(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.

[More]

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]

CFPB To Consider Rules That Would Revoke Banks’ “License To Steal”

Van Swearingen

The lengthy, often complicated terms of use for more than half of all credit cards — and nearly half of all federally insured bank deposits — include clauses that force customers into arbitration, taking away their right to sue these companies in a court of law and usually blocking them from joining together in a class action. Critics argue that these forced-arbitration clauses allow banks and other businesses to break the law with impunity. Heeding the call of lawmakers and consumer advocates, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has decided to consider rules that would ban this practice among financial institutions. [More]

(NOTE: Mr. Winterkorn did not actually say the above statement, but you know he's probably thought it once or twice.)

Ousted Volkswagen CEO Might Still Get $67M Payday, Plus Company Car

If I got fired — sorry, had to resign — from a CEO job because my company’s stock value had tanked in the middle of a worldwide product recall scandal, the most I’d expect to walk away with is my fancy CEO nameplate and the framed picture of my teacup basset hound “Drooly” that I keep on my desk. But the recently exiled CEO of Volkswagen could be wiping away his tears with a payout worth upwards of $67 million. [More]

10 Things We Learned About The Structured Settlement Purchase Industry

10 Things We Learned About The Structured Settlement Purchase Industry

Report after report finds that payday lenders, auto title loan firms and pension advance operations unfairly target vulnerable consumers with high fees and questionable terms, but a new investigative piece from The Washington Post shows that are some lesser-known, but very lucrative players offering quick cash to vulnerable consumers: structured settlement purchasing companies. [More]

Regulators Sue Pension Advance Companies Over Deceptive Marketing Of Loans

Regulators Sue Pension Advance Companies Over Deceptive Marketing Of Loans

Five months after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned that pension advance loans could be the new payday loan – leaving consumers who are already struggling to make ends meet in dire financial situations – the agency announced it had teamed up with the state of New York to shut down two companies that allegedly deceived retirees about the risks and costs associated with the loan products. [More]

Regulators File Suit Against Data Broker That Helped Payday Loan Scammer Bilk $7M From Consumers

Regulators File Suit Against Data Broker That Helped Payday Loan Scammer Bilk $7M From Consumers

From time to time, federal regulators shut down shady payday lending companies that debit consumers’ accounts or charge their credit cards without permission. But those nefarious operations have to get their information from somewhere, right? Well, today the Federal Trade Commission sent a message to all of those companies providing such personal information to scammy-mcscammersons by taking action against a data broker operation that illegal sold payday loan applicants’ financial information. [More]

(scurzuzu)

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]