- Student-Loan Probe Widens
Wall Street Journal 14 Jan 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in cooperation with attorneys general in 32 states, is tightening the screws on sketchy student lending practices at for-profit colleges.
- Richmond Seeks Partners for Plan to Seize Mortgages Using Eminent Domain
Modesto Bee (California) 13 Jan 2014
In California, Richmond City Council members have failed to garner the supermajority of votes needed to enact a controversial plan that would use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages and reduce the amounts borrowers owe. Now, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and council members who support the plan are trying a different tactic.
- In 15 States, Deeply Underwater Foreclosures Still Reign
Washington Post 13 Jan 2014
Although the residential real estate market is slowly improving, weak spots continue to linger. In 15 states, RealtyTrac reports that the share of "deeply underwater" foreclosures was greater than ...
- Subprime Auto Market Heats Up, Loan Standards Weaken
American Banker 13 Jan 2014
A new report from Moody's on the auto finance sector indicates that lenders are loosening their underwriting criteria as demand for vehicles grows. In particular, they are approving more poor-credit borrowers, with the volume of subprime auto loans climbing 9 percent at credit unions and 1 percent at banks during the third quarter.
- Settlement Checks to Be Issued to 23,000 Auto Title Loan Customers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) 12 Jan 2014
Checks stemming from Wisconsin Auto Title Loans' $2.75 million settlement should start making their way into the mailboxes of about 23,000 customers next month. Borrowers were tricked or forced into paying for memberships that Wisconsin Auto Title Loans sold alongside short-term loans.
- Federal Consumer Agency Ponders Its Next Crusades
New York Times 10 Jan 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made strides in recent months, winning billions of dollars in settlements from bad actors in the financial sector and putting in place new mortgage ...
- Wall Street Predicts $50 Billion Bill to Settle U.S. Mortgage Suits
New York Times 10 Jan 2014
Wall Street banks anticipate that they will have to pay almost $50 billion to ease the scrutiny of federal authorities investigating their role in the mortgage meltdown, according to a confidential analysis of the industry's potential legal exposure.
- New Mortgage Rules Aim to Protect Home Buyers, Owners
Washington Post 10 Jan 2014
New rules take effect on Jan. 10 to protect U.S. borrowers from the kind of abusive lending that helped cripple the housing market six years ago. Despite industry concern that the changes will shut lower-income and other Americans out of the opportunity to buy a home, experts say the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's mandates will cultivate sustainable homeownership by lending only to consumers who have the ability to repay their mortgage.
- Warner Proposes Prepaid Fee Disclosure Bill
American Banker 10 Jan 2014
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has introduced the Prepaid Card Disclosure Act of 2014, which would demand greater transparency from banks about prepaid card fees. If passed, the bill would require that issuers provide consumers with a schedule of basic fees and possible charges before they purchase a card.
- FTC Cracks Down on Deceptive Auto Dealer Ads
USA Today 09 Jan 2014
Nine U.S. auto dealers with operations in six states have agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as part of the agency's campaign against shady dealer advertising. The dealers allegedly made misrepresentations such as deceptive low-payment deals; and some advertised zero-down finance deals that, in fact, carried sizable fees.
- Four Oaks Bank Agrees to $1M Fine to Settle DOJ Suit
WRAL.com 09 Jan 2014
In North Carolina, Four Oaks Bank has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle accusations that it and its parent company allowed illegal activity in its accounts tied to payday lending. The proposed deal -- which still needs court approval -- requires the bank to help federal authorities in possible criminal investigations of its executives, board members, and customers.
- CFPB May Revisit Small Bank QM Exemptions
American Banker 08 Jan 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may look at widening exemptions for small lenders from its qualified mortgage rule taking effect on Jan. 10, said agency head Richard Cordray. During a discussion hosted by the National Association of Realtors on Jan. 7, Cordray said the CFPB tried to design the exemption to avoid burdening smaller lenders but was willing to tweak the requirements once the agency determines the rule's impact.
- Minnesota Sues Edina Debt Firm Over Interest Charges
TwinCities.com 08 Jan 2014
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has filed suit against Edina-based Bradstreet and Associates, accusing the debt collection firm of charging up to 21.75 percent interest on consumer debt -- far more than the maximum 6 percent allowed under state law. Swanson said Bradstreet has bought $18 million of debt from U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo -- two of the biggest banks in the state -- since 2009. It has obtained court-ordered judgments against 2,300 Minnesota consumers, but as many as 16,000 state residents could be affected.
- JPMorgan Fails to Throw Out California Debt Collection Case
Bloomberg Businessweek 08 Jan 2014
California Superior Court Judge Jane L. Johnson in Los Angeles has rejected JPMorgan Chase's bid to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it illegally tried to collect credit card debt from about 100,000 borrowers.
- Foreclosures to Increase as US Housing Recovers
Live Trading News 07 Jan 2014
RealtyTrac predicts that foreclosures will increase as the housing market recovers, mainly because lenders will accelerate the foreclosure process to take advantage of higher prices and more willing and able buyers.
- CFPB Releases New Consumer Resources to Better Handle Rule Changes
National Mortgage Professional 07 Jan 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made more resources available to consumers related to the new protections afforded by its mortgage rules. The educational materials include sample letters that consumers can send to their mortgage servicers to request information or to correct an error.