- Foreclosure Mitigation Programs Assist 1.8M Homeowners
Housing Wire 08 Nov 2013
The White House's foreclosure mitigation programs continue to help millions of U.S. homeowners amid a robust residential real estate industry. Since it launched four years ago, the Making Home Affordable Program has helped more than 1.8 million Americans
- Debt Collectors' Use of Social Media Examined
Reuters 07 Nov 2013
As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) considers new rules for the debt collection industry, it may train its scrutiny on text messages and social media used to pursue delinquent borrowers.
- Judge Allows Overdraft Lawsuit Against Umpqua Bank in California to Proceed
Oregon Live 07 Nov 2013
U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar in California has allowed a class-action lawsuit over Umpqua Bank's overdraft fee practices to proceed to trial, but only after tossing out many of the plaintiffs' legal claims.
- How to Overhaul the Student-Loan System
Wall Street Journal 07 Nov 2013
In-state tuition, room, and board at four-year state schools have increased 34 percent over the past decade, adjusted for inflation, while average family income has fallen. Borrowing for college is considered a good investment, but it is still risky; about 15 percent of borrowers are in default three years after graduating. One way to help reduce debt among college grads would be to tie repayment to income -- meaning that the more that borrowers earn, the faster they pay back loans.
- Utah Mortgage Lender Fined for Steering Customers Into Costlier Loans
Denver Post 07 Nov 2013
Utah-based Castle & Cooke Mortgage, which has a presence in nearly two dozen states, is accused of handing out 1,100 quarterly bonuses to 215 loan officers as a reward for signing customers up for more expensive loans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on Nov. 7.
- FTC Approves Changes to Vocational Schools Guides
Imperial Valley News 07 Nov 2013
In response to public feedback that it solicited in 2009, the Federal Trade Commission has updated its literature warning against deceptive marketing practices in the vocational training sector.
- Small Banks Cautiously Ramp Up Fees
Wall Street Journal 07 Nov 2013
Small lenders seeking ways to soften the blow from a combination of low interest rates, lackluster loan growth, and growing regulatory costs have been raising some "avoidable fees" on services such as stop-payment orders, bounced checks, wire transfers, and money orders.
- MortgageIT to Pay $12.1 Million in Mortgage Discrimination Settlement
American Banker 06 Nov 2013
MortgageIT, a former Deutsche Bank unit, has reached a $12.1 million settlement to resolve claims that it discriminated against African-American and Hispanic home loan applicants. The Department of Housing and Urban Development alleged that MortgageIT charged black and Hispanic borrowers higher interest rates and fees, while also rejecting a disproportionate number of their mortgage applications -- a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
- Citizens Ending Fees for Small Overdrafts
Boston Globe 06 Nov 2013
RBS Citizens Bank has announced its intent to eliminate overdraft charges for withdrawals of less than $5, reducing the chances of egregious fees for people who make small purchases with debit cards.
- CFPB Now Taking Payday Loan Complaints
Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH) 06 Nov 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Nov. 6 confirmed that it now accepts payday loan gripes from consumers. The bureau is the first federal agency to have supervisory authority over the payday industry. It will field consumer complaints related to unexpected fees or interest, unauthorized or incorrect bank-account charges, receipt of loans for which the consumer did not apply, and failure to deliver loans.
- Owner of AZ Mortgage Firm Settles Fraud Cause With AG's Office
Phoenix Business Journal 06 Nov 2013
Stan Nii-Addo Allotey Jr., the owner of Arizona-based Mortgage Relief Group, has settled a consumer fraud case with Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne for $90,000. Under the terms of the agreement, he has been barred from conducting related business operations. Allotey and Mortgage Relief allegedly misled consumers into paying loan-modification service fees that ranged from $995 to $3,245, as well as upfront fees, by misrepresenting the ability to prevent foreclosure.
- Stricter Debt-Collection Rules in the Works
Philadelphia Inquirer 06 Nov 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is soliciting public input on its planned revamp of U.S. debt collection standards. The new guidelines will try to balance a business' right to be repaid with consumer concerns over abusive collector tactics.
- Richmond's Program to Prevent Foreclosures Spreads
Richmond Confidential (CA) 06 Nov 2013
A controversial plan to fend off foreclosures in Richmond, Calif., has piqued the interest of municipal officials in Oakland and other markets across the state. And, according to Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, as many as 18 cities nationwide -- including Seattle, Baltimore, and New York -- are exploring similar "eminent domain" strategies for combating foreclosures.
- Ally Financial Warns of Auto-Lending Probe
Wall Street Journal 06 Nov 2013
Ally Financial Inc. disclosed this week in a regulatory filing that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is increasing its scrutiny over its auto lending practices. The agency has notified Ally that it had not taken adequate steps to prevent auto dealers from violating laws against lending bias, according to the filing.
- U.S. Takes Aim at 'Forced' Insurance
Wall Street Journal 05 Nov 2013
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will bar mortgage companies from accepting payments to arrange force-place homeowners' insurance, government officials have announced.
- CFPB Continues Crackdown on Auto Lending Industry
American Banker 05 Nov 2013
Several auto lenders being probed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for potential fair lending violations are being referred to the Department of Justice, sources say. Sources said at least three lenders, which have not been publicly identified, have been notified by the CFPB about the referral.
- FICO Lets Lenders Share Credit Scores with Customers for Free
American Banker 05 Nov 2013
FICO announced Nov. 4 that it is teaming up with lenders to publish consumers' scores in their statements. The project, FICO Score Open Access, also will tell borrowers the primary two factors that influenced their ratings.
- Banks Offering Mortgages With Only 5% Down Payments
CNN Money 05 Nov 2013
Banks like TD Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo are loosening their purse strings and are offering loans with down payments that are as low as 5 percent.
- Student Loan Nightmare: The 15-Year Barrier
MainStreet 05 Nov 2013
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has proposed that members be allowed to offer student loans with repayment terms longer than the current limit. "The 15-year standard student loan made sense in years past when the total debt taken out was much lower," said CUNA Executive Vice President Paul Gentile. "Now students are borrowing more. They need more time to pay off these loans."
- New Student Loan Rules Add Protections for Borrowers
New York Times 05 Nov 2013
The U.S. Department of Education has issued final rules that advocates say will make it easier for borrowers of federal student loans to get out of default, repay the debt, and qualify for additional assistance.