New York Consumer Law Blog

Monday, May 8, 2017

Wronged Wells Fargo customers are finally getting a bit of payback


Wells Fargo has reached a $110 million preliminary settlement to compensate all customers who claim the scandal-ridden bank opened fake accounts and other products in their name.

It's the first class action settlement by Wells Fargo since authorities revealed in September that the bank opened up to 2 million fake accounts to meet unrealistic sales targets that have since been eliminated.

Wells Fargo said on Tuesday the payments to customers will be in addition to refunds the bank has already paid out.

The settlement is expected to cover several lawsuits: including one filed in May 2015 in the Northern District of California, a separate one launched last September by customers, as well as 10 others. Wells Fargo's $110 million settlement marks a reversal from just a few months ago when it tried to kill a fake account lawsuit by forcing victims to resolve their claims quietly in closed-door arbitration instead of open court.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

House GOP’s Bill to Eliminate Nearly All Class Actions Would Encourage More Ponzi Schemes & Other Corporate Cheating


Congressman Bob Goodlatte, introduced a bill ironically titled “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act,” which passed through the House Judiciary Committee two weeks ago. Its passage was a remarkable feat of avoiding public notice or debate, with Goodlatte ramming through the legislation in the middle of the night, voting down all amendments along party lines, and refusing to even hold a hearing on the bill, which had at least ten new provisions never included in the previous version passed by the Committee.

Goodlatte’s bill was drafted by corporate lobbyists to eliminate the vast majority of class action lawsuits. It would roll back protections for defrauded investors, cheated consumers, people whose privacy has been violated, small businesses harmed by price fixing, workers cheated by wage theft, and pretty much anyone harmed in any way by corporations that break the law.

 


Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

CFPB Orders TransUnion and Equifax to Pay for Deceiving Consumers in Marketing Credit Scores and Credit Products


In personal finance, practically everything can turn on one’s credit score. It’s both an indicator of one’s financial past, and the key to accessing necessities—without insane costs—in the future. But on Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that two of the three major credit-reporting agencies responsible for doling out those scores—Equifax and Transunion—have been deceiving and taking advantage of Americans. The Bureau ordered the agencies to pay more than $23 million in fines and restitution.  

In their investigation, the Bureau found that the two agencies had been misrepresenting the scores provided to consumers, telling them that the score reports they received were the same reports that lenders and businesses received, when, in fact, they were not.


Read more . . .


Monday, April 24, 2017

How You Could Get $500 Per Call For Those Unwanted Messages Six Years Ago


Did you get a telemarketing robocall five or six years ago offering a "free cruise" in return for taking a short survey? If you did, and you can prove it, you can get about $500 for each one of those illegal calls.

Florida-based Caribbean Cruise Line and its two co-defendants — Vacation Ownership Marketing Tours and The Berkeley Group — have agreed to pay between $56 and $76 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed they made millions of unwanted and illegal robocalls between August 2011 and August 2012 in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Caribbean Cruise Line launched a major robocall campaign in August 2011 to landlines and cellphones. The automated messages told people they would get a free cruise if they took a short survey. Those who responded were connected to a live operator at Caribbean Cruise Line who attempted to upsell them a more expensive vacation package that required the travelers sit through a timeshare presentation at a resort owned by The Berkeley Group.

More than a million people may be eligible for that money, but here's the catch — you have to file a claim in order to be included in the settlement.
Read more . . .


Friday, April 21, 2017

Beware, mortgage seekers: Random, online ‘credit scores’ are not always reliable


A new legal settlement from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges that Experian, one of the big three credit-reporting bureaus, “deceptively marketed credit scores to consumers by misrepresenting” them as “the same” as what their lender would use in determining whether and on what terms to offer them a loan.

 

 In fact, said the bureau, the scores Experian advertised extensively were its own proprietary “educational” scores that virtually no lenders use to make credit decisions.

 

As part of the settlement, Experian was fined $3 million. The case follows Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settlements in January over similar allegations with the other national credit bureaus — Equifax and TransUnion — in which they were required to make $17.6 million in restitution to consumers and pay $5.
Read more . . .


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Supervisory Highlights Consumer Reporting Special Edition Issue 14, Winter 2017

The CFPB’s vision is rooted in the obligations and rights set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation V.1 In the last two years, we identified failings in compliance management systems and violations of law both at CRCs and at furnishers.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wells Fargo Introduces Cardless ATMs

The bank is upgrading all 13,000 of its ATMs to process withdrawals using smartphones rather than debit cards. Chase and Bank of America plan to roll out their own version of cardless ATMs, too.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sub prime auto loans - Auto lenders can steer vulnerable people into crushing debt

Auto Lending: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


Read more . . .


Monday, April 3, 2017

Should you give your kids access to your credit card?

Handing over your credit card to your teenager might not seem like a good idea.

But it might actually be a smart financial move. Not only can it help kids learn money management skills, it can also help their credit score.

Adding a child as an authorized user on a parent's credit card can give the child a boost when it comes to establishing a strong credit profile. That is, as long as the parents are in good credit standing.


Read more . . .


Monday, April 3, 2017

Data breaches cause an increase in credit card fraud

Experian says that the biggest component of credit card fraud trends is the fact that 2016 was a record year for data breaches. There were 1,093 breaches, a 40% increase from 2015, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission recently revealed a jump in consumers who reported that their stolen data was used for credit card fraud, from 16% in 2015 to more than 32% in 2016. 

The record number of data breaches is a signal that future fraudulent activities will take place, warns Experian.

Read more . . .


Friday, March 31, 2017

Services Offer Some Benefits but Are Limited in Preventing Fraud

What GAO Found

Identity theft services offer some benefits but have limitations.

  • Credit monitoring helps detect new-account fraud (that is, the opening of new unauthorized accounts) by alerting users, but it does not prevent such fraud or address existing-account fraud, such as misuse of a stolen credit card number. Consumers have alternatives to credit monitoring, including requesting a low-cost credit freeze, which can prevent new-account fraud by restricting access to the consumers' credit report.
  • Identity monitoring can alert consumers to misuse of certain personal information by monitoring sources such as public records or illicit websites, but its effectiveness in mitigating identity theft is unclear.

Read more . . .


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