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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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BUSINESS
June 22, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- A Texas bank and two free market advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The suit alleges that the agency, created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, was given too much power and that President Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray as its director was unconstitutional. The suit also challenges the law's creation of a panel of regulators, the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
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BUSINESS
March 24, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Four out of five people who take out a short-term payday loan either roll it over or take out another one within two weeks, pushing them into a cycle of debt, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Nearly a quarter of borrowers - 22% - renewed the loan at least six times, causing them to end up paying more in fees than they originally borrowed, the bureau said in an analysis of 12 million loans made by storefront payday loan companies.
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BUSINESS
September 19, 2013 | David Lazarus
Michael Barr served as the U.S. Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial institutions in 2009 and 2010. He oversaw the Obama administration's dealings with Congress in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And he's still smarting from the experience. "The banks fought against the bureau tooth and nail," Barr told me. "They were in an all-out war with the administration over this. " But he makes no effort to hide his satisfaction with how things turned out. "The financial sector lost that fight," Barr said.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Got problems with the company that services your home mortgage - the one that collects your payments, keeps track of your escrow account and lets you know when you're late? So your monthly numbers don't look right? You got blown off by servicing personnel when you tried to get inaccuracies in your account corrected? Well, move over. You've got lots of grumpy company. As of Jan. 31, just under half of the 187,818 complaints filed with the federal watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau concerned mortgage foul-ups, and the vast majority of these involved servicing, loan modification and foreclosure activities by servicers.
OPINION
July 21, 2011
One that got away Re "Obama should have fought for Warren on consumer agency," Business, July 19 I agree with David Lazarus that Elizabeth Warren is the most qualified person to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So I'm stunned that President Obama, who touts his support for consumers, would so quickly abandon his support for Warren. Lazarus notes that Warren had "drawn fire from the financial services industry [and] its friends in the Republican Party.
BUSINESS
July 16, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
When it opens its doors next week, the federal government's new agency to protect consumers from financial fraud won't be quite the aggressive watchdog promised a year ago. Because of political squabbling, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally will launch without an appointed director. And the lack of leadership has real consequences. The agency won't have power, for instance, to crack down on mortgage brokers, some of which helped lead the nation into the housing debacle four years ago. It also won't have authority over other largely unregulated sectors of the financial services industry, such as payday lenders and remittance companies such as Western Union, that it was created to police.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
President Obama will nominate former Ohio Atty. Gen. Richard Cordray to head the new agency to protect consumers in the financial marketplace, acting just days before it is set to begin operations. After months of speculation about who would lead the powerful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the White House announced Sunday that Obama decided to bypass Elizabeth Warren, the liberal Harvard law professor who in 2007 proposed creating the agency. She has been working as a special administration advisor for nearly a year preparing the agency for launch Thursday.
BUSINESS
May 14, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
The House Financial Services Committee voted to limit the power of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as Republicans continued to fight against the centerpiece of last year's Wall Street reform law. Voting largely along party lines, the Republican-controlled committee approved three bills Friday aimed at reducing the agency's authority as it prepares to begin operations in July. The bureau has power to set and enforce rules on mortgages, credit cards and other consumer lending products, taking authority from the Federal Reserve and other regulators.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Top government regulators sought to assure U.S. senators Thursday that they were moving quickly to implement the sweeping financial reform law and pledged to work cooperatively to meet deadlines to write hundreds of rules required by the bill. But lawmakers were worried about the huge amount of work required by the law, which was enacted in July. They also questioned the ability of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to draft rules before it has a director confirmed by the Senate.
BUSINESS
January 12, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - The federal government has a real estate question for consumers who have bought or refinanced homes that's certain to generate more than an earful: Were there any problems when you went to close the deal? Any last-minute glitches or surprises that delayed the settlement, required unexpected negotiations or, worst of all, blew up the sale or refinancing? Did you get your settlement sheet in advance so that you could review the documents intelligently? Were there any errors or discrepancies that popped up - charges that were considerably higher than you had expected, loan-related fees or an interest rate that differed from what you thought you had signed up for?
BUSINESS
December 24, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Three American Express Co. subsidiaries have agreed to pay about $75 million in restitution and penalties for a variety of illegal practices involving hundreds of thousands of credit-card customers, regulators said Tuesday. American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc., American Express Centurion Bank and American Express Bank were accused of unfair billing practices and deceptive marketing of add-on products, such as payment protection and credit monitoring. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered the companies to return $59.5 million to more than 335,000 customers.
BUSINESS
December 2, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
Students who get the runaround from companies handling their college loans soon may get help from the federal government. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it will begin regulating the nation's largest student-loan servicing firms, which manage student accounts, process monthly payments and respond to borrower questions. Though they don't make the loans, the companies are the main point of contact for borrowers. They effectively serve as gatekeepers that have enormous influence over requests for deferments or loan modifications.
BUSINESS
November 29, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - As they prepared to launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in early 2011, Obama administration officials settled on its permanent headquarters: a vacant government building a block away from the White House. They planned to turn the former home of the defunct Office of Thrift Supervision into a showplace befitting the first new federal agency created in decades to focus specifically on protecting American consumers. The 35-year-old building would be renovated to include a state-of-the-art public lobby with "interactive kiosks and 21st century learning centers," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- In its first enforcement action against a payday lender, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday fined Cash America International $5 million and ordered $14 million in refunds for overcharging customers, robo-signing documents in debt collection lawsuits and impeding an investigation. Almost all the refunds go to consumers in Ohio, where lawyers for a subsidiary, Cashland Financial Services Inc., signed documents without reviewing them, the bureau said.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - In its first enforcement action against a payday lender, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fined Cash America International $5 million and ordered $14 million in refunds for overcharging customers, robo-signing documents in debt collection lawsuits and impeding an investigation. Almost all the refunds go to consumers in Ohio, where lawyers for a subsidiary, Cashland Financial Services Inc., signed documents without reviewing them in violation of state and court rules, the bureau said Wednesday.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The federal government's consumer financial watchdog will require lenders to issue shorter, easier-to-understand mortgage disclosure forms to home buyers that more clearly show the costs and terms of the loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to issue the rule Wednesday, following through on what was an initiative launched in 2011 as the then-fledgling agency's first major action. The early Know Before You Owe forms were welcomed by consumer and industry groups as an improvement over the more complex disclosures required under federal law for more than 30 years.
BUSINESS
November 5, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The federal government's consumer financial watchdog plans to crack down on the nation's 4,500 debt collectors with new regulations to ensure that collectors are going after the right people for the right amounts and aren't badgering the debtors. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Tuesday that it was seeking public comment on new rules because the 1977 law regulating debt collection practices hasn't kept up with advances in technology. As millions of Americans have fallen behind on their bills because of the Great Recession, debt collectors have employed text messages and social media to bombard debtors.
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