You see the B12 bus go by in the Bronx and an ad for Jackson Hewitt Tax Preparation services saying, "Loan money now; get your money right up front," with the image of a smiling family. Or you get something in the mail talking about how you will get a free Metro Card, or how you can instantly get a refund loan without having to wait for the IRS.
It had all the elements of a paperback thriller: the innocent newlyweds, the mysterious account held by an obscure bank in Boca Raton, the faceless corporation controlling everything behind the scenes.
Laurie Orlov grew up in the corporate high-tech world, working for 30 years as an information technology executive and later as an analyst for Forrester Research, the respected technology research company.
Don Wright, 65, didn't know he was enrolled in his bank's overdraft protection plan until he overdrew his checking account by 85 cents. The transaction triggered snowballing fees that ultimately added up to more than $120.
The president of Chicago's Ariel Investments has tirelessly campaigned for black households to pour their money into equities. Every year, she puts her star power behind a survey with brokerage Charles Schwab & Co. that keeps the issue alive.