CFPB Reminds Retailers They Can’t Accept Military Allotments For Certain Purchases

CFPB Reminds Retailers They Can’t Accept Military Allotments For Certain Purchases

Allotments allow military servicemembers to automatically direct some of their paycheck to parties of their choosing, ideally for savings, insurance premiums, housing payments, and support of dependents. Until recently, allotments could also be used to make retail purchases, but such transactions weren’t covered by many of the legal protections that come with traditional payment methods like electronic checks and debit cards. Recently enacted rules now prohibit the use of allotments for buying personal property, and federal regulators are reminding retailers they have to follow the law. [More]

Regulator Issues “Guiding Principles” For Making Real-Time Payments Safe, Secure

Regulator Issues “Guiding Principles” For Making Real-Time Payments Safe, Secure

If you buy something with a debit/credit card or an online check, there can be a delay of hours or days before the other party gets those funds. Advances in technology are allowing payment platforms to cut that down to mere seconds, which could help consumers by preventing banks from re-ordering multiple transactions to maximize overdrafts. But as non-cash payments inch closer to real-time transactions, federal regulators want to ensure that companies are following certain best practices to make things safe and consumer-friendly as possible. [More]

(Chris Camargo)

San Francisco Creates New Office To Regulate Airbnb, Other Short-Term Rentals

The city of San Francisco and Airbnb have a somewhat contentious relationship, most recently involving tens of millions of dollars in back-taxes the short-term rental company agreed to pay the city earlier this year. Now, to ensure things continue to go smoothly for renters and rentees of services like Airbnb, the city has created a new office for the sole purpose of enforcing rules regarding vacation and short-term rentals. [More]

(Nathan Van Driel)

Dept. Of Labor Proposal Would Expand Overtime Pay To Nearly Five Million More Americans

Working more than 40 hours a week but not getting paid overtime because you make too much already? If so, you might soon be pocketing more dough for your extra hours under newly proposed federal regulations that raise the threshold income level at which workers are exempt from overtime pay of time-and-a-half wages. [More]

All Major U.S. Airlines Offer Free Cancellations Within 24 Hours, Except One

(Paul Thompson)

Even the most prepared traveler occasionally has to change their itinerary for unforeseen circumstances. While dealing with airlines to make a simple change can be both a test of your patience and a drain on your bank account, if you catch the issue soon enough you might save hundreds of dollars in change fees. That’s thanks, in part, to Department of Transportation rules that allow a ticket to be held at the same price for 24 hours before purchase or canceled within 24 hours after purchase — most of the time. [More]

CFPB Proposes Delay Of New Mortgage Rules By Two Months

CFPB Proposes Delay Of New Mortgage Rules By Two Months

Prospective homebuyers anticipating a more streamlined disclosure process while buying their dream home may have to wait a little longer, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a delay to new rules. [More]

Congress Takes Another Stab At Undercutting Gainful Employment Rules Two Weeks Before Implementation

Congress Takes Another Stab At Undercutting Gainful Employment Rules Two Weeks Before Implementation

The Department of Education’s long-awaited gainful employment rules – aimed at reining in the for-profit college industry – go into effect on July 1. But just because there are only 14 days before implementation, doesn’t mean those opposed to the regulations are giving up their fight. [More]

New York Regulator Finalizes First-Of-Its-Kind Plan To Govern Virtual Currency With “BitLicense”

New York Regulator Finalizes First-Of-Its-Kind Plan To Govern Virtual Currency With “BitLicense”

Nearly a year after the New York Department of Financial Services took steps to regulate businesses that operate in virtual currency, the Department announced the finalization of the “BitLicense” plan, making it the first set of guidelines for the use of cybercurrency. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

CFPB Fines Regions Bank $7.5M For Collecting Illegal Overdraft Fees

Each year consumers spend nearly $32 million in exorbitant overdraft fees to their banks and credit unions without fully understanding the way in which these fees work or how much they spend on each overdraft. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reminded banks that using consumers’ lack of knowledge to collect more fees isn’t acceptable by imposing a $7.5 million fine against Regions Bank for unlawful overdraft practices. [More]

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

While millions of consumers contribute to the $32 billion in overdraft fees collected each year, a new video shows that many checking account holders don’t fully understand the way overdrafts work or how much they spend on the fees each year. [More]

FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’

FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’

There’s another internet-related firestorm a-brewing at the FCC. This one is not as broad or as contentious as the now infamous net neutrality ruling, but it is bringing all the big players out to have their say. And what, you might ask, has everyone worked up? It’s the big bandwidth bugaboo of the twenty-teens: online video. [More]

Report: Teens Buy E-Cigarettes Online With Little Difficulty Despite Industry Safeguards

Report: Teens Buy E-Cigarettes Online With Little Difficulty Despite Industry Safeguards

Back in February 2014, Ohio became the first state to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Since then, 40 other states and cities have followed suit. Despite those regulations, a new study found it’s increasingly easy for teens to skirt the rules by purchasing the products online. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Reverse Mortgage Complaints Show Consumers Confused By Loan Terms

While reverse mortgages are only available to a select group of consumers – those 62 years and older – the alternative loan product still makes up a large portion of complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Today, the Bureau released a report highlighting the most common consumer complaints about reverse mortgages, along with advice for borrowers [More]

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Congress is just all up in the FCC’s business lately, it seems. Earlier this week, lawmakers in both houses proposed their own version of net neutrality, one that would also strip the FCC of its own authority to regulate broadband in the future. Today, there’s a bill looking to jump into one of the FCC’s other big issues right now: state laws that prohibit communities from developing municipal broadband. [More]

RadioShack Employee Buys Customer An Accessory In Order To Get System To Approve Phone Upgrade

RadioShack Employee Buys Customer An Accessory In Order To Get System To Approve Phone Upgrade

Has RadioShack gone too far with its sales quotas? Allison wrote us to say that when she tried to upgrade her phone recently, the employee had to add accessories to the transaction before the system would approve it. She said he canceled some, and she ended up paying $2 for “two plastic covers for phones I don’t own.” But she says her mom had an even more bizarre experience at a RadioShack, where the assistant actually paid for the accessories herself. [More]

Bank Of America Wants Customer To Travel 1,500 Miles To Close His Mother's Account

Bank Of America Wants Customer To Travel 1,500 Miles To Close His Mother's Account

It hasn’t even been a month since our last dead Bank of America customer story, but here the bank is at it again, refusing to let a woman’s son close her checking account no matter what he does. Although she lived and banked in Tennessee and he lives in Pennsylvania, the latest nonsense has the bank demanding that he visit Texas in person to get a document notarized. [More]

Continental Refuses To Believe Woman's Service Dog Is Real

Continental Refuses To Believe Woman's Service Dog Is Real

Continental sure has a lot of skeptical employees when it comes to customers with disabilities. Jessica tried to buy a ticket yesterday and was told no, because the ticket agent didn’t believe that Jessica’s self-trained service dog was legit. [More]