Regulation
debtors prison

Lawmakers seek to curb spate of debt collection arrest warrants

The use of debt collection arrest warrants has mushroomed since the financial crisis. People often assume that the debtors prison is ancient history and they can’t be arrested for not paying a debt. But more than a third of U.S. states have laws that allow the debt collection industry to obtain arrest warrants to recoup
Gov. John Lynch

New Hampshire governor vetoes title loan bill

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch vetoed a bill Wednesday that would raise the ceiling title loan lenders can charge. The bill would have allowed up to 25 percent interest charged monthly. The state joins 31 others in disallowing these kinds of loans. Short term loans secured by vehicle titles Title loans are short term loans
Mother Duck and Ducklings

Proposed consumer protection agency to target lenders

In the wake of the Wall Street collapse and the ongoing investigation of Goldman Sachs, there are calls for a consumer protection agency, or multiple ones. There seems to be a real need for some financial reform, but which consumer protection laws should be put forth are a point of contention.  Part of the proposed
Hearing

Legal spat over financial protection bureau continues

Congressional lawmakers continue to fight over the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB, which is intended to have regulatory jurisdiction over consumer finance, is supposed to start operations in July. So far, the rules over what it is allowed to do have not been established and it has no director. Republicans trying
“Bankrupt” spelled out vertically in white script against a black background.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau funding in jeopardy

The conservative majority in the U.S. House of Representatives appears determined to rain on Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reports the Huffington Post. Dodd-Frank Act opponents Majority Whip Eric Cantor, Rep. Michele Bachmann and House Financial Services Chair Spencer Bachus have already voted to cut the Federal Reserve-funded budget of the CFPB
A white piggy bank, shaped like a grenade.

Racial discrimination evident in continued bank redlining

African-Americans and Hispanics are beginning to lose ground when it comes to the use of traditional banking, according to the Center for Responsible Lending. Discriminatory practices like redlining (denying access to credit) have once again risen up as the U.S. struggles to emerge from the economic recession. Such financial discrimination, which includes mortgage denial and
Piggy Bank

Senate wants 401(k) accounts off-limits as personal loan funds

The United States Senate is currently considering a bill that would prevent people from using their 401(k) funds as a source for personal loans. The new legislation that is being put forth would potentially put a limit on how many times a person can draw from retirement accounts before retirement. Retirement accounts are not piggy
Tax preparation

Refund anticipation loans could become endangered species

Refund anticipation loans are one of many loan products coming under an increased amount of scrutiny. Federal regulators are making it more difficult for banks to finance the loans and therefore harder for businesses to lend RALs and similar credit products to customers. The loans are wildly unpopular with consumer advocates, who insist they are
Protestors outside the North Carolina capitol building in Raleigh.

North Carolina installment loan bill H810 aids industry

The North Carolina General Assembly has introduced a bill that would enable installment loan companies in the state to adjust loan fees to compensate for losses to the recession. The Jacksonville Daily News reports that N.C. H810 would amend the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act to allow lenders to increase the processing fee on installment
A nonplussed man suffers the existential agony of dealing with mortgage and other financial papers.

CFPB to make simpler mortgage disclosure forms a priority

In 1975, Congress passed the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which required mortgage lenders to fully report all public loan data. While this and other consumer-friendly provisions relating to mortgages have been in effect for more than 30 years, the recent U.S. subprime mortgage crisis illustrated that additional regulation may be necessary. Hence, the soon-to-be-activated Consumer
For rent

International Monetary Fund calls for changes to mortgage lending

The International Monetary Fund is responsible for overseeing the global financial system. A review of the recent recession by the IMF has led to several recommendations for improving the stability of the global financial system. Top of the list is that the U.S. government should go all in or get out of mortgage finance. Current
Lawsuits

Lawsuit lending the latest target of legislation

Lawsuit lending is a relatively new industry in the United States. Investment brokers and banks offer plaintiffs loans to live on and fund a lawsuit while it is in court. Some states are legislating these short term loans out of existence, others argue that it is a needed service. The expense of bringing a lawsuit
Money

Peer to peer lending confounds the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been in an extended debate with Prosper, one of the two largest peer to peer lending businesses. A new industry, the peer to peer lending model is a Silicon Valley startup that directly connects investors with borrowers, effectively cutting banks out of the lending equation. The SEC believes that