Steven Depolo

Banks Making $17B A Year From Fees For Overdrafts & Insufficient Funds

Overdrafting your checking account might only hit you for $35, but when that happens a few hundred million times each year, it really adds up. A new report estimates that banks in the U.S. are now making $17 billion a year from fees for overdrafts and insufficient funds.
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David H

4 Tips From Contractors To Keep Your Home Remodel From Spiraling Out Of Control

When preparing to give your home a little facelift — inside, outside, or otherwise — most of us will probably seek out the assistance of a professional. But finding someone to complete your renovation on time, on budget, and to your liking can be more difficult than it seems, especially when you consider that the construction industry is currently dealing with a labor shortage.  [More]

C x 2

Online Payday Lenders Could Be Worse Than Traditional Payday Lenders

The typical outsider’s view of payday lending involves seedy looking storefront shops in strip malls near pawn shops and bail bonds, so the idea of going to a short-term lender with a cleanly designed, professional website might seem more appealing (not to mention convenient). However, a new report finds that online payday loans may wreak more financial havoc than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts. [More]

Hammerin Man

Servicemembers Twice As Likely To Submit Complaints About Unsavory Debt Collection Practices

While millions of Americans are no strangers to questionable debt-collection practices, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that the men and women in the armed forces are twice as likely than their civilian counterparts to file a complaint when a collector crosses the line.
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Banks Turned Account Overdraft Fees Into $11.16B In Revenue Last Year

Banks Turned Account Overdraft Fees Into $11.16B In Revenue Last Year

Banks with more than $1 billion in assets now need to report on how much revenue they bring in from overdraft fees and other charges. The first report on those numbers shows that banks made $11.6 billion last year from customers who overdrew their accounts.
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FCC: Cable Internet Is Getting Faster, But DSL & Satellite Still Likely To Miss The Mark

FCC: Cable Internet Is Getting Faster, But DSL & Satellite Still Likely To Miss The Mark

The FCC’s job — well, one of the FCC’s jobs — is to make sure that everyone has access to decent broadband connections. You can’t understand what you can’t measure, though, so as part of that, the commission has to measure just how broadband is holding up. They issue a report, called Measuring Broadband America, roughly once a year to share their findings. The new one, the fifth, has just been released and while there’s still a lot of room for improvement, on the whole it seems to be a high note on which to end the year. [More]

Fiat Chrysler To Pay $70M For Allegedly Failing To Disclose Crash Deaths & Injuries

Fiat Chrysler To Pay $70M For Allegedly Failing To Disclose Crash Deaths & Injuries

Fiat Chrysler will pay a $70 million fine to federal regulators over allegations it under-reported injuries and deaths related to vehicle crashes.  [More]

Report: VW Failed To Disclose One Death, Three Injuries To Federal Regulator Database

Report: VW Failed To Disclose One Death, Three Injuries To Federal Regulator Database

Last month it was reported that Volkswagen may have skirted rules that require car manufacturers to report death and injury claims to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A new analysis of the regulator’s database and lawsuits filed against the company show it failed to report at least one death and three injuries involving its vehicles.  [More]

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyjcase/8734645882)

Nation’s Biggest Employment Background Screeners Must Pay $13M Over Inaccurate Reports

Before offering a prospective employee a job, many companies will first perform a background check. As with credit reports, any inaccuracies in these transcripts can affect an applicant’s eligibility for employment. To that end, federal regulators have ordered two of the country’s largest employment background screening report providers to pay $13 million in penalties and refunds for providing inaccurate information.  [More]

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/elpresidente408/5475018929)

Study Claims 43% Of “Wild” Salmon In Stores & Restaurants Isn’t Wild At All

That wild salmon entrée calling to you from the menu at dinner might not be all it’s advertised. In fact a new study released Wednesday found evidence of mislabeling in nearly half of all salmon sold in restaurants and grocery stores.  [More]

(Donkey Hotey)

Student Loan Debt For Recent College Graduates Increases Again

With college tuition prices continuing to rise, you might assume that college students are entering the real world with more debt on their shoulders.  According to a new report, that assumption would be correct.
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(Jason Cook)

Borrowers With Federal Student Loans Made By Private Lenders At Greater Risk For Default

Consumers who took out federal student loans through private lenders are more likely to default on their debts than their counterparts who received federal loans through the Department of Education, in part because these borrowers have difficulty obtaining adequate information on repayment options.  [More]

Report: VW May Have Underreported Deaths, Injuries Related To Vehicle Accidents

Report: VW May Have Underreported Deaths, Injuries Related To Vehicle Accidents

Car manufacturers are required under law to report death and injury claims to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those figures allow the regulatory agency to identify potentially fatal and dangerous defects. In the last year, the federal agency has investigated reporting inaccuracies related to Honda and Fiat Chrysler. Now, a new report shows that Volkswagen – in the midst of an emissions scandal – may have underreported deaths and injuries relate to its vehicles.  [More]

Regulators Accuse Fiat Chrysler Of “Widely Under-Reported” Deaths Related To Vehicle Accidents

Regulators Accuse Fiat Chrysler Of “Widely Under-Reported” Deaths Related To Vehicle Accidents

After being fined $105 million by federal regulators for their leisurely pace in fixing more than 11 million vehicles connected to 23 safety recalls, Fiat Chrysler’s recall woes haven’t magically disappeared. Instead, it appears they may be intensifying, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today accused the carmaker of widely under-reporting the number of deaths in accidents involving its vehicles. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Health Group Challenges E-Cig Makers After Tests Find High Levels Of Toxic Chemicals In Most Products

A health watchdog group took legal action against some of the country’s largest e-cigarette manufacturers for failing to properly warn consumers about the risk of such products after tests show that most produce high levels of toxic chemicals. [More]

CarMax Plays “Used Car Recall Roulette” By Selling Potentially Dangerous Vehicles

CarMax Plays “Used Car Recall Roulette” By Selling Potentially Dangerous Vehicles

During the height of recallopalooza 2014, a coalition of consumer advocacy groups raised concerns about CarMax, alleging that the nation’s largest used vehicle seller was misleading customers with claims of “Quality Certified” cars and “125+ point” inspections while not revealing that some cars had been recalled for safety issues that had not yet been repaired.  More than a year later, a new report shows that CarMax is continuing this practice, which one legislator has dubbed “used car recall roulette.” [More]

(The.Comedian)

Auto Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion For First Time; All Consumer Debt Nearing $12 Trillion

Now that the Great Recession has gone from “is it really over?” to “remember when?” more Americans are buying cars, pushing auto loan debt beyond the $1 trillion mark for the first time in U.S. history. [More]

Why Didn’t Dept. Of Education Find Problems With Loan Servicer Fined $100M?

Why Didn’t Dept. Of Education Find Problems With Loan Servicer Fined $100M?

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]