Senior Editor, Money Team

Eileen Ambrose is a senior editor and writer for the Money Team. She previously was a personal finance columnist with the Baltimore Sun.

Prepaid Cards May Get Added Fraud Protections

Swipe a debit or credit card and all sorts of consumer protections are in place in case something goes awry. With a prepaid card, not so much. That may soon end. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing to extend many of the consumer rights that exist for credit and debit cards to prepaid products, such as limiting customers’ losses if their prepaid cards are lost or stolen. >> 10 Consumer Spending Regrets “People use prepaid accounts as a convenient way …

Your Biggest Gripe: Debt Collectors!

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gets more complaints from older Americans about debt collectors than any other issue. According to a report released Wednesday by the CFPB’s Office of Older Americans, the agency received 8,700 debt collection complaints in the past 15 months. Consumers complained that debt collectors: – Try to collect the debts of dead relatives — even years after the estate has been settled. – Threaten to garnish Social Security and other federal benefits, which they can’t legally do. – Attempt …

IRS Boosts Limits for 401(k) Contributions

If you’ve been wanting to sock away more money in your workplace retirement savings plan, next year’s your chance. This morning the Internal Revenue Service announced that next year’s contribution limits will go up by $500, to $18,000 for 401(k)s, 403 (b) plans at nonprofits and most 457 plans offered by state and local governments, as well as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan. >> Boost Your 401(k) Retirement Savings Workers ages 50 and older are entitled to make extra contributions …

New York Restaurant Rejects Obama’s Credit Card

Yes, even the president of the United States gets his credit card declined. As President Barack Obama signed an executive order to beef up security for government-issued credit and debit cards, he told the story of how his card was rejected at a restaurant while he was in New York last month to attend the United Nations General Assembly. >> 10 Frugal Habits of the Rich and Famous “It turned out, I guess, I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was …

Are Lenders Driving Student Loan Borrowers Into Default?

Borrowers struggling to repay private student loans say they have little choice but to default because lenders won’t revise payments to make them affordable, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “We are hearing from consumers that they are driven into default because private student loan companies are not providing concrete loan modification options,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Struggling private student loan borrowers are finding themselves out of luck and out of …

AT&T to Refund Money for Services You Didn’t Order

AT&T Mobility will refund $80 million to customers for billing them for horoscopes and other mobile services they didn’t order, federal and state regulators announced today. The phone carrier also must pay $25 million in penalties. “Mobile cramming” occurs when a carrier bills for services by outside vendors that the customer didn’t authorize. About 20 million consumers are victims annually, regulators said. “It’s the largest cramming settlement in history,” said Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, at a news …