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January 2020

CFPB sues Citizens Bank for allegedly improperly handling credit card disputes

Citizens Bank is being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for allegedly violating the federal Truth in Lending Act and other consumer protection laws by failing to properly manage and respond to credit card disputes. The lawsuit alleges that Citizens automatically denied consumers’ billing error notices and claims of unauthorized use in some cases. It also alleges that Citizens,  the second-largest retail bank in the Pittsburgh region, failed to fully refund finance charges and fees when consumers had valid disputes or fraud claims. In addition, the CFPB charges Citizens failed to send consumers required acknowledgement letters and denial notices in response to billing error notices. Read more →

Majority of people traveling internationally for health care received dental treatment, survey shows

Twenty-one percent of people enrolled in health insurance are willing to travel internationally for care, while 60 percent of those who have already done it received dental treatment, according a survey released Wednesday by eHealth Inc., an internet health insurance exchange. “Dental insurance is often overlooked by consumers shopping for health coverage, but according to some estimates the cost of dental care has increased 90% since the year 2000,” said Seth Teich, senior vice president and general manager for individual and family plans at eHealth. “Our survey results shed light on Americans’ willingness to travel for affordable dental care, but they also illustrate the importance of getting the right dental insurance for your needs, and understanding how that coverage works.” Read more →

Five tips for when mobility starts to decline

As you get older, you may notice that the stairs are getting more difficult to climb or it’s harder to get in and out of your vehicle. Some people may start dreading going places because of their mobility issues. As your mobility declines, your risk of falling increases. One in four Americans over the age of 65 fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these falls are preventable. Read more →

Baby boomers on inspiration, admiration, well-being, and leisure

The boomers in our blogging groups have been busy this week, except for Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting. Baer spent the week cruising the Caribbean, and now that she’s back home she’s adjusting to the colder weather and returning to everyday life – restocking the fridge, cooking, cleaning, and endless laundry. Meanwhile, her fellow boomers wrote a group of articles that are informative, entertaining, and interesting. They’re are writing about: Stress-related back pain. Salad in a jar, a quick, portable, healthy, easy lunch. Back to basics to alleviate loneliness. Harry and Meghan’s new lives. Winners of 2019 Movies for Grownup awards. Creativity myths and how to destroy them. Read more →

Pressure washers recalled by STILH due to injury hazard

STIHL is recalling about 16,400 RE 90 pressure washers. The pressure washer nozzle can disconnect from the spray wand when under pressure during use, posing an injury hazard. STIHL has received seven reports of the nozzle detaching from the spray wand during use. No injuries have been reported. This recall involves the spray wand supplied with STIHL RE 90 pressure washers. The pressure washer is gray and orange with “STIHL RE 90” printed on the front. The recalled spray wand is 15-inches long and attaches to the spray gun.  Interchangeable nozzles connect to the spray wand. Read more →

Highest court should support federal consumer financial agency and consumer protection, attorneys general say

Twenty-four attorneys general want to make sure that states can continue to benefit from tools under Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act that help them protect consumers from fraud and abusive consumers practices. In an amicus brief filed Thursday in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the attorneys general argue that the U.S. Supreme Court should preserve the CFPB and other significant consumer protections provided by Title X. “Following the Great Recession, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created as an independent enforcer of consumer protection laws to ensure that consumers could never again be so egregiously defrauded, deceived, or misled by private companies,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. Read more →

AARP’s winning 2019 movies for its Movies for Grownups awards

It’s that time of year. I’m on my annual movie watching marathon so I can write about the Academy Awards for movies made in 2019. So far, I like “1917” for best movie. I haven’t seen “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” “Ford v Ferrari,” or “Joker” yet. AARP The Magazine’s 19th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards were held Saturday in Beverly Hills, celebrating 2019’s standout films with unique appeal to moviegoers 50-plus and recognizing the inspiring artists who make them. 19th Annual Movies for Grownups awards winners Career Achievement: Annette Bening Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups: “The Irishman” Best Actress: Renée Zellweger for “Judy” Best Actor: Adam Sandler for “Uncut Gems” Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern for “Marriage Story” Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hanks for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” Best Director: Martin Scorsese for “The Irishman” Best Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach for “Marriage Story” Best Ensemble: “Knives Out” Best Intergenerational Film: “The Farewell” Best Foreign Language Film: “Pain and Glory” – Spain Readers’ Choice: “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” Best Time Capsule: “Harriet” Read more →

Crystal Geyser pleads guilty to storing and transporting wastewater contaminated with arsenic

CG Roxane, the parent company of bottle water producer Crystal Geyser, has pleaded guilty to federal charges of illegally storing and transporting hazardous waste created from filtering arsenic out of spring water at its facility in Olancha, California. In a plea agreement recently filed in U.S. District Court, CG Roxane agreed to pay a criminal fine of $5 million. CG Roxane obtained water by drawing groundwater from the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that contained naturally occurring arsenic, according to court documents. The company used sand filters to reduce the concentration of arsenic so the water would meet federal drinking water standards. To maintain the effectiveness of the sand filters, CG Roxane back-flushed the filters with a sodium hydroxide solution, which generated thousands of gallons of arsenic-contaminated wastewater. For about 15 years, CG Roxane discharged the arsenic-contaminated wastewater into a manmade pond – called “the Arsenic Pond” – at its Olancha facility along Highway 395. Read more →

Best wishes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Over the years, I’ve written more than a dozen articles for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They included his most famous quotes, how a day to celebrate King was finally approved, and how it’s a day of service, not a day off. But one of ones I liked the best was on King’s commitment to eliminating poverty. I found it when I did research on what were King’s thoughts about consumers. In his last book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” written in 1967, King said programs to improve housing and education and to offer counseling to families were sporadically funded and uncoordinated. And, in addition, he said such programs are indirect. Each seeks to solve poverty by first solving something else. King supported a guaranteed income for all Americans in his book. Read more →

Baby boomers enjoying the New Year and making plans for 2020

Last week, I was fortunate to be able to attend a conference in San Diego on women’s history. Sponsored by the National Women’s History Alliance, an organization that promotes women’s history, the conference featured discussions on how to plan activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary this year of women getting the vote in 1920. The Washington delegation offered a presentation on “From Bloomers to Short Shorts: A Brief History of the Right to Wear Pants.” I portrayed Fay Fuller, who, in 1890, was the first known woman to climb Mount Rainier. Boomer bloggers in the Best of Boomer Blogs are also writing about what’s up for 2020: Read more →