AARP Member Leads Effort to Stop Neighbor’s Eviction

Sometimes it takes a village to help a neighbor, and retiree Robert Bennett is mighty grateful for folks in his town on the banks of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. A resident in Bennett’s Annapolis community, situated between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., recently raised $15,000 in six days through an online GoFundMe campaign to help him stay in his home. Bennett was threatened with foreclosure if he didn’t come up with $13,000 by the end of this month to pay back taxes and insurance. Read: …

Arbitration Clauses for Credit Cards, Other Services May Harm Consumers

Millions of consumers may not be getting a fair resolution in disputes with their financial institutions over products and services, according to a report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB examined the arbitration clauses in contracts for credit cards, prepaid cards, private student loans, payday loans, cellphone service and checking accounts. These clauses generally permit companies to resolve consumer complaints using arbitration. Most bar consumers from filing class-action suits, which may provide a fairer and more …

Surprise! Reverse Mortgages Are Very Confusing

A three-year examination of reverse mortgage complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that borrowers often didn’t understand the terms of those loans, including how quickly their loan balances would go up and their home equity would fall, the bureau said in a new report. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to tap into the equity in their homes. They’re different from home equity credit lines or home equity loans because a reverse mortgage generally is paid back only when the homeowner …

Brooke Astor’s Grandson Tells Senate Panel of Financial Abuse

The Senate Special Committee on Aging held one of its periodic hearings on financial abuse of older people the other day, this time inviting a relative involved in one of the more spectacular headline-making cases in recent years to testify. The grandson of socialite Brooke Astor, who blew the whistle on his father for plundering millions from his grandmother’s estate, told the Senate panel Wednesday that his grandmother’s greatest legacy may be the national attention focused on elder financial abuse. “While my grandmother …

Coalition Urges Labor Department to Protect Retirees’ Nest Eggs

Public interest groups have joined forces in a coalition to prod the U.S. Department of Labor to revise rules requiring financial advisers to act in their clients’ best interests when offering retirement investment advice. SaveOurRetirement.com, a website created by the coalition, is urging the Labor Department to update the so-called fiduciary rule. Without that safeguard, advisers to retirement plans could sell financial products that pay large commissions yet hurt their clients with unnecessary fees, poor returns or excessive risks, the coalition said. “Right now, …

Job Gains for the 55-Plus: Not Too Shabby

Employers capped a year of solid hiring by adding 252,000 jobs to the economy in December — and older workers welcomed those gains. The national unemployment rate for people 55-plus dipped by 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent last month, a bigger monthly decline than the rate for workers overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Better still, workers 55 and older saw their jobless rate fall over the past year from 5.1 percent in December 2013. Older women seemed …