One of President Donald Trump’s big goals when he was elected was to cut regulations and reduce the size of the federal government. Trump claimed when campaigning that regulations were harmful to American businesses and Wall Street.
Predatory lenders will take advantage of new federal rule allowing higher interest rates, consumer group says
The True Lender Rule, which questions the power of state governments to regulate interest rate limits, will unleash predatory lending in 50 states. The rule, approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, would protect predatory, nonbank lenders from state enforcement.
Consumer coronavirus complaints to the Federal Trade Commission have grown to more than 200,000, with more than $140 million in fraud losses. Since the coronavirus outbreak began, the top complaint categories are online shopping, travel, credit cards, banks and lenders, and credit bureaus.
I should have been more prepared. The Australians warned us. The wildfires they experienced during their summer fire season were the worst in history. But here I am. Not only staying home due to covid-19, but now, I have to stay inside due to smoky air from wildfires throughout the West Coast.
TD Bank agreed to a settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the sale of its optional overdraft service, Debit Card Advance or DCA. TD Bank operates about 1,250 locations, primarily across the East Coast. The consent order requires TD Bank to provide $97 million in restitution to about 1.42 million consumers and to pay a penalty of $25 million, the bank and CFPB announced Thursday. The CFPB found that TD Bank charged consumers overdraft fees for ATM and one-time debit card transactions without obtaining their consent. It also found that when presenting DCA to new customers, TD Bank deceptively claimed DCA was a “free” service or that it was a “feature” that “comes with” new consumer-checking accounts.
Three attorneys general have filed a lawsuit challenging the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s recently announced rule that exempts buyers of high-interest loans from state interest-rate caps. The OCC rule takes aim at state laws that protect consumers from predatory lenders. Under existing federal law, federally regulated banks are exempt from state interest-rate caps. The OCC’s rule extends these exemptions to any lender that buys loans that are originated by an exempt federal bank. The rule worsens the problem of “rent-a-bank” schemes, in which predatory lenders partner with banks that act as the lender in name only so that the predatory lenders can evade state interest-rate caps.
Students at colleges and universities are being targeted by a work-at-home employment scam through emails that appear to be sent from a college or university. The scammers obtain personal information from the student while posing as a college or university representative. They convince students to cash counterfeit checks and send them the money.
If you’re unable to make your mortgage payments due to the coronavirus pandemic, you could lose your home to foreclosure. Federal lenders and some private lenders are offering borrowers temporary help, such as stopping or delaying foreclosure or modifying the mortgage. However, these measures aren’t available for everyone. If you need help, research the options available. The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips for navigating the process. Learn about new relief for federally backed mortgage The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES offers two protections for some borrowers. To be eligible, you need to have a federally backed mortgage and be having financial hardship due to the coronavirus. The options include:
Corporate leaders and conservative shock jocks pressure Trump to open the economy soon, report shows
A group of billionaires, corporate executives, and conservative commentators has been urging the rollback of social distancing recommendations, despite public health warnings, a Public Citizen report shows. In arguing for a return to economic “normalcy,” the group ignores the devastating health consequences of its recommendations and the difficulty of returning to normal while the coronavirus pandemic rages on. Public health experts have made it clear that by adhering to social distancing recommendations and requirements, Americans will prevent the crisis from becoming a catastrophe. One study warns that inadequate action could result in the deaths of 2.2 million Americans from the virus. However, after a mid-March meeting with Wall Street executives, President Donald Trump held a press conference to announce he intended to push for a hastened end to the social distancing measures. Since then, a number of big business executives and conservative media joined the call, forcing the government’s top public health officials to intervene to postpone Trump’s rushed coronavirus deadline.
Federal financial agency charges Fifth Third Bank with opening unauthorized accounts and signing consumers up for unapproved products and services
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit in Illinois Monday against Fifth Third Bank, one of the largest banks in the Midwest. The CFPB alleges that for several years Fifth Third, without consumers’ knowledge or consent: opened deposit and credit-card accounts in consumers’ names; transferred funds from consumers’ existing accounts to new, improperly opened accounts; enrolled consumers in unauthorized online-banking services; and activated unauthorized lines of credit on consumers’ accounts. The lawsuit claims that Fifth Third violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition against unfair and abusive acts or practices. It also charges the bank with violating the Truth in Lending Act and the Truth in Savings Act. The CFPB alleges that for years and continuing through at least 2016, Fifth Third used: