Steven Depolo

1-In-4 Consumers Contacted By Debt Collectors Feel Threatened

More than 70 million Americans are contacted by a debt collector or creditor each year. While those debt collectors have a job — to get borrowers to repay on their overdue debts — some have used illegal tactics, such as threatening lawsuits, arrests, or contacting consumers’ employers or family members. Now, a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds that harassment by these collectors is all too common.  [More]

frankieleon

Hotels Harm Consumers By Not Including ‘Resort Fees’ In Room Rates

Staying in a hotel comes at a price — there’s the room rate, service charges, taxes, and hotels are increasingly taking on “resort fees” to cover amenities like internet access, parking, gym, spa, and pool — even if you never use them. These fees, which can significantly increase the total cost of a room, are almost never included in the advertised price and are often minimized or omitted until it comes time to actually book your stay.
[More]

frankieleon

Lawsuit: Government Illegally Garnishes Disability Benefits To Repay Student Loans

Earlier this month, a Government Accountability Office report found that $171 million was garnished from older Americans’ Social Security benefits in order to repay federal student loan debts. Now, one of those borrowers is suing several government agencies accusing them of taking money from his monthly disability checks despite the fact he was eligible for a student loan discharge.  [More]

Hammerin Man

Many For-Profit Colleges Get More Than 90% Of Funding From Federal Government

For-profit colleges operate under the so-called “90/10 Rule,” which states that a school can’t receive more than 90% of its revenue from the federal government. However, there’s a loophole that does not count certain military-related education funds — like the GI Bill — against that 90%, meaning these schools can go over that 90% threshold without violating the 90/10 Rule. And according to a new report, hundreds of for-profit schools are indeed getting nearly every dollar of their funding from taxpayers. [More]

(Daniel Lobo)

Report: $171M Garnished From Older Americans’ Social Security To Repay Student Debt In 2015

It can take years, even decades, for student loan borrowers to repay their debts. To that end, a new report has found that tens of thousands of older adults – including senior citizens – continue to be saddled with mountains of student debt later in life, often having their government benefits cut to repay the costs.  [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Labor Group: High-Pressure Sales Goals Led T-Mobile Workers To Add Services Customers Didn’t Want

Selling consumers services they don’t need is nothing new; recent examples include Wells Fargo’s fake account fiasco and Office Depot’s computer virus scanning program. Now, a labor group has filed a complaint with federal regulators accusing wireless carrier T-Mobile of using similarly aggressive sales goals, driving employees to enroll users in services they don’t actually want or never asked for.  [More]

Mike Mozart

Surgeon General: E-Cigarette Use By Young Consumers Is A “Major Public Health Threat”

Months after the Food & Drug Administration finalized rules that treat e-cigarettes like traditional cigarettes and cigars, including banning the sale to minors, a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General suggests the regulations may be too little too late, as use of the alternative tobacco products has skyrocketed among younger consumers, posing a public health threat. [More]

Tim schreier

Student Loan Repayment Programs Will Eventually Forgive $108B In Debt

While several recent reports have suggested that many student loan borrowers face needless hurdles when trying to reduce their monthly payments through the Department of Education’s income-driven repayment plans, a new study has found the programs are working and will eventually forgive $108 billion in outstanding student debt.  [More]

(funky_abstract)

New Emissions-Cheating “Defeat Device” Reportedly Found In Audi Vehicles

Volkswagen’s recently approved $15 billion settlement with the U.S. government was seen by some as the final chapter in the carmaker’s “defeat device” emissions scandal, but officials in California may have found evidence that VW used a second device to skirt carbon dioxide emissions restrictions in certain of its Audi vehicles. [More]

(Carbon Arc)

People Waste A Lot Of Time Picking What Videos To Stream; Still Prefer It To Live TV

Once upon a time, we wandered the aisles of the local video, unable to make up our mind about which movie to rent. It was a waste of time, but it was usually better than whatever was airing on TV that night. Now the technology has changed, but we still spend an awful lot of time trying to find something that isn’t live TV.
[More]

Australia's 7 News

Apple Investigating Report Of iPhone 7 Catching Fire

While we’ve heard numerous reports of Samsung smartphones and tablets overheating and catching fire — sometimes destroying property and injuring customers — now Apple is on the receiving end of at least one similar report.  [More]

Freaktography

4 Things We Learned About Why Mortgage Servicers Continue To Stink

More than two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enacted rules about the ways mortgage servicers could operate and interact with borrowers, but a new report finds that many of these servicing companies continue to go about (bad) business as usual, using failed technology that has already harmed American homeowners.
[More]

Mike Mozart

Electric Vehicles Could Cut Gasoline Demand By 20% In Next 20 Years

Part of the appeal of driving around town in an electric vehicle is that it doesn’t need gasoline, and thus, is better for the environment. But there’s one thing all of these vehicles aren’t good for: gasoline demand.  [More]

MeneerDijk

Education Department Recommends Troubled College Accreditor’s Recognition Be Revoked

After weeks of urging from lawmakers, consumer advocates, and others, staff with the Department of Education recommended the termination of federal recognition for the accrediting body that ignored red flags at failed for-profit educator Corinthian Colleges and allowed billions in federal aid to go to schools under investigation. [More]

fblumongoose

Report: Accreditor Allowed $5.7B In Federal Funds To Go To Schools Under Investigation

Less than a week after California’s Attorney General urged the Department of Education to revoke federal recognition of Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) following its continued approval of for-profit education chain Corinthian Colleges Inc. up until the day the now defunct schools closed their doors, a new report reveals ACICS’s “pattern” of providing approval to schools with bad track records, resulting in the funneling of more than $6 billion in federal funds to those schools.  [More]

frankieleon

Scientists Suggest Zika Virus Can Be Transmitted Via Oral Sex

While health officials continue looking for a cure for the Zika virus, scientists are considering the possibility that the mosquito-borne illness could also be sexually transmitted from human to human. [More]

fblumongoose

Graduation Rates: The Telltale Sign Of Success Or Indicator Of Failure?

For millions of students, attending college is a means to a better life: more job prospects, and higher earnings over a lifetime. While students who enroll and graduate from an institution of higher learning often reach those goals — despite graduating with thousands of dollars in loan debt – millions of others never graduate and face mounting financial obstacles. [More]