Regulator Seeks Greater Oversight of Auto Financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to extend its oversight to large nonbank auto-finance companies to make sure they are not discriminating against consumers. The CFPB announced today its proposed rule to expand its supervision to these companies, which would include the finance arms of auto manufacturers. “Nonbank auto-finance companies extend hundreds of billions of dollars in credit to American consumers, yet they have never been supervised at the federal level,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Today’s proposal …

FICO Eases Pain of Medical Debt on Credit Scores

FICO, the nation’s leading credit-scoring company, is making two changes that could benefit consumers with debt that has gone into collection. In its newest scoring model, FICO will no longer count debt in collection that has been repaid or settled. The company will also discount medical debt in collection, so it has less of a negative impact on consumers’ scores. More than half of unpaid collections involve medical bills. The medical changes alone could boost a consumer’s score by 25 points, FICO said when announcing …

Customers Still Baffled by Overdraft Fees

Customers who say they don’t recall authorizing their bank to provide overdraft protection on their checking accounts are getting hit with overdraft fees totaling $90 or more, according to a new report. It’s been four years since federal rules took effect that required banks to ask customers to opt in if they wanted overdraft protection on the debit cards tied to their checking accounts. The rules were supposed to make it easier for customers to understand when banks could charge them fees …

GE Capital Ordered to Pay $225 Million to Consumers

GE Capital Retail Bank must shell out an estimated $225 million to consumers to settle government claims that it discriminated against Hispanic credit card customers and persuaded other card holders to buy add-on products that promised to cancel part of their debt if they became disabled, lost a job or suffered from another hardship, the Justice Department announced Thursday. “We will continue to take action against marketing tactics that trick consumers into buying credit card products they do not want or cannot use,” …

Regulators Fine Bank for Overzealous Credit-Protection Sales

Bank of America is the latest major financial institution ordered to refund millions of dollars to consumers who were billed for credit card-related products they never ordered – and likely didn’t even need. Indeed, the credit and identity-theft protections sold by the North Carolina-based bank are things that people can do on their own for little or no money, consumer advocates say. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered the bank last week to return $727 million to nearly 3 million …

New York Cracks Down on Sites With Payday Loan Ties

Ida Bibbs, a 71-year-old grandmother from New York City, wasn’t looking for a loan online, but who could resist a solicitation promising quick and easy money? No banks. No credit checks. The result, as it turned out, was a suffocating debt trap. Bibbs says she took out one high-interest, short-term loan after another from payday lenders online. First she borrowed $400, then $300 and finally $500, all in the last year.  She used the money to pay her rent - she’d …