Aaron Poffenberger

Dept. Of Education Proposes Rules To Govern College Prepaid Credit & Debit Cards

College students’ federal aid has increasingly been put at risk by the cozy relationship between institutions of higher education and credit card issuers over the years. While consumer advocates and legislators have debated whether or not products like student IDs that double as credit or debit cards provide an actual benefit to students or if they’re just a way for schools and banks to rake in the big bucks, the Department of Education finally took steps today to ensure students are afforded proper protections from excess fees and other harmful practices with the proposal of regulations targeting the college debit and prepaid card marketplace. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Class Action Suit Filed In California Over Wells Fargo’s Alleged Customer Account Abuses

A lawsuit filed earlier this month by the city of Los Angeles accuses Wells Fargo of pushing employees to engage in fraudulent conduct with regard to consumer accounts in order to meet the bank’s sales quotas. Now, one of those customers has filed his own lawsuit against the San Francisco-based bank alleging the same misconduct deceived and defrauded consumers across the country. [More]

(matthrono)

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]

(Taber Andrew Bain)

JPMorgan Chase, Bank Of America Agree To Wipe Debt Cleared By Bankruptcy From Credit Reports

Two of the country’s largest banks are finally getting around to removing the debt consumers eliminated during bankruptcy proceedings from their credit reports, a move that puts Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase in line with federal law. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

SEC Reportedly Investigating Bank Of America Over Customer-Protection Rule Violations

Financial institutions are required under federal law to follow an array of rules that aim to protect consumers’ accounts. Bank of America may not have followed one of those rules over the course of several years, and now reportedly faces an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. [More]

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

While millions of consumers contribute to the $32 billion in overdraft fees collected each year, a new video shows that many checking account holders don’t fully understand the way overdrafts work or how much they spend on the fees each year. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Households Earning $75,000 Eat Out Too Much To Save Any Money

Earlier this week, the news broke that Americans are, as a whole spending more on dining out than on groceries. In a related piece of news, a study from bank SunTrust says that a surprisingly large portion of American households that earn $75,000 per year live paycheck to paycheck because they’re spending too much money on “lifestyle expenses” to put any money away. [More]

(Listener42)

Student IDs That Double As Debit Cards Carry Significant Overdraft Fees

The cozy relationship between institutions of higher education and credit card issuers has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as consumer advocates and legislators have debated whether or not products like student IDs that double as credit or debit cards provide an actual benefit to students or if they’re just a way for schools and banks to rake in the big bucks. According to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending, the excessive overdraft fees surrounding the use of the cards suggest the latter point. [More]

(alexkerhead)

Another 130,000 Consumers Tell FCC: Don’t Allow Robocalling To Our Cellphones

Federal law currently bars companies from making automated, pre-recorded calls to your cellphone without obtaining explicit prior consent, but banks want to kick down that legal barrier so they can robocall without fear of penalties. In February, 60,000 consumers asked the FCC to just say no to opening this loophole, and today another 130,000 Americans are adding their voices in opposition to robocalls. [More]

(Krebs on Security)

Card Skimmers Still Found On Bank Lobby Card Readers

Alert Consumerist readers know to check ATM card readers for signs of skimmer attachments, PIN pad capture devices, and video cameras to avoid having ATM skimmer crooks drain your bank account. Yet these nefarious devices aren’t just found on cash machines and payment kiosks: some banks use magnetic card readers to protect ATM access after hours, and these can hold skimmers, too. [More]

60,000 Consumers Call On FCC To Not Allow Robocalls To Cellphones

60,000 Consumers Call On FCC To Not Allow Robocalls To Cellphones

Earlier this year, we told you how the American Bankers Association was seeking exemptions from the FCC that would allow banks to get around a law that forbids businesses from robocalling cellphones without prior approval. Today, 60,000 consumers are telling the FCC to just say now to the banks’ request. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

New Visa Feature Uses Smartphone Location Tracker To Prevent Fraud By Knowing Where You Are At All Times

Forgetting to tell your bank that you’ll be traveling far outside of your normal spending zone can often lead to frustrations like having transactions rejected out of concern that your card is being used fraudulently. In an attempt to make the lives of frequent travelers easier – and prevent fraud – Visa plans to launch a new service this spring that automatically informs banks where you are. [More]

(Todd Kravos)

Report: Gang Of Criminals Hacking Bank ATMs Has Stolen Up To $1B

Some of the world’s banks likely had a crummy Valentine’s Day after a new report from a computer-security firm came out this weekend, saying that a group of criminals has stolen millions of dollars since late 2013 from financial institutions in Russia, Eastern Europe and the United States. And it doesn’t seem like they’re done yet. [More]

(eeep0)

Police: Man Hoping To Cash Fraudulent Check Grabs $500 Another Drive-Thru ATM Customer Left Behind

Just because a whole bunch of cash unexpectedly ends up in your lap doesn’t mean it’s yours for the taking, because there is no such thing as a money fairy and those funds have to come from somewhere. Police say a Pennsylvania man was caught on camera first trying to cash a fake check for $1,900 at a drive-thru bank telling window and then instead, snagging $500 he found in the delivery tube and driving off. [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]

(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]