Last fall, with a government shutdown looming, Congress passed an emergency spending bill that also included a lovely little loophole giving the federal government the authority to make obnoxious, pre-recorded and/or autodialed debt-collection robocalls. Some lawmakers quickly introduced legislation intended to correct that anti-consumer move, but it’s been stuck in committee since. This week, attorneys general from two dozen states and District of Columbia called on the Senate to finally consider this legislation. [More]
When you’re going through the often-tedious process of refinancing your mortgage, getting some bad information can only serve to make things worse. That’s why a West Virginia woman is suing Wells Fargo, alleging that the bank told her to stop making loan payments then put her into collections and foreclosure.
A new report claims that a growing number of debt collectors are trying to exploit a legal loophole that allows them to bring potentially frivolous lawsuits against alleged debtors, but bars those defendants from bringing their own legal action against the debt collector. [More]
Debt Collector Must Pay $2.5M In Refunds, Penalties For Illegally Collecting Consumers’ Old AT&T Debt
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]
While federal regulators continually work to crack down on private debt collectors that utilize unsavory, illegal tactics to make consumers pay up, government agencies often contract these entities to collect a variety of debts. That practice could continue if a provision in the Highway Trust Fund Bill receives approval. [More]
Four months after JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay at least $136 million to close the books on state and federal investigations into its credit card collections practices, the company reached a $100 million settlement putting an end to a similar investigation in California. [More]
In response to the news that the bipartisan budget deal currently before Congress includes a loophole that would allow the federal government to make debt-collection robocalls, some might say “Well, if it helps the government get back some of the money it’s due, then maybe it’s a necessary evil.” But the government’s own analysis of the budget proposal currently shows this clause as having no measurable impact on our federal finances. [More]
Auto Lender Must Pay $3.28M In Refunds, Penalties For Illegal Debt Collection Tactics Against Servicemembers
Four months after federal regulators filed a lawsuit against an Ohio-based auto loan company over allegations it violated consumer protection laws – including those protecting servicemembers – in order to collect debts, Security National Automotive Acceptance Company (SNAAC) will pay $3.28 million in refunds and fines to resolve the case. [More]
While some debt collectors have resorted to questionable and sometimes illegal practices, there are also legal routes to debt collection — like lawsuits and wage garnishment — that can nonetheless have a destructive effect, particularly in low-income, minority neighborhoods. [More]
According to a new report, Wells Fargo is the latest big-name bank to be scrutinized as part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ongoing investigation into student loan servicing practices.
We recently told you how potentially millions of Americans are stuck with someone else’s debt because of the large number of default judgments in favor of debt collectors. Yesterday, lawmakers in California approved a bill aimed at giving consumers in that state some ability to fight back.
Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates are two of the biggest names in the debt-buying game, and according to federal regulators they have often used deceptive and harmful tactics to collect their newly acquired debts. Now, as a result of these actions, the companies must refund consumers $61 million and pay $18 million in penalties. [More]
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]
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its latest report on the various complaints the agency has received about banks, lenders, debt collectors, and other financial services. Amid a sudden increase in the number of complaints involving credit report errors, the country’s largest credit bureaus now dominate the top of the CFPB’s list of most complained-about companies. [More]