(George)

Colleges Warned About Making Secret Deals With Credit Card Companies

In spite of rules intended to crack down on the once-rampant mis-marketing of credit cards to college students, some schools have not been fully transparent about lucrative agreements they’ve made with card companies, and could face federal penalties. [More]

10+ Things Consumers Should Know About The New Federal Spending Bill

10+ Things Consumers Should Know About The New Federal Spending Bill

This morning, after months of slapping on, then removing, then replacing pork barrel riders on the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, we finally know exactly which add-ons made it into the omnibus spending bill and which ones didn’t. [More]

Groups Call On AmEx, Chase, Citi, Toyota, Others To Stop Forcing Customers To Sign Away Their Legal Rights

Groups Call On AmEx, Chase, Citi, Toyota, Others To Stop Forcing Customers To Sign Away Their Legal Rights

Once upon a time, if a company wronged a customer — not just by screwing up an order or having poor customer service, but by actually breaking the law — that customer could file a lawsuit and try to hold the company accountable. And if the company wronged lots of customers in the same way, they could join together in a class action. Now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, companies can get away with breaking the law by simply including a few handy lines of text in their customer agreements and contracts. But just because the company can use this “get out of jail free” card, doesn’t mean it should. [More]

Consumer Advocates Ask Regulators To Investigate T-Mobile Over Advertising, Debt Collection Practices

Consumer Advocates Ask Regulators To Investigate T-Mobile Over Advertising, Debt Collection Practices

Those two-year mobile phone contracts we all signed for so long became a relic of the past pretty quickly over the last two years, with national providers all abandoning ship. T-Mobile moved to “contract freedom” almost two years ago now, and has since then continued to make a big deal over the fact that their users are neither locked into time-locked agreements nor face old-school high data overage fees. [More]

Banks Urge Congress To Continue Renewing Their “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

Banks Urge Congress To Continue Renewing Their “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

Nestled deep in the text of the lengthy contracts for most credit cards and bank accounts are little clauses that not only prohibit harmed customers from suing their bank or card issuer, but also prevents them from banding together with similarly injured consumers to argue their dispute as a group. In October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it would consider limits on these clauses, but now the banking industry is trying to use its leverage with D.C. lawmakers to shut down that process. [More]

JPMorgan To Pay $100M To Settle Unlawful Debt-Collection Allegations In California

JPMorgan To Pay $100M To Settle Unlawful Debt-Collection Allegations In California

Four months after JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay at least $136 million to close the books on state and federal investigations into its credit card collections practices, the company reached a $100 million settlement putting an end to a similar investigation in California.  [More]

RushCard To Create Reimbursement Fund For Customers Unable To Access Money

RushCard To Create Reimbursement Fund For Customers Unable To Access Money

The thousands of unbanked consumers who rely on prepaid RushCards but have been unable to access their funds because of a technical glitch, may receive compensation for the issue.  [More]

(photo: RushCard)

After RushCard Fiasco, Consumer Advocates Urge More Oversight Of Prepaid Cards

For the better part of two weeks, thousands of unbanked consumers who rely on prepaid RushCards have been unable to access their funds because of a technical glitch. While the company run by Russell Simmons continues to fix the issue, consumer advocates are pointing at the incident as evidence that federal regulators need to do more to protect prepaid cardholders.  [More]

CFPB To Consider Rules That Would Revoke Banks’ “License To Steal”

(Van Swearingen)

The lengthy, often complicated terms of use for more than half of all credit cards — and nearly half of all federally insured bank deposits — include clauses that force customers into arbitration, taking away their right to sue these companies in a court of law and usually blocking them from joining together in a class action. Critics argue that these forced-arbitration clauses allow banks and other businesses to break the law with impunity. Heeding the call of lawmakers and consumer advocates, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has decided to consider rules that would ban this practice among financial institutions. [More]

L.A.-Based Auto Lender Must Pay $48M In Fines, Refunds For Illegal Collections

L.A.-Based Auto Lender Must Pay $48M In Fines, Refunds For Illegal Collections

For the second time this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has flexed its muscles when it comes to reining in unscrupulous indirect auto loan financiers. Just days after taking action against Fifth Third Bank for auto-lending discrimination, the Bureau ordered a Los Angeles-based finance company and its auto title lending subsidiary to pay $48.3 million in fines and relief to affected borrowers stemming from a laundry list of allegedly illegal debt collection practices. [More]

CFPB Sues Debt Relief Firm, Alleging It Bilked Customers For $67M

CFPB Sues Debt Relief Firm, Alleging It Bilked Customers For $67M

Being in debt can be paralyzing, leaving some people with the feeling like they’ll never climb their way out of the hole. So when a company promises it can help ease that burden, it might some like a good idea to spend even more money in the hope that you’ll ultimately be pointed in the right financial direction. Federal regulators say one debt relief operation took in $67 million from customers in need of help, but most of that money just went to the firm’s fees while the customers’ debts continued to pile up. [More]

Credit Bureaus, Bank Of America, Wells Fargo Top List Of Most Complained-About Financial Companies

Credit Bureaus, Bank Of America, Wells Fargo Top List Of Most Complained-About Financial Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its latest report on the various complaints the agency has received about banks, lenders, debt collectors, and other financial services. Amid a sudden increase in the number of complaints involving credit report errors, the country’s largest credit bureaus now dominate the top of the CFPB’s list of most complained-about companies. [More]

Retailer That Overcharged, Then Sued Military Personnel Is Going Out Of Business

Retailer That Overcharged, Then Sued Military Personnel Is Going Out Of Business

A year ago, Virginia-based USA Discounters was in the spotlight after the supposedly discount retailer — which had several locations adjoining military bases and directly marketed its financing to servicemembers — was criticized for charging ridiculously high prices on its products and then suing soldiers in such a way that they could rarely defend themselves in court. The retailer then changed its name to USA Living and promised to not be so evil, even though the lawsuits continued. Now comes news that the retailer is going to close up shop for good. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Santander’s Auto Loan Business Under Federal Investigation

Each year, Santander writes or services billions of dollars worth of auto loans and leases in the U.S., making it one of the nation’s largest providers of automobile financing. Yesterday, the company revealed that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking into whether Santander violated federal fair-lending laws. [More]

(jetsetpress)

Mortgage Servicer To Pay Back $1.5M To Screwed-Over Homeowners

Residential Credit Solutions is a mortgage servicer specializing in delinquent loans and “credit-sensitive” (read: high-risk for default) residential mortgages. But after allegedly screwing over homeowners by, among other things, not honoring loan modifications on mortgages transferred from other servicers, RCS is on the hook to pay $1.5 million in restitution and a $100,000 penalty to federal regulators. [More]

Western Union-Owned Mortgage Company Must Return $33.4M To Customers

Western Union-Owned Mortgage Company Must Return $33.4M To Customers

A mortgage payment company owned by Western Union has agreed to return $33.4 million to consumers following allegations that it misled customers into thinking they could save thousands of dollars on their home loans. [More]

Appeals Court Revives Texas Bank’s Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality Of CFPB

Appeals Court Revives Texas Bank’s Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality Of CFPB

This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau celebrates its fourth anniversary of protecting consumers from harmful practices and shady characters in the financial sector. But instead of buying the regulatory arm a big ol’ birthday cake, a federal appeals court is gifting the Bureau with a revived lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. [More]

Here is what FAFSA.com looked like before the URL was handed over to the Dept. of Education.

Former Operator Of FAFSA.com Penalized $5.2M For Illegal Billing

Five years ago, we told readers looking to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to steer clear of FAFSA.com, as it was not the official Dept. of Education site for the FAFSA. Today, federal regulators announced a $5.2 million settlement with the company behind the now-defunct website for illegal billing practices. [More]