When exercising your right to vote for the next President of the United States it might be tempting to document the once-every-four-years event with a selfie. But before you hit the camera button, you should know your state laws, because in some areas of the U.S. the now-popular voting booth selfie is illegal. [More]
For nearly two decades, provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have made it illegal in many cases for people to circumvent copyright protections on things like CDs, DVDs, e-books, and MP3s, even when the intended use of this data may be protected by law. A new lawsuit filed today by the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that these aspects of the DMCA don’t stand up to legal scrutiny. [More]
What’s the first thing you do to prepare for a trip to another state? After finalizing your packing list, looking up the law of the land should be on your list — especially if you’re planning on drinking any beer, wine, or liquor while you’re there.
Under federal law, student loan borrowers may be eligible to have their debts discharged if they prove the school they attended deceived them with false promises related to their future careers. However, the measure has been used only sparingly in the past and few clear rules outline the forgiveness process. Now, after nearly two decades on the books, federal officials are finally getting around to crafting rules that could remove one roadblock for students seeking relief. [More]
We are rapidly running out of 2015 left to spend, and so the two houses of Congress have been racing to pass an omnibus spending bill that will keep the government funded and the lights on. Because that bill is a must-pass piece of legislation, all kinds of crap has been added, taken away, and snuck back in as we come down to the wire. Among the other bills that have been tacked on is a controversial piece of cybersecurity legislation that has privacy and consumer advocates worried all around.
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]
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]
A month after the implementation of long-awaited regulations aimed at reining in for-profit colleges went into effect, opponents of the new rules aren’t simply backing away nicely. Instead, they continue push repeal of the new law, saying it unfairly targets the proprietary schools.
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]
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]
A life of stealing started with the snatching of a candy bar and transformed into an illegal multi-million dollar online payday lending scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of people. At least that’s what federal prosecutors say led to charges against a Pennsylvania man recently. [More]
There’s a story we hear far too often: someone is buying a house. Before they put any money down, they do their research. They call the local cable/Internet provider to make sure they can get broadband service at this new address. They double-check. They triple-check. They search the property for wires, call back, and make sure they’ll be okay. Then they take out the mortgage, move in, and… surprise! There’s no broadband service after all, there won’t be any, and now they’re up a very expensive creek. [More]
For the last couple of years, we’ve been telling you about ridiculous, so-called “non-disparagement” clauses that threaten customers with financial penalties for writing (or threatening to write, or even encouraging someone else to write) something negative online about a company. California has already outlawed these clauses, which tend to fail when challenged in court, but an attempt to enact legislation at the federal level has so far fallen short. But that’s not stopping some members of Congress from trying to ban this form of consumer bullying. [More]