Projected growth in consumer account balances from time of enrollment until settlement.

Debt Settlement Programs Often Do More Harm Than Good For Consumers

In the past we’ve told readers about the a number of bogus debt-relief operations that scammed already vulnerable consumers. But a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending points out that it’s not just shady companies that hurt consumers. Sometimes legitimate debt settlement programs can leave consumers in more debt than they started out with. [More]

Ninja IX

Am I Completely Screwed If My Student Loan Co-Signer Dies?

Imagine this scenario: You’ve been out of college for several years, have a good job and you have no problems making your student loan payments in full and on time. Then tragedy hits; your parent dies or declares bankruptcy. If this loved one was a co-signer on your student loan, this change can trigger an often-overlooked clause that allows the lender to claim you are in default on your loan, potentially wreaking longterm havoc on your credit and finances. [More]

Report: Debt Collectors Now Using Court System To Unfairly Force Consumers To Pay Up

Report: Debt Collectors Now Using Court System To Unfairly Force Consumers To Pay Up

Debt collection is a big business that doesn’t look to be shrinking anytime soon. But along with the rapid expansion of the industry, there has been an increase in abusive and predatory collection practices. One of those practices, obtaining default judgements against consumers, has led the Center for Responsible Lending to call for stricter regulations over the process of selling debt to collectors. [More]

States’ Attempts To Reform Payday Lending Are Often Just Smoke & Mirrors

States’ Attempts To Reform Payday Lending Are Often Just Smoke & Mirrors

Payday lending has been getting a makeover of sorts recently. A number of banks, including Wells Fargo, have discontinued their payday-like direct deposit advance programs after federal regulators tightened their guidance over the high-cost products. Now, a number of state legislatures are discussing payday lending reform bills, which they say will make short-term loans safer for consumers. But are they truly helpful to those who need them? Not quite, say consumer advocates. [More]

(andy briggs)

Car Dealers Charge White Customers Less Than Everyone Else, Study Finds

Things that are okay for a car dealer to do: charge a buyer seeking financing a different rate based on his or her credit history. Things that are completely not okay for a car dealer to do: charge a buyer seeking financing a different rate based on his or her race. And yet they just keep doing it anyway. [More]

And Then There Was One: Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank Discontinue Payday Loan Products

And Then There Was One: Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank Discontinue Payday Loan Products

The small victories are adding up in the battle against predatory loans this week. Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank announced they will discontinue high-risk payday lending programs. [More]

A Small Victory Against Predatory Lending? Regions Discontinues Payday Loan Product

A Small Victory Against Predatory Lending? Regions Discontinues Payday Loan Product

It’s only a small victory in the battle against predatory loans, but there’s now one less bank offering a high-risk payday lending product to consumers. Regions Bank has closed the door on its payday loan-esque deposit advance product. [More]

Wells Fargo's "not a payday" loan

Wells Fargo Called Out For Continuing To Offer Payday Loans

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires that FDIC-insured banks be examined and rated on whether or not they are meeting the banking needs in each of the communities in which they are chartered. But a pair of advocacy groups claim Wells Fargo deserves a lowered CRA rating because of loans that smell a lot like payday loans. [More]

Most Who Opted In To Overdraft Protection Were Wrong About How It Worked

Most Who Opted In To Overdraft Protection Were Wrong About How It Worked

One of the results of the regulatory overhaul was that banks couldn’t automatically enroll people in “overdraft protection.” This kicked off a mammoth effort by banks to try to convince customers it was in their best interest to sign up for a program that would let them get charged $35 for overdrafting a $1 candy bar rather than go through the pain and humiliating of having a card declined. But a new survey by the Center for Responsible Lending found that most of the people who did opt in either had a misconception about how the overdraft protection, or simply wanted the ceaseless onslaught of pitches from their bank about it to stop. [More]