Federal regulators continued an ongoing crackdown on deceptive payday loan players by reaching a multimillion-dollar agreement with two lenders to settle accusations they illegally charged consumers with undisclosed and inflated fees. [More]
Fifty years ago, Congress created the federal loan program as a way to help Americans realize their dreams of a better life through higher education. While millions of students have no doubt benefited from the program, millions of others have found themselves burdened by mountains of debts, fielding calls from debt collectors and loan servicers, and watching as their paychecks are whittled down by garnishments. Today, seven million former college students are in default with a record $115 billion in federal loans. While those figures may be oppressing borrowers, it’s providing a stream of income – and profit – for companies contracted by the government to collect payments from debtors. [More]
The wallet-sized – or larger – smartphone constantly tethered to your hand may often be seen as your connection to the outside world. Each time you surf the web, connect with friends, make purchases and check your bank account, it’s collecting mountains of data about you. And that data could soon be analyzed to determine if you’re creditworthy. [More]
According to a new report, Wells Fargo is the latest big-name bank to be scrutinized as part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ongoing investigation into student loan servicing practices.
Just last month federal regulators announced that an ongoing probe into potentially unscrupulous student loan-servicing practices resulted in nearly $18.5 million in refunds and fines from Discover Bank. Now, regulators appear to have Citigroup in their crosshairs, as the financial company announced it was party to an investigation. [More]
Former students of now-defunct for-profit education chain Corinthian Colleges continued their fight to recoup the money they spent on classes at the company’s Heald College, WyoTech or Everest University campuses, filing a $2.5 billion claim against the bankrupt educator.
As federal regulators continue to probe potentially unscrupulous student loan servicing practices, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Discover Bank and its affiliates to pay nearly $18.5 million in refunds and fines for, among other things, overstating amounts due on student loans and failing to notify borrowers of their rights. [More]
Former Corinthian College students left with piles of debt after the company closed its Heald College, Everest University and WyoTech campuses earlier this year are getting a bit more relief, as the Department of Education announced it would temporarily suspend some legal actions related to borrower’s defaulted loans. [More]
Just days after the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that student loan delinquency rates were once again on the rise, a new Fed report finds it’s student loan borrowers with the lowest levels of debt who typically are the most delinquent.
As if student loan borrowers needed more bad news, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report this week detailing how some student loan servicers have tricked consumers into paying higher fees and misrepresented balances due. [More]
When you borrow from a bank where you also keep your day-to-day cash, you might be opening yourself up to problems down the line. Most banks have a right of setoff, which means they can tap other accounts you hold with them to repay themselves money you owe. For a woman in Atlanta, this meant Wells Fargo legally drained her checking account without warning, leaving her and her husband with no cash and $385 in overdraft fees, due to some ongoing confusion over a student loan. [More]
Here’s an interesting discovery about mortgage defaults from the LA Times:
Mirosiichenko said his company would not employ debt collectors to get its money back if people refused to repay, and promised no physical violence. Signatories only have to give their first name and do not show any documents. “If they don’t give it back, what can you do? They won’t have a soul, that’s all.”
SmartMoney’s Anne Kadet looked into the process by which the three major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax—investigate and correct errors on credit reports. What she found was that the process is “almost entirely automated,” and that “many lenders respond by simply rereporting the erroneous data.” Here’s how it works, and your meager options when something goes wrong.
Ever heard of a cramdown? It’s when a bankrupcty court splits a home loan into two parts: a secured loan that’s equal to the current value of the home, and an unsecured loan that covers the rest of the outstanding debt. The secured loan is paid, and the unsecured isn’t. It can result in lower monthly payments (if the new loan amount is amortized over the course of the loan), but the important part is that it helps guarantee that a significant part of the loan will still be paid off.
Consolidation loans are no longer profitable for Sallie Mae, so it’s saying goodbye to them. SmartMoney points out that ultimately this shouldn’t matter for students taking out new loans, since the original point of consolidation—converting lots of variable rate loans into a nice predictable fixed rate loan—is no longer relevant (all federal student loans are now disbursed with fixed interest rates.) SmartMoney says if you still have variable rate loans you need/want to consolidate, check out the government’s consolidation offering—”You’re likely to pay the same consolidation rates you’d pay if you did so with Sallie Mae,” they write.