Two years ago, we told you about the not-at-all a discount retailer called USA Discounters that targeted active-duty servicemembers, and not only trapped a number of them in high-cost installment payment plans but then sued customers who fell behind, knowing it was highly unlikely the customer would ever be able to defend themselves. Since then, the company has changed its name, only to go bankrupt, but that hasn’t stopped prosecutors from coming after it. Today, the defunct retailer reached a multi-state settlement deal that could result in USA Discounters customers receiving millions of dollars in forgiven debt. [More]
Today is the day when we as a country take time to pause, appreciate and honor the veterans and active service members who have served our country. As part of that show of gratitude, many retailers are offering up freebies or deals for veterans as thanks — from free coffee to free haircuts.
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]
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]
For-profit college chains like the University of Phoenix spend a lot of time and money recruiting active-duty military personnel. But the school has come under fire in recent months for allegedly crossing some legal lines in its efforts to attract students from the armed forces. Yesterday, Phoenix’s parent company revealed that the school is currently barred from recruiting on U.S. military installations, and that Department of Defense tuition assitance funds can not be used to pay for classes for new students. [More]
Last May, investigations by the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation into student loans servicing resulted in a $100 million fine against government-contracted servicer Navient for allegedly violating federal laws limiting the amount of interest that can be charged on servicemember student loans. Following those investigations, the Department of Education undertook a review that found its four servicers – including Navient – weren’t cheating military personnel. With such conflicting reports, members of Congress are now getting involved, calling for an investigation into the Dept. of Education’s review process. [More]
It’s no secret that for-profit colleges receive a large chunk of their revenue from military education benefits. To deter unscrupulous for-profit colleges from unfairly targeting these prospective students, the government has imposed several limitations on just how these companies can recruit servicemembers. But a new report shows that one of the nation’s largest proprietary education institutions – The University of Phoenix – spends millions of dollars to allegedly skirt those rules. [More]
Senators Introduce Legislation To Close Federal Funding Loophole Exploited By For-Profit Colleges… Again
Legislators continued their crusade to rein in the abuses of predatory for-profit college institutions by introducing a measure today that would close a funding loophole that often led the schools to target certain consumers in order to pad their bottom line. [More]
By now it should come as no surprise that lenders shelling out thousands of dollars to help consumers make purchases for things like houses and cars often use lies and threats in attempts to recoup those funds. And while those tactics might result in some payments, they will also likely draw the ire of federal regulators. [More]
It’s understandable that some establishments use a dress code to maintain a certain atmosphere, but one New York City hotel is now apologizing after an employee enforced a strict set of clothing rules for the hotel’s popular rooftop bar, reportedly refusing to allow a Navy officer in because she was in uniform.
CFPB: Retailer Allegedly Using Illegal Debt Collection Practices Against Servicemembers Must Refund $2.5M
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues its fight against companies that continuously take advantage of members of the military, despite protections afforded to them under federal laws. Regulators’ latest victory? A settlement demanding over $2.5 million in consumer relief from three companies that allegedly used illegal tactics to pilfer money from servicemembers and their families. [More]
The next time you’re staring down a cheesy, hot, delicious piece of pizza right, remind yourself to be thankful how easy you’ve got it. Not everyone has access to pizza wherever they are, including the U.S. military. But thanks to a stalwart team of researchers bent on bringing pizza to soldiers, that could change in the near future. [More]
It’s hard to believe some higher education institutions deceptively target veterans and servicemembers, but it does happen. To better ensure veterans’ and servicemembers’ input is being heard the federal government has launched a new reporting system to streamline consumer complaint investigations.
Urban Outfitters and its sibling store, Anthropologie, have never been paragons of honor and good taste. Someone’s always accusing the company of ripping off an independent designer here, promoting underage drinking, drug abuse, and eating disorders there, and the occasional $400 racist trope candlestick. This week, however, they managed to anger some of the most elite and badass fighting men in the world by slapping a mock Army Rangers scroll on an $84 vest. [More]
In spite of the Military Lending Act, a law intended to prevent predatory lenders from gouging military personnel with exorbitant interest rates and mountains of fees, some of these lenders have figured out ways to work around the very specific limits of the law, targeting active-duty service members with loans that are almost indistinguishable from the ones forbidden by the Act. [More]
Anyone who has attended a public university probably knew at least one or two out-of-state students who gamed the system to get the much lower in-state tuition price. But an Army vet who has owned a home in North Carolina since 2006, says the state’s university system told her she had lived outside the Tarheel State for too long to qualify for the discounted education. [More]