eyetwist

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Racketeering For $688M Payday Loan Operation

A Pennsylvania man, known for helping to usher in the payday loan movement, has been charged with racketeering for his alleged part in a scheme that bilked more than $688 million from consumers and defrauded 1,400 others from a million-dollar settlement.  [More]

(GotCredit)

Unregulated Preparers, Lack Of Disclosures & Costly Financial Products Put Your Tax Refund At Risk

Each year during tax time millions of consumers put their financial future in the hands of strangers, trusting that these tax preparers — who are largely unregulated — know the rules, will get them the best possible result (hopefully a refund), and won’t sell them on a product that costs more than it’s worth. But in the world of complicated tax codes and credits, consumers continue to face a long list of risks, including untrained preparers, undisclosed fees, and dangerous refund anticipation products.  [More]

Hammerin Man

Servicemembers Twice As Likely To Submit Complaints About Unsavory Debt Collection Practices

While millions of Americans are no strangers to questionable debt-collection practices, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that the men and women in the armed forces are twice as likely than their civilian counterparts to file a complaint when a collector crosses the line.
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C x 2

Religious Groups Call On DNC Chair To Denounce Pro-Payday Loan Bill

Faith-based community organizations are among the loudest voices in the battle against predatory lending practices like payday loans. And while most of their efforts are on education and local reforms, a coalition of these groups is thinking nationally, calling on Congress, including the chair of the Democratic National Party, to rethink their support a pro-payday loan piece of legislation. [More]

Payday Loan Operator MoneyTree Latest Company To Fall For CEO Email Scam

Payday Loan Operator MoneyTree Latest Company To Fall For CEO Email Scam

Employees of payday lending company Moneytree are used to taking the personal information of customers in exchange for short-term cash infusions. Some of those workers recently found themselves on the other side of the fence after someone at the company fell for the CEO email scam.  [More]

frankieleon

Operation That Illegally Debited Consumers’ Bank Accounts Must Repay $43M

Months after federal regulators ordered a data broker to pay $7.1 million for selling consumers’ sensitive information to scammers, a court ordered one of those alleged scammers and its subsidiaries and operators to provide $43 million in relief to victims. [More]

eyetwist

DNC Chair Backs Pro-Payday Loan Bill; Thinks 300% Interest Is A Consumer Protection

You currently can’t get Republican and Democratic lawmakers to agree on a lunch order, let alone jointly support legislation. But one controversial piece of legislation is not only garnering support from both sides of the aisle, it’s also got the Chair of the Democratic National Committee pushing for legislation that would undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ability to regulate predatory lending. [More]

(harrell99)

Data Broker Must Pay $4.1M For Selling Sensitive Information To Scammers

Data brokers are companies that collect and aggregate information on consumers to create detailed profiles that are then sold to other companies to determine if an individual is qualified for loans, mortgages, jobs, and other things. But sometimes, these companies get their hands on unauthorized, highly sensitive personal information and sell it. Today, four connected data brokers agreed to settle federal charges of selling this sort of information to unscrupulous customers. [More]

Bank-Backed Lawmakers Accuse CFPB Of Hurting Consumers By Trying To Regulate Payday Loans

Bank-Backed Lawmakers Accuse CFPB Of Hurting Consumers By Trying To Regulate Payday Loans

It’s never a good sign for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when it’s called to testify at a Congressional subcommittee hearing subtitled “The CFPB’s Assault on Access to Credit and Trampling of State and Tribal Sovereignty.” And so it should come as little surprise that bank-backed members of the House Financial Services Committee is trying to paint the agency’s efforts to rein in predatory lending as an attack on the very people the CFPB is trying to protect. [More]

Feds Arrest Heads Of Two Massive Online Payday Loan Operations

Feds Arrest Heads Of Two Massive Online Payday Loan Operations

Back in June 2014, Consumerist showed readers what might have been the scammiest payday loan we’d ever seen. Today, federal authorities arrested the man behind the company, AMG Services — along with his lawyer and another, unrelated, payday lender — for allegedly running online payday lending operations that exploited more than 5 million consumers.  [More]

Two Payday Lenders Agree To Pay $4.4M In Fines, Release Borrowers From $68M In Loans, Fees

Two Payday Lenders Agree To Pay $4.4M In Fines, Release Borrowers From $68M In Loans, Fees

Federal regulators continued an ongoing crackdown on deceptive payday loan players by reaching a multimillion-dollar agreement with two lenders to settle accusations they illegally charged consumers with undisclosed and inflated fees.  [More]

Lender EZCORP Must Pay $10M In Refunds, Fines For Illegal In-Person Debt Collection Practices

Lender EZCORP Must Pay $10M In Refunds, Fines For Illegal In-Person Debt Collection Practices

A small-dollar lender has been slammed with a top-dollar penalty by federal regulators who say that the company’s debt collection practices violated the law.  [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]

Subprime Credit Reporting Company To Pay $8M For Illegally Obtaining Consumers’ Credit Info

Subprime Credit Reporting Company To Pay $8M For Illegally Obtaining Consumers’ Credit Info

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies – and lenders – are allowed to access credit reports only for “permissible purposes,” like determining if a person is creditworthy. But federal regulators say a Florida-based subprime credit reporting company illegally obtained tens of thousands of consumers’ credit reports for use in marketing materials for potential clients, including payday lenders.

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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]

Company Must Pay $1.35M For Claiming Copper-Infused Sleeves Relieve Chronic Pain

Company Must Pay $1.35M For Claiming Copper-Infused Sleeves Relieve Chronic Pain

Slapping on a knee brace or wrapping your ankle might provide a bit of comfort for aches and pains related to physical activity, but who wants to do all that work when slipping on copper-infused compression clothing can take all your pain away? That seems like a simple, easy way to rid yourself of severe and chronic pain and inflammation, you know, if it were actually backed by science. But it apparently wasn’t, and now athletic apparel company Tommie Copper must pay for that little oversight – to the tune of $1.35 million. [More]

(Luke Hornick)

Authorities Shut Down 5 Shady Debt Collectors, Secure $6.5M In Relief

The Federal Trade Commission teamed up with two states to put an end to five unscrupulous debt collection operations that illegally deceived millions of Americans. The actions, made under the “Operation Collection Protection” initiative between federal, state and local law enforcement authorities, represent $6.5 million in relief for millions of consumers.  [More]

Report: Payday Lenders Funded Academic Research Favorable To Payday Lending

Report: Payday Lenders Funded Academic Research Favorable To Payday Lending

It’s not very unusual for academic research to be funded by grants from for-profit entities, especially in the sciences. What they’re specifically not supposed to do is provide financial support and line-by-line editing to what’s supposed to be independent academic research. Yet that’s what appears to have happened to a paper that seems to prove that high interest rates don’t affect customers’ ability to repay their loans. [More]