January 10, 2012 |
In a blow to consumers with poor credit ratings, the Supreme Court ruled today that disputes between cardholders and companies that issue credit cards to people with weak credit can be handled through arbitration. The justices ruled 8-1 to reverse a San Francisco appeals court ruling allowing cardholders to sue in federal court. The latest high-court ruling is another in a series of decisions by the high court in favor of arbitration. Consumers in the suit had argued that they were promised an initial $300 in available credit, but were charged $257 in fees in the first year they had the credit card.
July 24, 2008 |
An hour after a landscaper going home from work was beaten to death with a brick in West Philadelphia, a man accompanied by two boys walked into a store four blocks away and used the victim's credit card to buy three fitted baseball caps. The purchase was captured on a surveillance video, and yesterday, police released it in an effort to find the man. (The tape can be viewed at www.philly.com.) Detectives said they did not know whether the man was the killer of Corey Moody, but they certainly would like to talk to him. In police parlance, he is a "person of interest.
March 21, 1987 |
While other interest rates keep plummeting, one sector of the financial market seems oblivious to the collapse around it. Mortgages are dipping below 10 percent and car loans are no longer unusual at 6 percent, but most of us are still paying annual rates of 18 percent or more on our unpaid credit-card balances. "It's a ripoff," says Elgie Holstein of the Bankcard Holders of America. The feeling is growing that banks are somehow taking advantage of credit card users. In January, the Illinois state treasurer withdrew some $200 million from the First National Bank of Chicago in protest over the bank's 19.8 percent rate.
May 19, 2009 |
As President Obama stages a populist campaign against credit card companies' predatory practices, the U.S. Senate is working on regulations to protect cardholders. Meanwhile, Americans' credit card debt has risen to the point where it now tops $960 billion. And with the economy in a downswing, it's hard to see how the debt can ever be paid back. If it's any consolation, South Koreans have been there, done that, and come out alive - if just barely. In 1999, after the Asian financial crisis, the South Korean government encouraged banks to issue credit cards to as many people as possible as a way to increase consumer spending.
November 11, 2011 |
Sometimes Dave and Connie Kalkstein eat at the Oak Lane Diner; other times they go upscale to the Mission Grill in Center City. But when they pull out a credit card to pay, Dave Kalkstein, a retired sales executive from Germantown, asks the server about the restaurant's gratuity policy before he adds the tip to the bill. "If the waiter gets paid in cash that night, I'll put it on the credit card," he said. "But if I hear there's a problem, I'll pay the tip in cash. " Kalkstein may be unusual in his regard for the waitstaff, but a bill up for a vote in Philadelphia City Council on Thursday addresses another issue involving tips and credit cards - one that had never occurred to Kalkstein.
January 29, 2013 |
Stores can now ask consumers using credit cards to pay a surcharge or "swipe fee," as a result of a proposed legal settlement. Experts suggest that small retailers are the most likely to pass along the fees they're charged by Visa and MasterCard. Any merchant who does is required, under the agreement, to inform shoppers as they enter a store and as they pay, with any such fees noted on receipts. Debit cards would not be affected. Ten states - including New York, Florida, Texas and California - forbid such surcharges, but they're legal in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, according to reports.
April 5, 2003 |
Attorneys general in Minnesota and New York accused a Wilmington-based credit-card bank and its Delaware County collection arm of deceptive and abusive practices in lawsuits filed Thursday. Cross Country Bank imposes steep fees that use up much of the credit available on cards marketed to consumers with financial problems, the suits allege. When cardholders can't pay, Applied Card Systems, of Glen Mills, the bank's collection affiliate, harasses them with repeated calls and profanity, the complaints say. "My office will aggressively combat predatory lending and credit practices that prey on vulnerable individuals," Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, said.
April 25, 2003 |
Philadelphia police are searching for a couple who beat an elderly woman with a crowbar in a Northeast Philadelphia grocery-store parking lot Tuesday afternoon, then used her credit card to buy jewelry at a nearby mall. The 73-year-old victim told police she had noticed a man and woman sitting in a white sport-utility vehicle parked next to her car outside the Thriftway Supermarket, 9300 Krewstown Rd., but thought nothing of it. As she unloaded her grocery bags, the man stepped out of his vehicle and began striking her in the head with a crowbar, police said.
July 27, 2013 |
NEWARK, N.J. - Four Russians and a Ukrainian have been charged with running a sophisticated hacking organization that penetrated the computer networks of more than a dozen major U.S. and international corporations over seven years, stealing and selling millions of credit and debit card numbers, resulting in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Indictments were announced Thursday in Newark, where U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman called the case the largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.
August 15, 2012 |
A FORMER mail-room worker at a Philadelphia IRS office admitted in federal court Tuesday that she used a database at work to steal her landlord's identity and open credit-card accounts - and got caught when she tried to pay a $1,003 utility bill with a fraudulent Capital One card. Domeen Flowers, 48, a Philadelphia native now living in Winter Park, Fla., was hired in 2007 to work at the IRS, authorities said. She was renting a house from the landlord, identified only as "E.R.," on Hale Street near Brouse Avenue in Mayfair, when she tapped into the system in June 2009.