Debt Collectors Fined, Told to Back Off

Here’s some good news for people hounded by relentless debt collectors and hauled into court. Two of the nation’s biggest debt collection companies have agreed to stop lawsuits against borrowers and drop collections on some $16 million in judgments. In a settlement with New York authorities, Portfolio Recovery Associates, based in Norfolk, Va., and Sherman Financial Group, based in New York, also agreed to pay fines to settle allegations that they violated state law by pursuing borrowers for debts that …

Federal Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Voter ID Law

A federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law, holding that it unconstitutionally discriminates against low-income and minority voters, who are less likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to obtain them. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman’s decision comes less than a week after a state judge declared a new Arkansas law requiring voters to show government- or college-issued photo IDs for their ballots to count to be “void and unenforceable.” (Days later, the Arkansas …

Wal-Mart Charged With Age Discrimination

In 2011, Wal-Mart was the talk of the nation when a gender discrimination case against the huge discount store chain went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The plaintiffs in the case lost for procedural reasons, not for anything having to do with their discrimination claims. The accusations of gender discrimination have never been disproved, and several of the plaintiffs in the original case have filed new lawsuits. Fast forward to March 2014, and Wal-Mart’s in the news …

Legal Help Available for Older Cook County Residents

Hi there, blog readers! This is Gerardo Cardenas with the AARP Illinois Communications Team. We are certainly grateful for our nation’s laws, but our legal system can often be challenging and confusing, especially for older adults, making them vulnerable to the growing problem of financial and legal abuse and exploitation. Fortunately in Cook County, Ill., the hard work and vision of a judge, a former state government official and a group of volunteers is helping thousands of elderly citizens navigate …

Jury Duty Scam Returns… Again

Some folks make all kinds of claims to get out of jury duty. But don’t believe a phone call claiming you’re about to be arrested for ignoring your civic duty – especially if you never received a jury summons. The jury duty scam is back. In recent weeks, this recurring ruse – first seen in Scam Alert in 2006 – has resurfaced across the U.S., prompting warnings by scores of officials and at least one federal judge. In the latest wave …