Chris Blakely

Bill Would Overhaul Credit Reporting System, Remove Debt After Four Years

Each year, thousands of consumers file complaints against the nation’s three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Most of these complaints are related to inaccurate information on a consumers’ credit report and the difficult time they often have in getting this misinformation corrected. That could change with the proposed overhaul of the system. [More]

MeneerDijk

$100M Grant Competition Aims To Expand Tuition-Free Community College Programs

In January 2015, President Obama announced a proposal that would make the first two years of community college free for some consumers hoping to further their education. Today, the White House revealed another step in making that goal a reality through a $100 million competitive grant program focused on expanding workforce training programs at community colleges.  [More]

frankieleon

Florida Implements Law Protecting Consumers From Surprise Medical Bills

Florida is now the second state behind New York to shield consumers from expensive surprise medical bills, as Governor Rick Scott today signed into law legislation that would protect patients from balance-billing in both emergency and non-emergency hospital situations.  [More]

Adam Fagen

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Proposes Requiring That IRS Offer Free Tax Filing & Prep Services

With the clock officially ticking down on the 2016 tax season, lawmakers are already looking for ways to simplify the process next year by introducing legislation that would, among other things, develop a free, online tax preparation and filing service that taxpayers can use to prepare and file their taxes directly with the federal government.  [More]

(frankieleon)

New York Bill Would Require Drivers Involved In Crashes To Submit Phones To “Textalyzer”

Would a requirement to submit your phone to field testing to determine if you were texting or otherwise using the device before a motor vehicle crash prevent you from engaging in distracted driving? That’s the hope behind recently introduced legislation in New York and a device being dubbed a “textalyzer.”  [More]

(Steve Depolo)

California, Labor Groups Reach Tentative Deal To Raise Statewide Minimum Wage To $15/Hour

California is poised to become the first state to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage. Over the weekend legislators in the state said they had reached a tentative agreement with labor unions that would see the state rollout the wage increase over the next six years. [More]

Bill Requiring Childproof Packs For Liquid Nicotine Heads To President’s Desk

Bill Requiring Childproof Packs For Liquid Nicotine Heads To President’s Desk

The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, intended to reduce the odds of kids getting their little hands on tasty-looking – but poisonous – liquid nicotine, appears destined to be the first new federal law regulating e-cigarettes. Yesterday, Congress passed the measure, which now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature. [More]

Say Goodbye To Microbeads: President Signs Act To Ban Microscopic Plastic Particles

Say Goodbye To Microbeads: President Signs Act To Ban Microscopic Plastic Particles

If your favorite face wash includes tiny microbeads, you better savor it. After playing catch-up with several states, the U.S. has finally passed a measure that would keep the microscopic plastic spheres from going down the drain and possibly into the stomachs of our seafood.  [More]

Legislation Would Require Liquid Nicotine Come In Child-Proof Packages

Legislation Would Require Liquid Nicotine Come In Child-Proof Packages

Legislation to ensure children aren’t able to get their little hands on tasty-looking – but poisonous – liquid nicotine has made it past one hurdle: the Senate unanimously passed the measure yesterday, indicating widespread support for the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015.  [More]

Bill To Ban The Use of Microbeads In Personal Care Products Nationwide By 2019 Passes House

Bill To Ban The Use of Microbeads In Personal Care Products Nationwide By 2019 Passes House

With several states and companies passing or currently considering rules to stop the use of tiny microbeads in beauty products, the nation as a whole has been playing catchup. After at least one failed attempt to pass a measure to keep the microscopic plastic spheres from going down the drain and possibly into the stomachs of our seafood, the House passed legislation this week that would ban the use of the products.  [More]

Lawmakers Continue Crusade To Rein In For-Profit Colleges Targeting Servicemembers

Lawmakers Continue Crusade To Rein In For-Profit Colleges Targeting Servicemembers

In recent months federal regulators and government agencies have increased scrutiny of for-profit colleges and their interactions with servicemembers, veterans and their families. Today, lawmakers furthered that mission by introducing legislation that would restore previous limits on how much money these educational institutions can receive from the federal government via military benefits and other programs.  [More]

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Curtail Surprise Medical Bills

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Curtail Surprise Medical Bills

There are good surprise and there are bad surprise. Falling into the latter category are unexpected medical bills, which affect nearly 30% of privately insured Americans. This week, lawmakers took steps to shield consumers from these often burdensome tabs.  [More]

Beauty Products Sold In California To Be Microbead-Free By 2020

Beauty Products Sold In California To Be Microbead-Free By 2020

While a bill that would have prohibited the use of tiny microbeads in face wash and other personal products nationwide died in Congress last year, California didn’t give up its fight to keep the microscopic plastic spheres from entering its waterways and turning up inside the stomach of consumers’ seafood, passing legislation that bans the use of the products in the state by 2020.  [More]

New Bill Would Punish Corporate Execs With Jail Time For Lying About Deadly Products

New Bill Would Punish Corporate Execs With Jail Time For Lying About Deadly Products

Even though General Motors has acknowledged that more than 100 people died because the carmaker failed to fix defective ignition switches, the recent $900 million settlement with federal prosecutors means that not a single person at GM will see a day behind bars. A newly introduced piece of legislation hopes to hold corporate officers accountable when they conceal information about potentially deadly products. [More]

Legislation Would Hold For-Profit College Leaders Accountable For Misrepresentations

Legislation Would Hold For-Profit College Leaders Accountable For Misrepresentations

Lawmakers on Tuesday continued their mission to protect consumers from unscrupulous players in the for-profit college industry by introducing legislation that would impose stiffer penalties and restrictions on the leaders of such institutions.  [More]

Legislation Once Again Takes Stab At Allowing Borrowers To Refinance Student Loans

Legislation Once Again Takes Stab At Allowing Borrowers To Refinance Student Loans

Lawmakers have renewed their support for students buried under piles of educational debt by — yet again – introducing a bill that would allow borrowers to refinance their student loans. [More]

Countless Consumers Are Paying Off Someone Else’s Debt Because Of Default Judgments

Alan Cleaver

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]

Servicemembers At Failing For-Profit Schools Not Protected By Veterans Affairs

Servicemembers At Failing For-Profit Schools Not Protected By Veterans Affairs

When a for-profit college closes its doors, students are often left with hefty student loan tabs and little recourse. Some of those borrowers may be eligible for a discharge of their debts through the Dept. of Education, but others – like the thousands of veterans who used their GI Bill benefits to finance their education – are simply out of luck, often losing their chance to obtain a degree, thanks in part to failures within the Department of Veterans Affairs. [More]