Online Payday Loans Cost More, Result In More Complaints Than Loans From Sketchy Storefronts

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We understand why someone might opt for getting a payday loan online instead of doing it in person. It’s easier, faster, doesn’t require going to a shady-looking storefront operation where some trained fast-talking huckster might try to upsell you unnecessary add-ons or tack on illegal insurance policies. But the truth is that people who get their payday loans online often end up in a worse situation than they would have if they’d applied in person. [More]

(Rick Drew)

Transferring Funds To Prisoners Is Big Business For Some Financial Companies

Life isn’t supposed to be easy for prisoners, but should the punishment extend to their families? A new report highlights the ways in which some financial institutions appear to be benefiting from the bad fortunes of others while prisoners’ families fall into debt trying to provide necessities like underwear and toothpaste to their loved ones behind bars. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

Defense Dept. Aims To Close Predatory Lending Loopholes For Military Personnel

While the Military Lending Act aims to protect military personnel and their families from predatory lenders’ often unsavory lending practices that include high interest rates and excessive fees, it still allows for clever lenders to get their hooks into borrowers. That’s why the Obama Administration and the Department of Defense announced a proposed overhaul of the rules – much to consumer advocates’ delight. [More]

MGM Threatens To Sue Race For Recreating Rocky Balboa’s Epic Run

From the cease-and-desist letter sent by MGM's lawyer to the organizer of the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run.

Here in Philadelphia, it’s rare to walk by the Art Museum steps without seeing some tourist trying to reenact the triumphant conclusion to Rocky Balboa’s training runs in Rocky and Rocky II. Movie studio MGM has no issue with selling out this iconic scene to a questionable payday loan operation, but if someone actually wants to use the word “Rocky” to organize a completely free running event that retraces the Italian Stallion’s jog through Philly, well… MGM has a problem with that. [More]

(Scott Lynch)

Court Shuts Down Payday Lenders Who Made Millions Off “Loans” Borrowers Didn’t Ask For

Whether you think that payday loans are a necessary financial offering for people with bad credit to get low-value, short-term loans or a predatory product that only results in more debt for the nation’s poorest consumers, you’d agree that no loans should be doled out without the borrower’s approval. But one network is accused of putting unauthorized payday loans in consumers’ bank accounts so it can eventually siphon off even more money. [More]

Consumers aged 35 to 44 were far more likely to have wages seized for debts than those in other age groups.

Report: Nearly Four Million Workers Had Wages Garnished For Consumer Debts In 2013

For most Americans every penny counts when it comes to their paycheck, but for some workers nearly a quarter of their wages are taken to pay for past debts in a process known as garnishment. The prevalence of this type of pay seizure grew significantly in the last few years leaving more consumers struggling financially. [More]

John Oliver On For-Profit Colleges: You Might As Well Go To Hogwarts

John Oliver On For-Profit Colleges: You Might As Well Go To Hogwarts

What would it look like if you condensed all our hundreds of stories about student loans and for-profit colleges into a profanity-filled, hilarious rant that takes a brief detour to discuss Lyndon Johnson’s scrotum? John Oliver answered that question on Sunday night. [More]

Is ActiveHours A True Payday Alternative Or Just Another Too-Good-To-Be-True Letdown?

Is ActiveHours A True Payday Alternative Or Just Another Too-Good-To-Be-True Letdown?

We’re largely a society built on convenience: fast food, one-stop shops and other we-need-it-now services. Unfortunately, that need for timeliness seeped in to the financial system in the way of quick-fix payday loans, which can provide the convenience of a quick, low-value loan but which often result in a revolving cycle of high-interest debt. Now a new lending product aims to take the predatory stigma out of short-term loans, but, like many payday alternatives of the past, a closer look reveals reason for concern. [More]

“Payday Syndicate” Accused Of Charging Illegal Triple-Digit Interest Rates In NY

“Payday Syndicate” Accused Of Charging Illegal Triple-Digit Interest Rates In NY

States have usury laws to limit illegal lending from loan sharks and organized crime. Some states’ laws limit interest rates on loans so much that payday lending and other predatory financial products are effectively banned. New York is one such state, and prosecutors there have filed charges against the operators of a “payday syndicate” that allegedly issued loans with illegally high, triple-digit interest rates. [More]

The Best Lines From John Oliver’s Takedown Of The Payday Loan Industry

The Best Lines From John Oliver’s Takedown Of The Payday Loan Industry

As regular readers of Consumerist know, we’re not exactly fans of the payday loan industry. If we were snotty teens and lived in the same neighborhood as Mr. Payday, we’d leave a flaming bag of dog poo on his doorstep. That’s why it was so nice to see our disgust for payday loans shared by John Oliver on HBO’s Last Week Tonight. [More]

Study: One Third Of Americans Have Debt In Collections

Study: One Third Of Americans Have Debt In Collections

Sometimes debt isn’t so bad, and sometimes it is, but one thing is clear: 80% of Americans owe someone, somewhere, some money. It might be a mortgage or student loan, or a five-year-old fee that got forgotten about, but the vast majority of us have some outstanding debt. And worse: a third of the country may have debt collectors chasing after them for that cash. [More]

Loophole Allows Auto-Title Lender To Charge Triple-Digit Interest Rates Despite Law

Loophole Allows Auto-Title Lender To Charge Triple-Digit Interest Rates Despite Law

Consumer advocates have long claimed that usury caps are the best way to protect borrowers from predatory lenders offering payday or auto title loans. But even those protections aren’t surefire. A title loan company in Florida has been skirting the state’s cap for the past three years. [More]

Is Cash America Getting Out Of The Payday Loan Business? Not Exactly

Is Cash America Getting Out Of The Payday Loan Business? Not Exactly

Sometimes there’s no better feeling than the one you get when you return to your so-called roots. Maybe that’s what Cash America International is looking for now that the company is making plans to separate itself from payday lending and returning to its first moneymaker: pawnshops. [More]

(Red~Star)

The CFPB Has Only Just Begun Tackling Financial Services In Its First Four Years

Four years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created – and three years ago it opened its doors – as a safeguard to ensure the financial industry followed the rules when selling products and services to consumers – and a lot has happened since that time. [More]

CFPB Now Accepting Consumers’ Prepaid Card, Debt Settlement And Title Loan Complaints

CFPB Now Accepting Consumers’ Prepaid Card, Debt Settlement And Title Loan Complaints

Just in time for the fourth anniversary of its creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced its expanding the type of consumer complaints it accepts to include prepaid cards and other nonbank products. [More]

CFPB Wants To Let Consumers Air Financial Grievances In Publicly Viewable Forum

CFPB Wants To Let Consumers Air Financial Grievances In Publicly Viewable Forum

Sometimes consumers want to voice their complaints knowing it will remain a private matter; other times they just want to shout it for all to hear. A new proposal from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would give consumers that option when voicing their grievances about consumer financial products and services. [More]

Report: Most Consumers Don’t Care If The Post Office Offers Financial Services

Report: Most Consumers Don’t Care If The Post Office Offers Financial Services

At first glance it wouldn’t appear that the United States Postal Service and banks have much in common. But that might soon come to an end if an idea to expand banking services to local post office branches in an attempt to meet the needs of the underbanked. [More]

(Photo: David Blackwell)

Phony Payday Loan Brokers Must Turn Over Rolls Royce, Maserati, Ferrari To Feds

When someone goes hunting for a payday loan — just looking to get their hands on a small amount of cash to tide them over until the next paycheck — it’s bad enough that they can end up trapped in a hellish debt cycle that sees them taking out loan after loan. But the FTC says a Tampa-based operation preyed upon these already-desperate victims by tricking them into applying for payday loans, only to steal their info and what little money they had. [More]