May 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering new rules on mortgage fees, including banning origination charges based on the size of the loan. The agency, which said the new rules would make it easier for potential home buyers to understand and compare mortgages, also is proposing that brokers and loan officers undergo criminal background checks and go through special training. The preliminary proposals, unveiled Wednesday, also would prohibit incentives to steer consumers into higher priced loans.
May 1, 2012 |
Does the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have the power to trump theU.S. Supreme Court? That's the intriguing question raised by a seemingly routine announcement last week that the watchdog agency is seeking public comments on "how consumers and financial services companies are affected by arbitration and arbitration clauses. " "Arbitration clauses are found in many contracts for consumer financial products," the bureau's director, Richard Cordray, said in a statement.
April 13, 2012 |
The Obama administration's consumer financial watchdog wants to undo a limit on some upfront fees on credit cards, prompting criticism that it could hurt borrowers with poor credit. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is backing away from restrictions on what the industry calls fee-harvester cards. Issuers of these cards make such customers pay a large fee before they can receive cards with very low credit lines. The agency indicated that its decision stemmed from a court ruling saying the fee cap appeared to be barred by "plain and unambiguous" language in the applicable law. Lobbyists and the public have until June 11 to file comments or objections before a final decision is made.
April 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The federal government's consumer finance watchdog is considering tough new rules on banks to provide homeowners with more - and clearer - information about their mortgages. Banks could be required to make monthly statements easier for customers to understand. And they may have to provide borrowers with warnings before their interest rates adjust. In addition, the rules could make it easier for homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will outline the possible measures Tuesday as part of an effort to bring greater transparency to the mortgage-servicing industry.
March 14, 2012 |
Senate leaders have averted, for now, a showdown over a group of President Obama's judicial nominees, reaching a tentative agreement that would allow the chamber to pick up the pace on confirmations. The truce comes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took the unusual move of trying to force a vote Wednesday on 17 nominees who had bipartisan backing but faced opposition from some Republicans trying to stall the president's picks for the federal courts. Under the agreement, the Senate will instead work to confirm 14 judicial nominees by May 7 - not as many as Democrats sought, but a schedule that would require about three confirmation votes a week while the Senate is in session, more than has been the norm.
February 22, 2012 |
Acting on complaints about high overdraft fees on checking accounts, the new consumer bureau launched a broad inquiry into bank practices and is seeking public input on a special disclosure box about the fees on monthly statements. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday that it also is starting a campaign called "What's your overdraft status?" to encourage people to learn if they have chosen overdraft protection and to understand the fees involved. In 2010, the Federal Reserve enacted rules that prevent banks from automatically enrolling customers in overdraft protection plans, which charge $30 to $35 for each use. Consumer advocates, however, are still complaining about the fees, which are overseen by the new agency.
February 20, 2012 |
Pamela Johnson of Orange is one of many people who have recently received notices from a debt collector called West Bay Acquisitions over supposedly unreturned Hollywood Video DVDs. The video-rental chain's parent company, Hollywood Entertainment, was purchased by an outfit called Movie Gallery in 2005. Five years later, Movie Gallery went out of business, selling its portfolio of outstanding customer obligations to West Bay Acquisitions. Johnson, 68, said she was "dumbfounded" to receive a notice the other day saying she owes $24.43 for several DVDs that she rented from Hollywood Video in 2009 and never returned.
February 15, 2012 |
The agency protecting consumers in the financial marketplace plans to increase its budget 26% next year as it ramps up to full operation, but the newly installed director was short on details about where the money is going - raising the ire of Republicans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has started monitoring banks and related institutions for compliance with consumer laws, said it plans to spend $448 million next year, compared with $356 million it has budgeted for expenses this year.