July 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The nation's consumer watchdog for credit cards, mortgages and other financial products is set to emerge from a legal cloud that threatened its authority after a Senate deal paved the way for confirmation of its director. After Tuesday's approval of Richard Cordray to a five-year term as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the young agency now has the certainty that it has lacked since being created as the centerpiece of the 2010 Wall Street reform law. That means that bureau rules and enforcement actions designed to protect consumers from risky mortgages, misleading credit card marketing, abusive debt collection and other questionable financial practices won't be in danger of being overturned because of legal questions about Cordray's controversial recess appointment in 2012.
April 29, 2013 |
A growing number of Indian tribes are getting into the payday loan business, saying they just want to raise revenue for their reservations while helping cash-strapped consumers nationwide. But federal officials suspect that, at least in some cases, tribes are being paid to offer their sovereign immunity to non-Indian payday lenders that are trying to dodge state regulations. So far, the tribes have prevailed over California and other states that have tried to assert authority over tribal lending operations.
April 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Republicans have stepped up their pressure to limit the wide-ranging powers of the nation's watchdog over consumers' money matters. The head of a key House committee overseeing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said he would no longer accept the testimony of Richard Cordray, the bureau's director, before his panel because he doesn't believe Cordray was legally appointed to his post. Cordray, who delivered his semi-annual report to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, was set to do the same in coming weeks in the House, as required by law. But Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)
April 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Older Americans can be confused by dozens of special designations for financial advisors for seniors, and government officials should set strict standards for training and conduct to prevent abuses, according to a new federal report. The ranks of the elderly are projected grow to 70 million by 2030 from 50 million now, and their savings can be an attractive target for people peddling financial products, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said. The bureau, at the request of Congress, studied how advisors to seniors can promote, or designate, themselves.
April 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON — Got a beef with your mortgage company or loan servicer? Lots of people do, and thousands of them have been turning to a federal complaint hotline for action — or at least a quick response from the lender. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has opened up its bulging online complaint hotline files to public view, and the contents are startling: Although the CFPB's complaint window is open to various financial disputes — credit cards, student loans, credit reporting agencies, bank loans to consumers — by far the biggest source of complaints is home mortgages.
April 3, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - In an unusual legal action against the world's richest man, Mexico is suing the telecommunications giant Telmex for charging allegedly illegal fees that were tacked on to what are already some of the highest phone rates among developed countries. The lawsuit, filed in civil court by the federal consumer protection agency, aims to end a set of fees and, in what may be a first in this country, recover money for millions of telephone users. Telmex provides about 80% of fixed telephone lines in Mexico.