November 16, 2012 |
There can be unseemly exposure of the mind as well as of the body, as the progressive mind is exposed in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a creature of the labyrinthine Dodd-Frank legislation. Judicial dismantling of the CFPB would affirm the rule of law and Congress's constitutional role. The CFPB's director, Richard Cordray , was installed by one of Barack Obama's spurious recess appointments when the Senate was not in recess. Vitiating the Senate's power to advise and consent to presidential appointments is congruent with the CFPB's general lawlessness.
November 9, 2012 |
BOSTON — On the chilly morning after her election to the U.S. Senate , Elizabeth Warren greeted ecstatic commuters and faced the next inevitable question. How would the new, scholarly heroine of the political left, who once spoke of her willingness to leave "blood and teeth on the floor" in her fight for consumer protection, position herself at a moment when American politics demands both an unyielding brawler and bipartisan compromise? Warren's first post-election answer left plenty of room for speculation.
October 23, 2012 |
If there's something's strange in your credit report, who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters. If something's weird and it don't look good, who you gonna call? Sorry, Ghostbusters still won't help, even though consumers often describe being haunted by errors in their credit reports that they can't get corrected. If you haven't been successful in getting a credit bureau to address problems with inaccurate information in your credit report, you might have felt alone in pressing for a resolution.
October 1, 2012 |
In the latest in a series of credit card industry settlements, American Express will pay $112.5 million to resolve allegations of abusive debt collection practices, late-fee charges and deceptive marketing, federal regulators announced Monday. Customers, in some cases, were charged late fees based on a percentage of their debt in violation of federal law. Others were misled to believe that if they partially paid off their debts, the remaining balance would be forgiven. In direct-mail offers, American Express promised customers $300 and bonus points when they signed up for its Blue Sky credit card program.
September 25, 2012 |
Credit bureaus sometimes provide Americans with credit scores that are different from those that lenders use in deciding whether to offer a loan and at what interest rate, the government's consumer watchdog found in a study released Tuesday . Researchers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that the discrepancy happens for as many as one in four people. The consumer agency issued the study five days before it will begin supervising credit-reporting firms. That will give the bureau oversight of about 30 companies that make up the majority of the $4 billion industry.
September 24, 2012 |
Discover Financial Services, one of the nation's largest credit-card issuers, will refund $200 million to 3.5 million customers it led into buying costly and unneeded credit-card products, federal regulators announced Monday. In some cases, customers were enrolled in the payment-protection plans and other products without their consent. Discover provided scripts to call-center agents that suggested customers would not be charged until they had reviewed written materials. Yet those materials were not provided until after the firm took money from consumers.
September 13, 2012 |
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, faced renewed questions Thursday about the legitimacy of his agency. Cordray, in a semiannual report to Congress, touted the bureau's accomplishments in drafting rules to fix mortgage servicing and supervising the previously unregulated non-bank financial firms. He added that the bureau is working on rules to bring greater transparency to prepaid debit cards and is fine-tuning its consumer complaint database — as of Sept.
September 7, 2012 |
Some join the federal government after law school; others after a stint with a campaign, nonprofit or consulting firm. Audrey Chen came from "South Park. " As a senior designer at Comedy Central, Chen re-engineered the Web sites for cult hits such as "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report. " But a year ago, the Brooklynite was persuaded to join a team of Web developers, information architects, and digital strategists who want to revolutionize the very way that Washington works.
July 17, 2012 |
Finally, the companies that have been keeping track of how we handle our credit will be watched closely by a single federal agency. On Sept. 30, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — exercising the muscle it was given by Congress — will start supervising credit reporting agencies, including the big three: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. It's always confounded me that these credit bureaus haven't had more oversight, considering that the files they compile and use to create credit histories are then used to create credit scores, which affect consumers' ability to get a credit card, home loan, apartment and even a job. For years, consumer advocates have complained that the information collected often includes errors.
July 10, 2012 |
With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau approaching its one-year anniversary on July 21, I looked back at the agency's rookie year. Overall, I would say the consumer watchdog gets a "meets expectations" in its evaluation for accomplishing its primary goal of becoming an unapologetic protector of consumers. The bureau was created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the most sweeping overhaul of financial regulations in decades. It was charged with promoting financial education and enforcing federal consumer financial-protection laws.