Expansion Of Military Lending Act Closes Loopholes Exploited By Predatory Lenders

Expansion Of Military Lending Act Closes Loopholes Exploited By Predatory Lenders

Nearly a decade after legislation was put in place to protect U.S. military personnel and their families from predatory financial products, the Military Lending Act received a much-needed update to close loopholes often exploited by shady lenders to skirt the rules and put the financial lives of servicemembers at risk. [More]

Root Sports Pittsburgh is one of several regional sports networks owned by DirecTV.

Smaller Cable Companies Concerned About AT&T/DirecTV Merger’s Impact On Prices For Regional Sports Networks

As we’ve seen with the ongoing locals sports broadcasting messes in Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, pay-TV operators with exclusive regional and team-specific networks sometimes put too high a price on their content, meaning other providers can’t afford to carry these stations and large swaths of fans are left in the dark. And a trade group representing small and midsize cable operators are worried that this problem may only get worse without certain conditions being put on the pending $49 billion merger of AT&T and DirecTV. [More]

(Ryan Glenn)

FTC Affirms Consumers’ Right To Go To Court Over Warranty Disputes

In just the last four years, the U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled against consumers’ rights and in favor of companies that use fine print in their contracts to block wronged customers from suing in court and from joining together as a class action. In spite of these rulings, the Federal Trade Commission recently upheld rules that give warranty buyers the right to a day in court, even if they have to go through arbitration first. [More]

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

Legislators Once Again Trying To Delay New Lending Protections For Military Personnel

The Department of Defense is trying to do something good for servicemembers by closing loopholes in the Military Lending Act that can leave military personnel vulnerable to predatory lenders. But these safeguards are now the target of a Congressman who has received substantial campaign contributions from payday lenders. [More]

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Banks Continue To Improve Consumer Safeguards, But Progress Isn’t Coming Fast Enough

Opening a checking account with a bank is a rite of passage of sorts for many consumers, but the plethora of small-print disclosures, fees and other services are enough to confuse even the most seasoned account holder. While banks attempted to simplify their practices over the years, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows that some banks – and regulators – have a long way to go before they’re truly doing everything they can to protect consumers. [More]

(Brian Turner)

Arbitration Fairness Act Would Reinstate Consumers’ Right To Sue In Court

 

Companies have been taking away your right to sue them when they screw up for years, using small, hidden clauses to require mandatory binding arbitration instead. After years of consumer groups voicing their concern over this anti-consumer practice, there’s finally a new bill in congress that proposes to bring back your right to sue.

[More]

(Dustin Michelson)

PRO Students Act Aims To Protect Students From For-Profit Colleges’ Bad Behavior

It’s difficult to go a month or even just a few weeks without hearing of another for-profit college being under investigation for unscrupulous practices, such as inflated job placement rates and pushing students into costly student loans. New legislation announced today aims to curtail the number of investigations we hear about by protecting students from predatory, deceptive, and fraudulent practices in the for-profit college sector, before they even enroll. [More]

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Legislation Would End Forced Arbitration In Student Enrollment Agreements

When Education Credit Management Corporation announced late last year that it would buy 56 of for-profit education chain Corinthian College Inc.’s Everest University and WyoTech campuses, consumer advocates expressed great concern that the new company – which would operate under the name Zenith – would continue the unfair practice of requiring students to sign away their right to seek any legal action against the company if they’re wronged. While ECMC ultimately said it would do away with the practice, new legislation aims to strengthen students’ legal rights when it comes to forced arbitration. [More]

Judge: Uber Must Face Lawsuit Claiming Discrimination Against Blind Passengers With Service Dogs

Judge: Uber Must Face Lawsuit Claiming Discrimination Against Blind Passengers With Service Dogs

Months after the National Federation of the Blind claimed in a federal civil rights lawsuit that some of Uber’s drivers have discriminated against blind passengers by refusing to pick them up when they had guide dogs — and in one case, allegedly putting a service dog in a car’s trunk — a judge has ruled that the ride-hailing company must defend itself against the suit. [More]

Robocalling Phantom Debt Collector Accused Of Harassing, Defrauding Consumers

Robocalling Phantom Debt Collector Accused Of Harassing, Defrauding Consumers

People hate debt collectors, perhaps as much as, if not more than, they despise robocalls from telemarketers. And phantom debt collectors — those who attempt to collect debts that aren’t owed to them, if at all — are among the worst of the bunch. So when you combine the automated recorded messages of robocalls with the incessant harassment of phantom debt collectors, you create a particularly loathsome Frankenstein’s monster. [More]

( SarahMcGowen)

More Than 100 National Consumer Groups Urge The CFPB To Issue Rules Over Forced Arbitration Clauses

Just weeks after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report showing that tens of millions of Americans have clauses in their credit card, checking account, student loan and wireless phone contracts that take away their rights to sue those companies in a court of law, more than 100 consumer groups have signed a letter urging the Bureau to address the use of forced arbitration clauses by issuing rules forbidding the clauses. [More]

While fewer than 8% of all banks put arbitration clauses on deposit accounts, those few banks account for nearly half of all insured deposits in the U.S. (source: CFPB)

In Wake Of Arbitration Report, Consumer Advocates Ask CFPB To Revoke Banks’ “License To Steal”

This morning, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its final report on forced arbitration, showing how banks and credit card companies use contractual clauses to short-circuit class-action lawsuits from their customers. Now that the Bureau has done its research, consumer advocates are calling on regulators to use their authority to end the practice. [More]

Banks & Credit Card Companies Saving Millions By Taking Away Your Right To Sue

Adam Fagen

Tens of millions of American consumers have clauses in their credit card, checking account, student loan, and wireless phone contracts that take away their rights to sue those companies in a court of law, and more than 93% of these people have no idea they’ve had this right taken away from them. The companies involved are presumably quite happy about this lack of awareness, as it results in millions of dollars in savings that aren’t being passed on to you. [More]

( photographynatalia )

ECMC Completes Purchase Of Everest University, WyoTech Campuses

Shortly after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that it secured $480 million in student loan relief for current and former students of embattled Corinthian Colleges Inc., Education Credit Management Corporation – the company seeking to purchase more than 50 campuses from the for-profit giant – announced it had completed the controversial $24 million transaction. [More]

Deal Provides $480 Million In Debt Relief To Current & Former Corinthian Colleges Students

Deal Provides $480 Million In Debt Relief To Current & Former Corinthian Colleges Students

When student-loan servicing company Educational Credit Management Corporation revealed it would purchase 56 campuses belonging to embattled for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges, regulators and consumer advocates began working to ensure that students affected by CCI’s collapse would be protected under the deal. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education announced some students would receive the help they deserve in the way of $480 million in debt relief. [More]

(photo: Other98.org)

Marching Band Delivers Petition To Citi Asking Banks To “Revoke License To Steal”

In a handful of recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of businesses to effectively break the law by putting a few carefully worded sentences into their contracts and user agreements. But just because you can add these clauses doesn’t mean you have to do so, which is why pro-consumer advocacy groups gathered more than 100,000 signatures on a petition that was delivered, with a little bit of music, to Citigroup HQ in Manhattan this morning. [More]