Monday, September 29, 2014

Phony online payday loans can grab your cash

Talk about a tricky, cash-grab deal to drain hundreds of dollars from the bank accounts of struggling consumers.

Just listen to how this one goes: A consumer goes online to look into a payday loan. Or maybe even got such a loan online in the past.

The lender buys that consumer's personal information through an outside data broker — and then quickly deposits $200 or $300 into the consumer's bank account without the consumer actually authorizing that loan, according to federal regulators.

It's not a gift. It's a gotcha. The online lender starts automatically taking out $60 or $90 every other week in "interest fees" indefinitely. Consumers allegedly lost tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized fees on unauthorized loans, according to regulators.

It's a warning worth hearing, especially, if you find yourself on the financial edge. The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action this month regarding two different online payday lending outfits. And regulators pledge to keep an eye on other such deals.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit that alleges that the Hydra Group uses information it bought from online lead generators to illegally deposit payday loans — and withdraw fees — from checking accounts without a consumer's consent. About $97.3 million in payday loans were made from January 2012 through March 2013. About $115.4 million was taken from consumer bank accounts.

In another case, the FTC alleges that Timothy Coppinger, Frampton (Ted) Rowland IIIand a group of companies they owned or operated used personal financial information bought from third-party lead generators or data brokers to make unauthorized payday loans and then access customer bank accounts without authorization.

The FTC complaint lists names of companies including CWB Services, Orion Services, Sand Point Capital, Anasazi Group, Mass Street Group and others.

Regulatory actions represent one side of a case. Phillip Greenfield, the attorney in Kansas City, Mo., representing Rowland, said his client's entities' involvement was limited to funding the loans approved by CWB Services and receiving the borrower's repayment of those loans. Rowland denies the FTC allegations, noting that the loan servicing issues in the case center on parties not affiliated with Rowland.

Patrick McInerney, the Kansas City attorney representing Coppinger, said Coppinger denies the allegations in the FTC's lawsuit and will defend against each of the claims raised.

At the FTC's request, a U.S. district court in Missouri has temporarily halted the online payday lending operation.

Michigan regulators report that consumers facing financial difficulties here have been targeted, too.
The state Department of Insurance and Financial Services said it has received two complaints regarding companies mentioned in the FTC action.

Catherine Kirby, director of the office for consumer services at the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, said consumers need to be extremely careful when applying for a loan online.
Some consumers do not realize that they're dealing with a lead generator that would be providing that information to various lenders.

When the lead generator sells your information to a lender, you might not be able to research the lender quick enough in some of these regulatory cases.

Consumers might have trouble closing their bank accounts to stop the fees from being withdrawn, or if they did close the accounts successfully, in many cases their information would be sold to third-party debt collectors, the CFPB stated.

Both regulators discussed non-existent or false loan disclosures relating to finance charges, payment schedules and total number of payments.

For example, the FTC said, the defendants did not disclose that consumers would be required to pay indefinite finance charges without any payments reducing the principal balance.

A disclosure box gave a picture to make it look like a $300 loan would cost $390. But additional small print indicated that new finance charges would hit with every refinancing of the loan.

In reality, a $300 loan cost more than $1,000 in biweekly debits for some consumers.

Talk about one incredible way to grab cash right out of someone's paycheck come payday.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New rules to cap credit interest rates for troops

Defense Department officials have proposed sweeping new rules that would limit the amount of interest that could be charged to service members and their spouses on most forms of credit — including credit cards.

The new rules “would reduce predatory lending practices, significantly expand the protections provided to service members, close loopholes in current rules, and help to ensure military families receive the important consumer protections they deserve,” defense officials said Sept. 26.

The Military Lending Act of 2006 was designed to cap loan interest rates for service members at a 36 percent annual percentage rate, and Congress gave DoD broad authority to define the types of loans covered under the law, with the exception of real estate loans and purchase-money loans such as vehicle loans.

In its basic concept, the move was unprecedented on a national scale for any other segment of the population. But when DoD wrote up its regulations implementing the law in 2007, it limited the types of credit covered to payday loans, car title loans and refund anticipation loans — a decision that has been routinely criticized by consumer advocates in the years since.

The new proposed rules would expand the types of credit covered to include those that are subject to the Truth in Lending Act, except for loans secured by real estate or other property, such as a loan to purchase a vehicle. Certain fees must be included in calculating the annual percentage rate.

In apparent acknowledgment that the original rules were drawn too narrowly, DoD officials said the new rules would better align with the Truth in Lending Act to provide service members with more lasting protections. The “new approach would move away from the product-by-product approach that created opportunities to evade the purpose of the [Military Lending Act] and toward a comprehensive, no-gaps approach,” while still giving troops and families access to a wide variety of lending products, officials said.

“We’re very supportive of DoD’s efforts to promulgate new rules,” said Andrew Egeland, president of the Association of Military Banks of America.

Egeland said he has not closely reviewed the new proposal yet, but would not expect it to have an impact on banks that operate on military bases. “We all operate well within the parameters of the Military Lending Act and offer alternatives to predatory lenders,” he said.

Michael Archer, director of legal assistance for Marine Corps Installations East, said expanding the protections to include credit covered by the Truth in Lending Act “would close the loopholes” that advocates have been concerned about for years. He said a Navy Relief representative this week informed him of a service member with a loan with an interest rate of 81 percent, and also noted that a number of payday lenders have moved their operations online to target service members.

Advocates and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also praised the DoD effort. “As one of the agencies charged with enforcing the Military Lending Act, we have seen firsthand how lenders use loopholes in the rule to prey on members of the military, CFPB director Richard Cordray said. “This proposal would shut down the predatory lending to the military that has flourished through exploiting legal technicalities.”

Holly Petraeus, assistant director, CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs, said lenders have continued to charge military families interest rates as high as 500 percent.
“Today’s proposed rules are clear and comprehensive and will protect against debt traps that undermine the financial security of service members and their families,” said Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending, in a statement.

In April, DoD submitted a report to Congress after a comprehensive study on credit use of service members that concluded the department must clamp down more tightly on predatory lenders to force troops away from high-cost credit options.

“DoD is not likely to persuade service members through current financial literacy programs alone that using high-cost loans is not in their long-term best interest,” the report said.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rogue payday debt collectors had Cleveland ties: Plain Dealing

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Rogue debt collectors based in Cleveland and Atlanta were hit with a $11 million judgment for harassing people for payday loan debts they didn't owe or that the collections company didn't have the right to collect.

The defendants won't pay that amount because they can't, the Federal Trade Commission said, but they are banned from debt collection and debt sales. 

The FTC announced the settlements Tuesday. The FTC alleged in a suit filed last year that Pinnacle Payment Services and its partner companies harassed people with robocalls and threatened them with arrest or legal action if they didn't pay up.

Some victims had visited loan-finding websites to inquire about payday loans. The FTC said the calls scared some into paying money they didn't owe.
More than 3,000 people complained about Pinnacle, which is now in the hands of a court-appointed receiver.

The FTC said that the judgments reflect the amount victims lost to bullying calls.
Pinnacle's partners included Premium Express Processing and Credit Source Plus, which had offices in Georgia and Ohio.

Here's how the judgments broke down:
DeMarra J. Massey of Cleveland, who controlled Premium, was ordered to pay $1.6 million.
Nichole C. Anderson of East Cleveland, who served as a manager of Credit Source, and Angela J. Triplett of Euclid, a Credit Source officer, were, along with several other individuals and the corporate defendants, hit with a shared $9.4 million judgment.
Massey and others named in the suit are banned from debt collection or debt sales and were ordered to destroy any consumer information in their possession.

Last week, the FTC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took enforcement actions against rogue lenders who deducted payday loan payments from the accounts of people who hadn't agreed to take out loans. The agencies said those companies used bank account information that victims had supplied through payday-loan search sites.

Lesson for consumers: Stay away from online sites that offer payday loans. You can't know who'll wind up getting your information or what they'll do with it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What You Should Learn About Pay Day Loans

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Federal action against payday loans is picking up

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which began supervising the payday loan industry in January 2012, has begun to rein in abuse, producing a report critical of the industry and requiring two payday businesses to provide refunds and pay million-dollar fines. The bureau also is drafting rules that could provide further protections for consumers.

The bureau, established by the Dodd Frank Act of 2010, began operating in July 2011. It supervises consumer financial companies and can enforce and write rules to restrict unfair, deceptive or abusive practices. Consumers can send complaints about financial services to the bureau.

Following a review of debt collection practices at ACE Cash Express, a payday loan company with a Mason City location of 2504 Fourth St. S.W., the bureau announced a July 10 enforcement action requiring the company to pay $5 million in refunds and a $5 million penalty.

Between 2011 and 2012 ACE used illegal debt collection tactics including harassment and threatening lawsuits or additional fees to pressure borrowers to pay off overdue balances by taking out new loans, according to the bureau’s findings.

Consumers who were subject to these collection tactics and made payments to ACE between March 7, 2011, and Sept. 12, 2012, are potentially eligible for refunds, a bureau spokesperson said in an email to IowaWatch, a nonprofit news organization that recently reported about Iowa’s unwillingness to adopt tougher regulations than exist now on the payday loan industry in the state.

As of July, ACE Cash Express had five active licensed storefronts in Iowa, records from the Iowa Division of Banking show. A 2006 complaint registered against a licensed ACE storefront in Mason City shows tactics similar to those criticized by the bureau, suggesting the tactics extended beyond the period studied by the bureau. In the complaint, a customer said the company told her employer, friends and neighbors about her debts and threatened criminal prosecution.

The fine against ACE was the bureau’s second action against a payday lender. In November, the bureau ordered Cash America to pay $19 million in refunds and fines after it was found to have:

• Illegally overcharged more than 300 active-duty service members or their dependents. Under the Military Lending Act, loans to military members are capped at 36 percent interest rates;

• Robo-signed court documents involved in Ohio collections litigations, which means the documents were either signed by the wrong person, a machine or someone who didn’t follow proper procedures;

• Destroyed records relevant to the bureau’s onsite compliance examination.

Matthew Covington, an organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, said members of his organization and its national affiliate, National People’s Action, met with the bureau’s director and staff to discuss suggestions for new rules for payday lenders currently under development by the bureau. Three rules the organizations suggested are:

• A mandated option allowing consumers the option to spread a loan over multiple payday periods;

• Denying payday lenders direct access to a consumers bank or credit union account;

• And a tougher ability-to-pay standard, which would require payday lenders to consider a consumer’s monthly expenses in addition to their income when reviewing a loan application.

“They cannot cap interest rates, which is what we are pushing for at the state level. But this would go a long way to addressing some of the most predatory aspects of the industry,” said Covington, who has worked with cities on ordinances and has worked in the Iowa legislature in support of regulations.

Cities in Iowa which have local regulatory ordinances include Ames, Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Clive, Iowa City, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Waterloo and Dubuque.

Covington said the bureau’s rule-making process requires the drafted rule to be reviewed by a small business rule review committee, a three-month process, before becoming public. He said he hoped to see the public version of any proposed no fax payday loans lending rules by early 2015.

“Lacking state or federal legislation, this is the best avenue for us to take,” Covington said.

He said getting an all three rules passed would be difficult, but said because the bureau is data-driven consumers who have had issues with payday loans could help by submitting complaints.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No Fax Payday Advances up to $1500

No Fax Payday Advances up to $1500

No fax payday advances are easy to obtain and, when used responsibly, can actually save you money by helping you to avoid returned check charges, late fees and additional interest on late payments. These loans are easy to obtain online. In many cases, you can even make payments online or with a convenient electronic funds transfer (EFT). Don’t worry about the hassle of finding a fax machine or driving across town to apply. You can do it right here from the convenience of your own home or office. Online loans are secure, personal and confidential. No one ever has to know you have applied for a no fax payday advance.

How many times have you found yourself low on fuel, or threatened with having your electricity, gas or water shut off? A no fax payday advance can help you stay on top of your game. Credit requirements for most payday cash advance loans are minimal. We know times are tough and we’re here to help you through. There’s no shame in applying for help, in fact, the extra cash can help you save the embarrassment of going without the things you need. When you don’t have fuel in your vehicle, you can’t get to work. Imagine the thousands of dollars you could lose if you lost your job due to a lack of transportation. No fax payday advances have actually saved jobs. How much will your utility company charge you for a “reconnect fee” on top of late fees and interest? No fax payday advances will save those fees and the inconvenience of being without vital services your family must have.

How can we help you? Most no fax payday advances are repaid in two weeks. However, sometimes people get behind due to illness, unexpected repairs and emergency expenses. It’s always possible to extend your advance to give you time to catch up and just breath. Budget carefully and you'll be just fine. Don't wait too long. You need to address your financial needs now.

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We’re not going to ask for your firstborn or a blood sample before lending you money. We know people are inherently good and we trust you will be responsible with your payments. Everyone struggles. Everyone comes up short of cash at some time. This is a smart move.

Use no fax payday advances responsibly. Put your pen to paper and see for yourself how much you will save by using a payday advance instead of paying late fees and interest. You’ll be surprise. If you repay your loan on time, or request the proper extensions, you can get back on your feet. A little self control will go a long way. We want to reduce your financial stress, not add to it.

Relax. You’ve come to the right place. A little time is all it takes to get the money you need. Advances are for people who need short term help.

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Are you ready to find relief? We offer no fax payday advances to residents throughout the United States. It’s time to melt that knot in the pit of your stomach. Tell us what you need. We want to work with you.

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Your zip code is all we need to get you started. The short application process will amaze you.

No Fax Payday Loans Rocks!

A cash advance payday loan might not be the right kind of a loan for you. No Fax Payday Loans 1500 offers links to a variety of loans and lending alternatives. Let's talk about them in order.

You need cash for whatever reason. The reason doesn't matter the fact is you need cash. Now say you just need funds because you have a hot date and no money until you next payday. Or you have less money in the bank or credit union than checks coming in. NSF's. Ouch! One bank is charging $42.00 for an nsf (national average $28.50)! Or expenses have just broken your back lately. These are all temporary (hopefully) cash flow problems. If you have a verifiable income then a cash advance payday loan is probably your best bet. Sometimes you just have to juggle money.

 Now say you own your own home but have massive high interest credit card debt, car loans, student loans, whatever, debt that's not going away. Maybe in this scenario, a debt consolidation loan (at a much lower rate than your other loans) is your answer. A payday advance loan is not going to work in the long term here. No Fax Payday loans are for short term juggling only. Now debt consolidation is usually another way of saying refinance; taking high interest loans and bundling them into a lower interest mortgage. Sometimes called a 2nd mortgage.

When the interest rate is low, sometimes its advantageous to refinance your home at a lower rate - refinance.

So you've hit the bottom. Cash advance payday loans all over the place, credit cards maxed and in collection, car repossessed or soon to be, late on you rent every month. Juggling not working; too many heavy balls in the air at one time. Maybe debt settlement is your answer. With the new laws, it's hard to bankrupt out of credit card debt, student loans impossible, and bankruptcy follows you for years. Here how debt settlement works: You contact the debt settlement company and lay out your deal. You have so many credit cards totaling x number of dollars, department stores for this much, gas cards, medical bills, etc. You stop paying all these bills and the company for a fee from you negotiates a deal with the companies for so much on the dollar. Say you have gas card with $2,000.00 on it. They call up the gas card company and say, "look my client can't pay his/her bills. If you'll take $400 for this account we'll put you in our monthly pay out for so many dollars." Most creditors go for this. Payday lenders look at it like free collections. And just because you don't go bankrupt doesn't mean you going to pay. You can just stop paying. In Texas there are no paycheck garnishments just liens. If you don't own a house, what are they going to lien on? Just don't burn all your bridges.

Now let's say been through the juggling and did debt settlement and paid off successfully. Now you need credit repair. The credit repair company hounds the credit bureaus with a ton of paperwork until they have make it unprofitable for the creditor to spend any more time replying to the credit bureaus and they (the bureau) have to by law remove the black mark from you credit. If you've been bankrupt, you have a hard road to high credit scores immediately.

After debt settlement, you might not have to rely on secured credit cards as you are "rehabilitated" but starting with a secured credit card is a good way to any unsecured credit care.

Say you have a low credit score and need a car. Look out here. Usually "buy here pay here" "we finance anybody" car lots sell junk cars at inflated prices. A better alternative is an Internet auto lender. No commissions to pay car salesmen and you can shop for a good car not a bone. Payday loans are used for down payments frequently. You have to get on the road to work and have a life so you have to do whatever you have to do.