June 7, 2015 |
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered mortgage lender and servicer PHH Corp., of Mount Laurel to pay more than $109 million within 30 days for accepting loan kickbacks in the form of reinsurance premiums. Bureau director Richard Cordray affirmed late Thursday an administrative law judge's ruling that PHH, one of the nation's top 10 home lenders, violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act when it accepted kickbacks for mortgages that closed on or after July 21, 2008.
June 6, 2015
Extra cash. Steady income no matter how long you live. No need to repay. Both explicitly and implicitly, reverse-mortgage pitches often make the equity-tapping loans sound like a risk-free answer for borrowers facing a shortfall in retirement income. But they have a failure rate of about 10 percent, far beyond those of conventional mortgages. That's one reason the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau moved Thursday to advance its campaign aimed at ensuring that homeowners understand their risks, as well as their benefits.
May 16, 2015 |
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Thursday began a public inquiry into student loans. The bureau is seeking information from the public including: industry practices that create repayment challenges; hurdles for distressed borrowers; and economic incentives that may affect the quality of loan servicing. To give information about your student loan repayment problems, visit the CFPB's website ( www.consumerfinance.gov ). The CFPB asks the public to not include account numbers or Social Security numbers when filing.
March 28, 2015 |
Stepping gingerly into one of the finance industry's longest-running controversies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday that it has begun shaping rules to govern payday loans and other small, short-term credit offered at triple-digit interest rates - products that consumer advocates have for years labeled debt traps. The agency's announcement - quickly embraced by President Obama, blasted by lenders' lobbyists, and hesitantly welcomed by advocacy groups - was long foreseen.
December 29, 2014 |
The top consumer stories of 2014? It depends on how you count and what you care about - or maybe even on where you sit. If you've been sitting, say, in the back seat of a Toyota in recent weeks - after the automaker's unusual advice to avoid the front passenger seat while waiting for back-ordered Takata airbag parts - then the year's topmost consumer story may be the series of disclosures about how the auto industry hides risky defects. Were you one of roughly 10 million Americans who gained health insurance in 2014?
October 20, 2014 |
Sign a contract for goods or services, and you've got at least three days to back out, right? Wrong, as readers of this month's Inquirer report on Sundance Vacations should know. The Wilkes-Barre business sells lodging packages under contracts that say they are "not subject to any 'right of rescission' and may not be canceled. " Although some Wisconsin lawyers disagree, saying their state's timeshare law provides a seven-day escape clause, Sundance has escaped legal challenge in Pennsylvania.
August 16, 2014 |
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has forced a retail chain, USA Discounters, to pay $400,000 and a mortgage lender, Amerisave Mortgage Corp., and its owner to pay more than $20 million in refunds and penalties for deceptive charges imposed on service members and home buyers, the agency said this week. The CFPB said Amerisave used a deceptive "bait-and-switch" scheme, luring customers with mortgage rates available only to people with an unusually high FICO credit score of 800 - even when they had entered a lower score on a referral site that led to Amerisave.
August 8, 2014
NOT EVEN a decade after Wall Street gamblers took us to the brink of global economic ruin, the same players are back abusing the financial product that caused so much trouble - the subprime loan. This time the loans are for used cars sold to lower-income Americans who can't afford them. It's such a lucrative market that, according to the New York Times , subprime car loans have increased by 130 percent in the last five years. And Equifax reported this spring that subprime auto lending was the highest it has been since 2006.
August 2, 2014
The recent fourth anniversary of the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law provides an occasion to remember why such aggressive legislation was needed. Fueled by years of lobbying and campaign donations from the finance sector, Washington politicians from both parties dismantled regulations intended to prevent a financial meltdown. The result, of course, was the worst such meltdown since the Great Depression. Millions lost their homes, and those who didn't saw property values decline as neighborhoods were abandoned.
November 27, 2013
The Justice Department's largest-ever civil settlement with a single company may suggest the federal government is finally getting tough with the financial institutions whose reckless practices led to the recession. But in reality the punishment may not prevent a similar catastrophe because it doesn't go far enough to sanction the responsible firms. The government settled for $13 billion from JPMorgan Chase, which was accused of knowingly selling bad mortgages to investors, including pension funds.