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June 2020
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August 2020

July 2020

Two mortgage companies that sent deceptive loan ads to servicemembers and veterans settle with CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a consent order Friday against Sovereign Lending Group Inc., a mortgage lender in about 44 states and the District of Columbia. Sovereign offers mortgage loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Sovereign’s main advertising is through direct-mail campaigns targeted mostly at U.S. military servicemembers and veterans. Sovereign sent consumers hundreds of thousands of mailers for VA-guaranteed mortgages that contained false, misleading, and inaccurate statements or that lacked required disclosures in violation of federal laws and rules. Read more →

Cars, home improvement top the list of consumer complaints for 2019, survey shows

Problems with car sales and repairs and home improvement and construction once again topped the list of complaints reported to state and local consumer agencies across the country, according to an annual survey by the Consumer Federation of America. “When the used car you just bought breaks down or your new roof leaks, who are you going to call? asked Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy for CFA. “It’s your state or local consumer agency.” Grant conducted the survey, which included participation by 31 agencies from 19 states this year. It asked about the most common, the fastest-growing, and the worst complaints agencies received in 2019. Top 10 complaints in 2019 These are the complaints most frequently cited as the top problems reported to state and local consumer agencies last year. Read more →

Pandemic continues to alter lives of baby boomers

One of the big things that’s been canceled in my life due to the pandemic is all the celebrations that were being planned in my community to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning the vote in the United States. Events and parades have been canceled. So, some scenes with themes were organized around town last week. A videographer recorded the them and I took photos. It was fun to get out and at least have some opportunity to celebrate this important event. Here’s what boomers are writing about during pandemic times: Read more →

Off-road and utility vehicles are being recalled by Polaris due to crash hazard

Polaris is recalling about 13,200 off road and utility vehicles in the United States and 515 units in Canada. An improperly manufactured clutch component can cause the engine braking feature to fail, resulting in unexpected vehicle motion, posing a crash hazard. The firm has received 14 reports of unexpected motion or drive clutch locking, including one report of a crash resulting in property damage. No injuries have been reported. Read more →

Consumer groups ask for review of FCC ruling that would allow millions more text messages and calls to cellphones

Consumer groups filed an appeal on behalf of low-income consumers with the Federal Communications Commission Friday of a ruling by the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau that federal protections against unwanted text messages don’t apply to peer-to-peer text messaging systems, systems where the text message is sent by a person. The calling industry is already citing the ruling as a basis to exempt all text messages and autodialed voice calls from the federal prohibition against making these calls without the consumer’s consent.   “Such an interpretation would lead to an exponential growth in unsolicited calls and text messages from both telemarketers and political campaigns,” said Margot Saunders, senior counsel with the National Consumer Law Center. “Now more than ever, as consumers face mounting pressures from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as we’re entering the peak election season, the FCC must protect consumers from unwanted and harassing text messages rather than bowing to political pressure to allow these unwanted texts without consent.” Read more →

Most Americans think owners should be able to deny service to those who don’t social distance, and a majority say they’re taking precautions in public spaces, survey shows

A majority of Americans, 75 percent, support states enacting legislation giving business owners the right to deny service to customers who don’t social distance, including 53 percent who strongly support the measures, according to a survey from Consumer Reports, a consumer testing and advocacy organization. About one in six oppose... Read more →

21 attorneys general file lawsuit against Trump administration for limiting the state's regulatory authority under Clean Water Act

Twenty-one attorneys general filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule limiting state authority under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. For more than three decades, the EPA has said that Section 401 provides states with the authority to approve, impose conditions on, or deny certification for federally permitted projects. However, as directed by President Trump’s April 2019 executive order, the EPA issued a final rule altering its water quality certification regulations to restrict state authority under the Clean Water Act. In the lawsuit, the coalition argues that the final rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act and Clean Water Act and needs to be vacated. “Once again, the Trump Administration is attempting to undermine the Clean Water Act – this time by limiting longstanding state authority to protect our waters from degradation tied to federally-approved projects,” said California Attorney General Becerra. “President Trump fails to understand that he doesn’t get to rewrite the rules just because he doesn’t like them. We’re going to court to make sure the rules are followed. It’s a lesson most of us learned in grade school.” Read more →

Drownings up significantly in June at Army Corps recreation areas so use caution in July, usually when the most deaths occur

More than 30 people lost their lives to drowning in June at lake and river projects managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This a 47 percent increase in drownings over June last year. Nearly all the drowning victims were adult males between the ages of 18 and 85, who weren’t wearing a life jacket at the time of the drowning. "With some public beaches and community pools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finding more people this summer are swimming, wading, floating, and playing in open water areas (lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.) not designated for swimming," said Pam Doty, manager for the USACE’s National Water Safety Program. "Unfortunately, these areas are associated with hidden dangers that swimmers may not be aware of including waves, currents, drop-offs, underwater obstructions and others."   July is the month when the agency normally sees the most water-related accidents and fatalities so there is even more reason to be concerned this year, Doty said. Read more →

Baby boomers comment on covid-19 restrictions and other things going on in their lives

It’s week 18 of covid-19 restrictions for many of us. I dawned on me the second week in March that I should be staying home. I had been walking in the mall during the winter, but I thought heading there wouldn’t be wise. I’d ride my stationary bicycle for exercise... Read more →

Snowmobiles are being recalled by Polaris due to fire hazard

Polaris is recalling about 41,200 Model Year 2015-2020 AXYS Trail Performance and Crossover snowmobiles in the United States and about 16,100 in Canada. The fuel hose can be improperly secured, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Polaris has received 13 reports of the fuel hose problem. No fires or injuries have been reported. Read more →