While federal regulators continually work to crack down on private debt collectors that utilize unsavory, illegal tactics to make consumers pay up, government agencies often contract these entities to collect a variety of debts. That practice could continue if a provision in the Highway Trust Fund Bill receives approval. [More]
While a bill that would have prohibited the use of tiny microbeads in face wash and other personal products nationwide died in Congress last year, California didn’t give up its fight to keep the microscopic plastic spheres from entering its waterways and turning up inside the stomach of consumers’ seafood, passing legislation that bans the use of the products in the state by 2020. [More]
Even though General Motors has acknowledged that more than 100 people died because the carmaker failed to fix defective ignition switches, the recent $900 million settlement with federal prosecutors means that not a single person at GM will see a day behind bars. A newly introduced piece of legislation hopes to hold corporate officers accountable when they conceal information about potentially deadly products. [More]
For about 30 years, there has been effectively no limit on the interest rates lenders can charge. This means some loans—especially payday loans, tax refund anticipation loans, overdraft protection loans, and car title loans—can have effective interest rates as high as 3,500%.
United Health Care, not content with merely denying life saving cancer procedures or refusing to pay for basic (covered!) checkups, took things to a new level by retroactively un-approving procedures they paid for in 2005. They sent reader Suzanne a letter and a bill for $7700, claiming the pay-out was an “administrative error”, and she needed to pay up. Check out the details, inside.
Farm policy for the next five years will remain largely the same under a bill passed Friday by the House. The $286 billion measure, H.R. 2419, was approved 231-191. Despite Michael Pollan’s pleas, the farm bill never transformed into a consumer-friendly food bill; though several billion dollars will go towards conservation spending, nutrition programs, and aid to fruit and vegetable growers, a significant chunk of the bill, $42 billion, will fund subsidies to farmers and agribusiness. The Senate is expected to write its own version of the farm bill in September.
When Illinois’ 10-year price freeze ended January 1st, people were told to expect an increase of around 22-55%, according to BusinessWeek. Now the legislature is looking into why some Amren customers are paying on average up to 170% more than before the price freeze melted: