(Scurzuzu)

Report Spotlights Impact Of Payday Lenders On Most Vulnerable Communities

It’s no secret that payday loan storefronts often pop up in lower-income communities where consumers are more likely to need a quick infusion of cash to get to the next paycheck. A new report from the Howard University Center on Race and Wealth shines a light on the frequency with which the small-dollar, high-cost loans are opened in susceptible communities in the southern United States. [More]

(Stephan De Witte)

Feds Take Action Against Pair Of Deceptive Auto Title Lenders

When it comes to short-term, high-interest loans, payday lenders may get most of the headlines, but auto title loans can be just as perilous for borrowers, especially when the lenders use deceptive marketing. This morning, the Federal Trade Commission announced its first ever legal actions involving title loan operations that misled borrowers. [More]

Fifth Third Bank Has 100 Million Reasons To Want To Keep Offering Payday-Like Loans

Fifth Third Bank Has 100 Million Reasons To Want To Keep Offering Payday-Like Loans

When the four banks still offering customers payday loan-like services announced they would discontinue their often under-fire products, they likely knew their bottom-line would take a hit. One of those institutions, First Third Bank announced this week that changes to its program resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in revenue, providing an example of why it can be difficult to persuade lenders to ditch the profit-making, but financially devastating programs. [More]

(eyetwist)

Banks Are Cutting Off The Payday Lending Industry’s Access To Customer Data To Avoid Illegal Activity

Banks across the United States are distancing themselves from the unscrupulous payday lending industry by cutting off lenders’ access to a database of customer account information used to assess potential borrowers. [More]

(scurzuzu)

Online Payday Lending Companies To Pay $21 Million To Settle Deception Charges, Must Waive $285M In Loans

It’s no secret that payday lending companies charge high interest rates and a butt-load of fees for their small dollar, short-term loans. Payday lending companies break federal laws by not being upfront about the often highly inflated fees they charge. The FTC today jumped in to block two online payday lending companies from preying on consumers with the highest fine ever levied against a payday lender. [More]

Founder Of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Reportedly Tied To Payday Lenders

Founder Of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Reportedly Tied To Payday Lenders

If you’re in dire financial straits because you thought you could take out a 275% APR payday loan only to find yourself unable to repay, do you want credit counseling advice from someone with a financial interest in the success of payday lenders? Probably not, but the founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. says that his investments in the payday loan business had no bearing on his work. [More]

(Comedian2012)

Can Churches Provide A Meaningful Alternative To Payday Lending?

With one-in-four Americans turning to questionable financial products like payday and auto-title loans, an unlikely group is stepping in to provide consumers with a less-costly alternative. Churches across the country are helping members escape the trap of revolving debt by aiding them in obtaining safer loans. [More]

(Taber Andrew Bain)

Ohio Senator Proposes Payday Loan Alternative That Allows Consumers To Access Early Tax Credits

For years, lawmakers have tossed around the idea of meaningful payday loan reform, from banning loans with annual percentage rates higher than 36% or looking to close loopholes that allow predatory lenders to claim tribal affiliation. This week, as Congress began its latest session, one lawmaker suggested a payday alternative that doesn’t involve another type of loan at all. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

Protecting Military Servicemembers From Predatory Loans Is A National Security Issue

In recent years, we’ve written a number of stories about laws aimed at protecting active-duty servicemembers and their families from predatory loans and the businesses that try to take advantage of loopholes in these rules. Some readers have asked why members of our armed forces merit protections not available to civilians. But this isn’t about just doing something nice for our soldiers; it’s about removing a threat to national security. [More]

What We Liked About 2014: The Editors’ Favorite Stories Of The Year

What We Liked About 2014: The Editors’ Favorite Stories Of The Year

The clock hasn’t even struck midnight yet, and already we’re reminiscing about the year gone by. For us here at Consumerist, 2014 wasn’t only about how many times our stories were read, or who was clicking where, but about the process of bringing those stories to our readers and how we felt about working on them. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

CFPB Urges DoD To Close Loopholes That Cost Military Personnel Millions Of Dollars

Nearly three months ago the Obama administration and the Department of Defense announced a proposed overhaul of the Military Lending Act that would aim to close loopholes regularly exploited by predatory lenders in order to sink their hooks into military borrowers. Now, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlights just how devastating – and costly – those loopholes can be for servicemembers. [More]

(DCvision2006)

Payday Lenders Now Outnumber McDonald’s (But Still Not As Many As Subway)

There are more than 14,000 McDonald’s locations in the U.S., meaning you’re rarely more than a few miles away from a Big Mac. But even though payday loans are illegal in more than a dozen states, these short-term predatory lending operations outnumber Golden Arches eateries by nearly 1.5 to 1, though they still have some catching up to do with the vast number of Subway stores. [More]

(Alan Bruce)

Authorities Arrest Owner, Six Employees Of Debt Collection Group That Scammed $4.1M From Consumers

We’re no stranger to the shady tactics that debt collection companies use to pry money from consumers. But the latest scam to be shut down by U.S. authorities might be one of the most egregious we’ve ever seen. [More]

(scurzuzu)

Pennsylvania Sues Think Finance, Alleging Illegal Payday Loan Scheme

Pennsylvania is one of several states with laws prohibiting payday lending, but the often predatory products still find their way to consumers via online marketplaces and companies’ claiming affiliation with American Indian tribes. In an effort to crack down on such nefarious lenders, the state’s attorney general filed a consumer protection lawsuit against a Texas-based company for allegedly engineering a payday loan scheme over the internet. [More]

Why You Shouldn’t Get A Reverse Mortgage Just Because Fred Thompson Tells You To

Why You Shouldn’t Get A Reverse Mortgage Just Because Fred Thompson Tells You To

Turn on the TV and you’re just about guaranteed to come face-to-face with a celebrity or public figure selling a product or service. While those spokespeople may carry an air of respect and trust with consumers, what happens when the product they so happily lent their voice to turns out to have devastating affects on the consumer? Not much really, but it might be time for that to change. [More]

(TheTruthAbout)

Wells Fargo to Sell $8.5B In Government-Backed Student Loans to Navient

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo announced plans to get out of the payday loan-like business of direct deposit advances. Now it looks like the banking giant is getting ready to shed another aspect of its business: government-guaranteed student loans. [More]

Adam Fagen

New Prepaid Debit Card Rules Would Add Protections, Curb Overdraft Abuse

A growing number of America’s unbanked and under-banked consumers have been turning to prepaid debit cards as an alternative to checking accounts. Between 2003 and 2012, the total amount of money deposited annually onto these cards increased from $1 billion to $65 billion, and that amount is expected to near $100 million for 2014. But those cards often come with hefty fees and lack protections of other financial products. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking to make prepaid cards safer and lest costly with a new slate of proposed rules. [More]

Fifth Third Bank Backtracks On Its Pledge To End Payday Loans

Fifth Third Bank Backtracks On Its Pledge To End Payday Loans

In early 2014, the four major banks still offering customers payday loan-like services announced they would discontinue their often under-fire programs by the end of the year. Apparently Fifth Third Bank has changed its mind, announcing plans to continue with a revised, supposedly less harmful version of the service for existing customers. But consumer groups say the revamped service doesn’t actually address the problems that led banks to discontinue programs in the first place. [More]