Austin said. "It is very important that are continually updated on areas such ...More >>
  • Exclusive: Birmingham beats out Miami for DOT conference

    Exclusive: Birmingham beats out Miami for DOT conference

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:34:48 GMT
    ABC 33/40 has learned that the City of Birmingham beat out Miami for a DOT conference. A date for the conference has yet to be scheduled but hosting such an event gives the city an opportunity to solicit federal funding for transportation projects throughout the metro. Count on us to pass along any new information as soon as we get it.More >>
    ABC 33/40 has learned that the City of Birmingham beat out Miami for a DOT conference. A date for the conference has yet to be scheduled but hosting such an event gives the city an opportunity to solicit federal funding for transportation projects throughout the metro. Count on us to pass along any new information as soon as we get it.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
  • Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:37:31 GMT
    William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...