(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]

Sorry, You Can’t Pay The IRS With A Check For $100 Million Anymore

Sorry, You Can’t Pay The IRS With A Check For $100 Million Anymore

You there! The one ready to write a big, fat check to the Internal Revenue Service — drop that pen. The agency has announced that it will no longer accept checks for $100 million, so you’ll just have to write more than one check. So yeah, you can go ahead and pick that pen up again now. [More]

Pot-Centric Colorado Credit Union Sues Federal Reserve Bank For Denying Account

Pot-Centric Colorado Credit Union Sues Federal Reserve Bank For Denying Account

The state of Colorado no longer outlaws recreational marijuana use, but the U.S. government still considers it a Schedule I controlled substance, so many businesses making money from the locally legal sale of cannabis are having trouble finding banks to handle their cash. One credit union formed with the goal of providing financial services to those in the marijuana industry received a charter from Colorado, but has filed suit against a regional Federal Reserve bank for blocking its ability to work with other banks. [More]

Over the past year, consumers' feeling about their financial situation has improved.

Fed Survey Finds Most Consumers Are Happy With Their Finances, Despite Lack Of Retirement Savings

As the economy continues to bounce back from the Great Recession, consumers have adopted a more optimistic outlook when it comes to their finances despite the fact that a third of the country has no savings put away for the future, according to a new survey from the Federal Reserve. [More]


Citigroup Forgot To Compensate 23,000 Consumers For Abusive Foreclosure Practices, Sending Checks Now

Several years ago, Citigroup reached a deal with federal regulators that required the company to provide compensation for nearly 380,000 people affected by foreclosure abuse. Only the lender didn’t exactly follow through, failing to send checks to 23,000 consumers. [More]

(Jeff Gates)

American Consumers Now Have The Most Debt Ever

Did the recent recession make consumers realize that carrying large amounts of debt for their credit card and car purchases is a bad thing? No, Americans have not adopted widespread frugality, a report from the Federal Reserve shows. We’re taking on more consumer debt than ever. Yes, even when you adjust it for inflation. [More]

The Consumerist 101 Guide To Understanding Your Financial Regulators

The Consumerist 101 Guide To Understanding Your Financial Regulators

Washington, D.C., might as well be called Acronym City. It feels like there are a zillion different, discrete agencies, organizations, bureaus, boards, and commissions within the federal government, each with its own graceless three-, four-, or five-initial moniker, forming the tangled web of a bureaucracy that regulates… well, almost everything. So what are the key regulatory agencies, anyway? Who oversees what, and who do they report to, and how does it all work? [More]

Appeals Court Resurrects Fed’s Debit Card Swipe Fee Limits

Appeals Court Resurrects Fed’s Debit Card Swipe Fee Limits

In a move that will please banks and annoy retailers, a federal appeals court has overruled a lower court decision on swipe fees — the amount banks charge retailers for each debit card transaction — and revived the previous controversial standards put in place by the Federal Reserve in 2011. [More]

Former AIG CEO Loses Bid To Sue Fed Over Bailout

Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, former CEO of AIG.

More than five years after AIG received nearly $200 billion from taxpayers to prevent the insurance giant’s inevitable collapse, and a year after the company finished repaying that money, its former CEO is still attempting to sue the U.S. government and Federal Reserve over this very bailout, saying it violated shareholders’ Constitutional rights and that the Fed violated Delaware state law. Today, a federal appeals court dealt a serious blow to his case. [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]

Regulators Ask Banks To Not Be Jerks To Customers Affected By Shutdown

Regulators Ask Banks To Not Be Jerks To Customers Affected By Shutdown

The shutdown of the federal government is now a week old, meaning a growing number of furloughed workers — and employees of businesses whose income depends on government contracts — are having trouble keeping up with their bills. In a joint statement today, five regulators have asked banks and other financial institutions to be mindful of customers who are directly impacted by the current staring contest. [More]


Senators Continue Push To Ultimately Replace Dollar Bill With $1 Coin

In spite of decades of studies showing the long-term cost benefits of dollar coins over Federal Reserve Notes, and the fact that most of the world’s leading economies have already switched to coins for similar denominations, the U.S. has remained steadfast in its use of printed dollar bills. So once again, lawmakers in the Senate are making the push to gradually make the transition from print to mint. [More]

On Feb. 14, Sen. Elizabeth Warren grilled bank regulators on their failure to take banks to trial.

Sen. Warren: Why Can Banks Commit Crimes But Get Away Without Admitting Guilt?

Back on Valentine’s Day, rookie U.S. Senator — and longtime consumer advocate — Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts showed little love for the nation’s bank regulators, asking if any of them — the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — had actually taken a large financial institution to trial instead of settling. None of them could provide a quality answer at the time, but Warren has not let them off the hook. [More]


Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Ready To Drop $247 Million In Mail To Victims Of Foreclosure Abuses

Back in January, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley announced a $557 million settlement “for deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing.” Later this week, the chunk of that money earmarked for payouts to affected consumers will be going out in the mail. [More]

Coming Soon To A Billfold Near You: New $100 Bills

Coming Soon To A Billfold Near You: New $100 Bills

Attention currency fans, and fans of images that shift as you move them! New $100 dollar bills with exciting counterfeiting-proof features are coming soon from the Federal Reserve. The good news is that they probably will not melt, but they look a little different from bills currently circulating. [More]


Some Victims Of Shady Foreclosure Practices Report Trouble Cashing Settlement Checks

As if going through the nightmare of foreclosure proceedings wasn’t bad enough, some of the victims who have been compensated as a result of a settlement between big banks and U.S. regulators can’t even get their darn checks to cash. Most of those borrowers only received between $300 and $500, and have been told their checks were rejected when trying to get their money. [More]

(Nick Bastian)

GAO Calls Out Bank Regulators For Mucking Up Foreclosure Reviews

Back in April 2011, in the wake of the robosigning scandal and in light of numerous instances of erroneous seizures, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve System ordered independent reviews of the foreclosure process at the country’s 14 largest mortgage servicers. Now, two years on, the Govt. Accountability Office is saying these regulators allowed the review process to become inconsistent and overly complex. [More]


Treasury Department: Yeah, About That $1 Trillion Platinum Coin? Not Gonna Happen

Although the idea of a trillion-dollar platinum coin swooping in to be deposited at the Federal Reserve and save us from hitting the debt ceiling is a nice one, it’s just not gonna happen, says the Treasury Department. Even if it did, the Federal Reserve says it wouldn’t accept the deposit anyway so there’s no point in talking about it. Thanks for spoiling the fun, guys. [More]