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]

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]

When Comparing Colleges, It Would Help To Know If A School Is Under Investigation

When Comparing Colleges, It Would Help To Know If A School Is Under Investigation

Many consumers thinking of pursuing a higher education weigh the pros and the cons of a specific college: tuition, convenience, available areas of study. Last month, the Department of Education announced it would make the college shopping experience a little easier for prospective students by creating a consumer-facing online college comparison system. While the tool will no doubt be helpful, consumer advocates warn that, as it stands, the system will be missing a vital information: whether or not schools are party to investigation, lawsuits or settlements over harmful and deceptive practices. [More]

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]

Larry Troy

More Banks Are Offering Student Loan Refinancing, But Is It Really Safe & Beneficial?

For the last several years legislators have repeatedly introduced a bill that would allow student loan borrowers to refinance their private and federal student loans to the lower interest rates at which new loans are currently being issued. Although the legislation hasn’t managed to make it into law, that hasn’t stopped banks and credit unions from creating their own refinancing programs to help alleviate the debt burden for student loan borrowers. [More]

(Brian Turner)

Arbitration Fairness Act Would Reinstate Consumers’ Right To Sue In Court

 

Companies have been taking away your right to sue them when they screw up for years, using small, hidden clauses to require mandatory binding arbitration instead. After years of consumer groups voicing their concern over this anti-consumer practice, there’s finally a new bill in congress that proposes to bring back your right to sue.

[More]

(thisisbossi)

Petition Calls For Loan Relief For Corinthian College Students

Ever since for-profit education chain Corinthian Colleges began its downward spiral last summer, consumer groups, students and legislators have urged the Department of Education to provide current and former students relief from student loans they took out to finance an education based on deceptive recruitment practices. Now that CCI has closed its remaining Everest University, Heald College and WyoTech campuses, consumer advocates say discharging federal student loans held by these students – and protecting students of other for-profit institutions – should be of immediate concern for the Department. [More]

(БРАТСТВО)

Potential FICO Credit Score Changes Could Hurt, Rather Than Help Some Consumers’ Creditworthiness

The Fair Isaac Corporation – better known to consumers as FICO – is on the verge of turning the credit score game on its head with the release of a new credit-scoring approach that would consider consumers’ monthly bills, such as those for utilities and wireless plans, when determining creditworthiness. The change is purportedly intended to help consumers on the low end of the credit spectrum, but some consumer advocates are concerned that lower-income Americans could be the ones most adversely affected. [More]

Can New Payday Loan Rules Keep Borrowers From Falling Into Debt Traps?

(Adam Fagen)

Nearly one in four consumers continue to turn to high-cost, short-term financial products like payday loans, auto-title loans and other pricey alternatives when struggling to make ends meet, even though research shows these expensive lines of credit often leave consumers worse off than when they began. After nearly three years studying the issue, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now announcing its first attempt to protect consumers from predatory lenders. [More]

( SarahMcGowen)

More Than 100 National Consumer Groups Urge The CFPB To Issue Rules Over Forced Arbitration Clauses

Just weeks after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report showing that tens of millions of Americans have clauses in their credit card, checking account, student loan and wireless phone contracts that take away their rights to sue those companies in a court of law, more than 100 consumer groups have signed a letter urging the Bureau to address the use of forced arbitration clauses by issuing rules forbidding the clauses. [More]

University Of Phoenix’s Risk-Free Trial Might Not Cost You, But Is It An Accurate Taste Of College?

University Of Phoenix’s Risk-Free Trial Might Not Cost You, But Is It An Accurate Taste Of College?

From diet pills to dating websites, it’s not hard to find someone offering a “risk-free” trial membership, and thanks to the University of Phoenix, that “try before you buy” model now applies to college courses. But while one might admire the idea of giving potential students a taste of the school before committing to an expensive education at the for-profit online university, consumer advocates are concerned about the program’s benefits. [More]

(jetsetpress)

CFPB Proposes Rules To Protect Consumers From Shoddy Foreclosure Practices

Since the recession began in the late 2000s, many homeowners have struggled to keep their homes, often fighting off aggressive and shady foreclosure attempts. Over the years, consumers groups have fought to extend protections for these consumers. On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps to ensure that homeowners and struggling borrowers are treated fairly by mortgage servicers. [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: States Have The Power To Rein In For-Profit Colleges, They Just Don’t Use It

Report: States Have The Power To Rein In For-Profit Colleges, They Just Don’t Use It

The for-profit college industry has been widely criticized for spending a disproportionate amount of its money — much of it coming from federal student loans — on marketing while having a dropout and loan default rate that is much higher than non-profit schools. Is it possible to have for-profit schools that aren’t just student loan mills? [More]

SCOTUS Decision Proves States Have Power Over Payday Lenders Claiming Tribal Affiliation

SCOTUS Decision Proves States Have Power Over Payday Lenders Claiming Tribal Affiliation

While a U.S. Supreme Court decision yesterday in the case of a Michigan Native American tribe’s allegedly illegal casino appears to have nothing to do with payday lending, experts say it’s a game changer in states’ efforts to rein in the often predatory industry. [More]

(sparkle-motion)

Dept. Of Education Sued For Access To Info On Private Debt Collectors

After being denied access to what it claims are public documents about financial incentives the U.S. Dept. of Education provides to private debt collectors, a consumer advocacy group has filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act to have those documents released. [More]

Believe It Or Not, Outlawing Payday Loans Will Not Lead To Looting & Pillaging

Believe It Or Not, Outlawing Payday Loans Will Not Lead To Looting & Pillaging

Critics of payday lending say the practice traps many borrowers in a debt spiral, forcing them to take out additional loans to pay back the first. Yet these short-term loans do have proponents (many of them profiting from the industry) who claim that without this pricey option for quick cash, desperate consumers will turn to more unsavory means, leading to increased crime rates and other doom and gloom predictions. But does that really happen? [More]

No Surprise Here: Credit Reports Created With Your Online Information Are Mostly Inaccurate

No Surprise Here: Credit Reports Created With Your Online Information Are Mostly Inaccurate

More than 64 million Americans are cut off from access to traditional banking because they lack credit history. To better serve these unbanked consumers financial institutions are relying on the promises of big data brokers to accurately determine the creditworthiness of consumers. But is the new method a reliable way to provide affordable access to credit? Not really, a new report by the National Consumer Law Center points out. [More]