New York City Bans Hoverboards On Buses, Trains

New York City Bans Hoverboards On Buses, Trains

If you live in New York City and plan to ride the subway or hop on a city bus, you better leave your “hoverboard” at home. The state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Wednesday that it is banning the self-balancing scooters from public transportation over fire safety concerns.  [More]

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8 States With The Strangest Alcohol Laws

What’s the first thing you do to prepare for a trip to another state? After finalizing your packing list, looking up the law of the land should be on your list — especially if you’re planning on drinking any beer, wine, or liquor while you’re there. [More]

Dept. Of Education Working On Rules For Defense Of Repayment Law After Influx Of Claims

Dept. Of Education Working On Rules For Defense Of Repayment Law After Influx Of Claims

Under federal law, student loan borrowers may be eligible to have their debts discharged if they prove the school they attended deceived them with false promises related to their future careers. However, the measure has been used only sparingly in the past and few clear rules outline the forgiveness process. Now, after nearly two decades on the books, federal officials are finally getting around to crafting rules that could remove one roadblock for students seeking relief.   [More]

As e-cigarette makers increase their ad spending, more teens have started using the devices.

Report Finds That As E-Cigarette Ad Spending Increases So Does Teens’ Use Of The Devices

About 2.4 million teens smoked e-cigarettes last year, and that number is poised to rise, thanks in part to the tens of millions of dollars device manufactures have poured into advertisements for the products, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  [More]

Controversial Cybersecurity Bill Makes It Into Omnibus, Will Basically Be Law Any Minute Now

Controversial Cybersecurity Bill Makes It Into Omnibus, Will Basically Be Law Any Minute Now

We are rapidly running out of 2015 left to spend, and so the two houses of Congress have been racing to pass an omnibus spending bill that will keep the government funded and the lights on. Because that bill is a must-pass piece of legislation, all kinds of crap has been added, taken away, and snuck back in as we come down to the wire. Among the other bills that have been tacked on is a controversial piece of cybersecurity legislation that has privacy and consumer advocates worried all around. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Millions In Campaign Contributions Enable The Title Loan Cycle Of Debt

Each year, thousands of consumers lose their vehicles – often their largest asset – after taking out small-dollar, high-interest auto title loans to cover expenses. Despite hundreds of attempts by lawmakers to rein in the often predatory auto title market, generous campaign donations from the industry’s leaders have created a cycle in which consumers are plunged deeper into debt, while title lenders continue lining their pocketbooks.  [More]

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DraftKings & FanDuel Are Exempt From Online Gambling Laws Because Pro Sports Wanted It That Way

Daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel are basically everywhere lately. Not only are the ads for both companies a constant during every sports broadcast of any kind, but also there’s constantly news about FBI investigations, states trying to shut them down, or even John Oliver roasts. [More]

Privacy Advocates Concerned As Senate Approves Controversial Cybersecurity Bill

Privacy Advocates Concerned As Senate Approves Controversial Cybersecurity Bill

Despite previous failures, Congress just keeps on churning through bills that propose to enhance digital security at the cost of digital privacy. The latest in the series sailed through the Senate with wide approval this week, kicking off another wave of privacy concerns. [More]

Countless Consumers Are Paying Off Someone Else’s Debt Because Of Default Judgments

Alan Cleaver

Imagine receiving a phone call that 25% of your wages are going to be garnished because of a credit card account opened 14 years earlier that was never paid off. Making things worse, you know you didn’t have a credit card from the bank in question at that time, so it can’t possibly be your debt. This should be an easily remedied error, but not if a court has already granted a default judgment against you, making you responsible for paying back money that you didn’t owe and didn’t find out about until it was too late. [More]

For-Profit College Industry Continues To Bemoan Recently Enacted Gainful Employment Regulations

For-Profit College Industry Continues To Bemoan Recently Enacted Gainful Employment Regulations

A month after the implementation of long-awaited regulations aimed at reining in for-profit colleges went into effect, opponents of the new rules aren’t simply backing away nicely. Instead, they continue push repeal of the new law, saying it unfairly targets the proprietary schools. [More]

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Regulators Sue To Shut Down Illegal Offshore Payday Loan Network

While most of us think of payday lenders as small-time storefront operations, there is also a complicated web of interconnected payday businesses operating outside the U.S. borders, but illegally issuing costly short-term loans to American borrowers. A newly filed lawsuit hopes to put an end to one such network. [More]

Add-ons allowed in states like Louisiana defeat the purpose of initial interest rate caps.

Most State Laws Can’t Protect Borrowers From Predatory Installment Loans, Open-End Lines Of Credit

As regulators continue to craft rules meant to crackdown on costly and harmful short-term payday lending, companies are offering alternative products like installment loans and open lines of credit to consumers. But, as it turns out, these cash infusions can be just as devastating to those in need, and few states offer sufficient protections for borrowers. [More]

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Racketeering Related To Massive Payday Loan Scheme

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Racketeering Related To Massive Payday Loan Scheme

A life of stealing started with the snatching of a candy bar and transformed into an illegal multi-million dollar online payday lending scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of people. At least that’s what federal prosecutors say led to charges against a Pennsylvania man recently. [More]

Why Your Cable Company Doesn’t Always Know If Your New Address Gets Service

Pixel

There’s a story we hear far too often: someone is buying a house. Before they put any money down, they do their research. They call the local cable/Internet provider to make sure they can get broadband service at this new address. They double-check. They triple-check. They search the property for wires, call back, and make sure they’ll be okay. Then they take out the mortgage, move in, and… surprise! There’s no broadband service after all, there won’t be any, and now they’re up a very expensive creek. [More]

New Law Would Ban Companies From Penalizing Customers Who Write Negative Reviews

New Law Would Ban Companies From Penalizing Customers Who Write Negative Reviews

For the last couple of years, we’ve been telling you about ridiculous, so-called “non-disparagement” clauses that threaten customers with financial penalties for writing (or threatening to write, or even encouraging someone else to write) something negative online about a company. California has already outlawed these clauses, which tend to fail when challenged in court, but an attempt to enact legislation at the federal level has so far fallen short. But that’s not stopping some members of Congress from trying to ban this form of consumer bullying. [More]

(DEARTH !)

New Hampshire Legislators Vote For Bill That Would Decriminalize Marijuana

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are trying to turn the state a bit greener, with representatives passing a bill in the House that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. [More]

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NYC Lawmakers Want To Pay People For Submitting Videos Of Illegally Idling Vehicles

Getting paid to spy for your government isn’t just something for the movies: In New York City, lawmakers are introducing a bill that would reward citizens who report drivers of idling vehicles and submit a video of the act as proof. [More]

(RW Sinclair)

Proposed Bills Would Revamp Food Safety Agencies & Recall Protocols

Last year a group of legislators introduced a bill that would have given the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture the legal backbone to get unsafe meat, poultry and eggs off store shelves. While that bill died in Congress, two new measures seek to pick up the pieces, establishing a single, independent federal food-safety agency and providing new recall procedures. [More]