City Attorney Using That Song Everyone Knows To Call Attention To Payday Loan Settlement

City Attorney Using That Song Everyone Knows To Call Attention To Payday Loan Settlement

If there’s some possible way you’ve avoided hearing that pop song where the girl is like hey perhaps you should ring me on the telephone (paraphrasing so as not to unintentionally force you to get it in your head), then we applaud you on your success. But because it seems most of the country, if not the galaxy has heard it, it makes sense that the city attorney for San Francisco is trying to use the song’s popularity in order to spread the word to potential claimants about a recent payday loan settlement. [More]

Overheard In 10 Million American Households: Bank Account? What Bank Account?

Overheard In 10 Million American Households: Bank Account? What Bank Account?

I used to know a guy who kept his money hidden in his home because he didn’t trust banks. Like, all of it. He would never tell me where, obviously, guess though I may (Freezer? Under the mattress? Behind the “secret” DVD collection?). He isn’t alone — there are 10 million American households that don’t have bank accounts, a number that is increasing every day. [More]

Bet You Didn't Know Businesses Are Using A New Secret E-Score To Judge Your Buying Power

Bet You Didn't Know Businesses Are Using A New Secret E-Score To Judge Your Buying Power

There are plenty of scores we know about — the score of the football game, the points your friend just scored against you in a word game on your phone and won’t stop crowing about — heck, some of us even still brag about our SAT scores. And of course, there are traditional credit scores. But there’s a new digital player in the scoring game, and it could be troublesome for many consumers, as it operates under the cover of almost complete secrecy. [More]

Mystery Denny's Diner Pays Tab For Everyone In Restaurant

Mystery Denny's Diner Pays Tab For Everyone In Restaurant

Everyone loves a free lunch, especially when there are no strings attached. Just ask the 60 or so diners at a California Denny’s who were treated to gratis grub by a mystery woman who decided to pay for everyone’s meals. [More]

Maiming A Slot Machine Isn’t Going To Make Up For The Fact That You Lost

Maiming A Slot Machine Isn’t Going To Make Up For The Fact That You Lost

Listen, we know what it’s like to keep shoving money into a slot machine, mesmerized by the blinking lights and the possibility that this time will be different, this time will bring riches beyond imagining! But should you lose, don’t act like a mad baby and maim the casino’s machine. That’s just immature. [More]

My Employer Will Only Pay Me By Prepaid Debit Card. Is That OK?

My Employer Will Only Pay Me By Prepaid Debit Card. Is That OK?

Everyone (except consumer advocates like us) seems to love prepaid debit cards. You can get student loan fundage on them, unemployment benefits, and even federal and state tax refunds. And now they’re handling your paycheck. Christopher just took a job as a pizza delivery driver for a major chain, and he has only one option for receiving his pay (other than tips): a prepaid debit card. He doesn’t like it. [More]

The Fax Of Shame: How It Really Feels To Lose Your Home

The Fax Of Shame: How It Really Feels To Lose Your Home

C. and her husband are a young couple who moved into their first house just a few years ago. Unable to manage their mortgage payments, they asked their lender, PNC Mortgage, for help. The bank offered them a monthly payment $500 higher than the mortgage they couldn’t pay in the first place. Their house has sat empty and on the real estate market since January, waiting for a buyer to come along for a short sale. One did, and the nightmare is almost over. Or it would be, if PNC would just stop calling the couple and any relative whose phone number they can find, almost every day. [More]

Turns Out That Forcing Customers Into Arbitration Is Not Good For Consumers

Turns Out That Forcing Customers Into Arbitration Is Not Good For Consumers

A year ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in the AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion case. It decided that a company could force customers into arbitration — and effectively pre-empt any class-action lawsuits — by including a tiny clause in their contracts. At the time, AT&T had the gall to claim that this was all for the benefit of you, the consumer, but a new study proves what you probably already guessed: AT&T was full of it. [More]

FTC: Payday Lender Can't Avoid Prosecution By Claiming Tribal Affiliation

FTC: Payday Lender Can't Avoid Prosecution By Claiming Tribal Affiliation

A Colorado payday loan operation that allegedly piled on undisclosed and inflated fees — and which attempted to avoid prosecution by claiming affiliation with Native American tribes — has been sued by the Federal Trade Commission, which says the sovereign immunity laws don’t prevent investigations by the feds. [More]

Who Knew Wearing Orange Shirts To Work Is A Fireable Offense?

Who Knew Wearing Orange Shirts To Work Is A Fireable Offense?

Down in Florida, they love their oranges. Not just the citrus fruit, but at one law firm, 14 employees loved the color enough to all wear it to work one day. Too bad management had a bee in its bonnet over the color-coordinating and fired them all for donning orange en masse. [More]

Court Halts Intimidating Debt Collector Calls From People Posing As Cops

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that a U.S. district court has stopped an operation that allegedly collected millions of dollars in payday loan debts that consumers did not actually owe. [More]

Man Accidentally Plays Wrong Lottery Game And Wins $14.3 Million

Man Accidentally Plays Wrong Lottery Game And Wins $14.3 Million

Winning the lottery is all about luck — or is it about accidentally buying a ticket thinking it’s one game instead of another? Either way, one Wisconsin man won the $14.3 million Megabucks pot, but was oblivious to his windfall for three days. [More]

Businesses That Rip Off Poor People

Businesses That Rip Off Poor People

Some businesses thrive on the misfortune of others, making unfavorable deals with the poor and desperate to improve their bottom lines. While it’s tough to discern the intentions and ethics of management, it’s easy to identify the results of their reckless practices. [More]

A Dozen Scams Certain To Spoil Your Holiday Spirit

A Dozen Scams Certain To Spoil Your Holiday Spirit

With Christmas just 10 days away and Hanukkah even sooner, it’s no wonder that most of us are feeling harried and distracted. But don’t take leave of your senses. Thieves and scammers celebrate the season by taking advantage of people who don’t have time to give things the usual scrutiny. [More]

Senate Blocks Vote On Confirmation Of Richard Cordray As Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director

Senate Blocks Vote On Confirmation Of Richard Cordray As Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director

A vote today in the Senate over whether or not to confirm Richard Cordray as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been blocked with a filibuster by opponents of the current structure of the bureau. [More]

Senate Expected To Vote On Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Tomorrow

Senate Expected To Vote On Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Tomorrow

It feels like it was ages ago when former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (not to be confused with his doppelganger NBC page Kenneth Ellen Parcell) was announced as the White House’s nominee for director of the recently formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Now it’s almost time to cue some sort of dramatic music as the Senate is expected to thumbs-up-or-down the nomination on Thursday. [More]

Private Equity Bets Big Bucks On "Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships

Private Equity Bets Big Bucks On "Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships

In the second of a three-part series on “Buy Here Pay Here” dealerships, used car lots that target subprime borrowers with easy credit and triple the national average interest rates, the Los Angeles Times looks at how private equity firms have flocked towards the growing industry, lured by 38% margins. [More]

TCF Bank Adds New $28 Daily Overdrawn Balance Fee

TCF Bank Adds New $28 Daily Overdrawn Balance Fee

Reader Jeff used to intentionally overdraw his bank account in order to have enough money to feed his family and gas the car. At $35 a pop, that’s a pretty cheap loan. But now that’s not going to be a viable option because TCF Bank has started to assess him a daily fee of $28 if his account is overdrawn by $5 or more. [More]