- Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Filling the financial information gap in limited English communities »
When you don’t speak or understand English well, applying for a car loan or mortgage can be hazardous to your financial health. For the more than 25 million people in the U.S. who are less than fluent in English, engaging in English-only financial transactions puts them at greater risk of becoming the victim of scams, being locked into undesirable contract terms and even losing their homes to foreclosure.
The latest issue of Consumer Action News, non-profit Consumer Action’s quarterly newsletter, examines the challenges faced by consumers with limited English proficiency (LEP) and highlights multilingual resources to meet their needs.
- Thursday, September 01, 2016
Consumer Action analyzes a most valuable consumer tool »
Consumer Action released a study of the CFPB public complaint database, which evaluates if the information it contains can help consumers vet companies they might want to do business with. We report our findings in the latest issue of Consumer Action News, and an accompanyng report, where we break down the most common types of complaints received, demystify how best to access the data, and we examine the ways companies respond to consumers.
- Monday, March 21, 2016
Scammers phish for mortgage closing costs »
The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of Realtors® are warning home buyers about an email and money wiring scam. Hackers have been breaking into some consumers’ and real estate professionals’ email accounts to get information about upcoming real estate transactions. After figuring out the closing dates, the hacker sends an email to the buyer, posing as the real estate professional or title company.
- Thursday, March 03, 2016
Access to an affordable home loan for LMI borrowers »
- Monday, February 22, 2016
It's America Saves Week: Get on board! »
Saving money, improving your financial life, building wealth. It all starts when you set a goal and make a plan to reach that goal. So what is your goal? Set up an emergency cash fund? Get out of debt? Make a down payment on a car or home? Sock away money for college or retirement?
- Wednesday, December 23, 2015
More flexible, affordable mortgage option from Fannie Mae »
Low-to-moderate income borrowers have a new mortgage program to consider when shopping for an affordable home loan.
Home Ready, backed by Fannie Mae, offers fixed rate mortgages with low downpayments and options for multiple income sources.
- Friday, December 18, 2015
Correcting and protecting your credit record »
The credit reporting issue of Consumer Action News covers some welcome changes in reporting rules and the dispute resolution process, explains how consumers can access free credit scores and deal with delinquent debt on their reports, and throws light on the rights and challenges for job seekers and data breach victims.
- Thursday, November 19, 2015
Protect your legal rights: Support the Arbitration Fairness Act »
Did you know that credit card and telephone companies, banks and other major corporations are actively fighting to take away your right to sue them in a court of law if they misbehave? They want to force you into arbitration – a private system without a judge, jury or right to an appeal – so that they can avoid the costs associated with awarding you damages or improving their products and services. Proposals in Congress and the Senate—the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2015 (HR 2087 and S 1133)—would counter this attempt on behalf of big business by eliminating forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer and civil rights cases.
- Thursday, November 19, 2015
Insider’s guide to responding to debt collectors »
Millions of consumers are contacted by debt collectors every year. This concise “insider’s” guide to responding to a debt collection call or letter, written with input from an association of collectors, provides tips for communicating effectively with a collector, exercising and protecting your rights and avoiding debt collection scams.
- Friday, October 02, 2015
Making sense of the mortgage process »
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers homebuyers news tools for understanding loan choices, comparing mortgage rates and being able to Know Before You Owe.
- Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Get Consumer Action's new e-newsletter, SCAM GRAM! »
SCAM GRAM is Consumer Action’s new monthly email alerting you to the dirtiest players in the world of tech fraud, credit card scams, ID theft and general con-artistry. Don’t be fooled by liars, cheaters and deceivers—wise up with SCAM GRAM!
- Friday, June 26, 2015
Huge victory in the fight against housing discrimination »
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that even if housing discrimination was unintended it is still illegal.
- Friday, June 26, 2015
Consumers can access the 'heart' of CFPB complaints »
Consumers now have a critical tool with which to educate and empower themselves in the financial marketplace: consumer narratives (details).
- Monday, February 23, 2015
Foreclosure relief checks reissued »
Nearly 600,000 replacement checks are being mailed to homeowners who were to receive some compensation for faulty foreclosures as part of the government's Independent Foreclosure Review settlement process with 13 major mortgage servicers.
- Friday, January 16, 2015
Know Before you Owe: CFPB’s new mortgage rate checker »
The CFPB's new interactive mortgage tool allows consumers to see a realistic range of interest rates before shopping for a home loan.
- Friday, January 09, 2015
FHA cuts insurance costs for homebuyers »
Many consumers who’ve been priced out of the housing market in recent years because of high insurance premiums should now have greater access to a home loan. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it is lowering insurance premiums on FHA mortgages by half a percentage point. The rate will drop from 1.35% to 0.85% annually.
- Friday, January 10, 2014
Making the most of new mortgage rule protections »
'Safe' or Qualified Mortgage (QM) rules that target risky loans and deceptive practices take effect today and will require mortgage servicers to ensure that borrowers can afford the mortgages they receive. Foreclosure prevention protections are also part of the CFPB's new mortgage package.
- Thursday, January 02, 2014
Weigh in on debt collection abuses with the CFPB »
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to hear from consumers about problems with debt collectors and collection attorneys. Help the Bureau understand the damage linked to debt collection as they consider what rules to create to curb abuses within the industry.
- Thursday, December 26, 2013
Financial relief for deceived homeowners and foreclosure victims »
Underwater homeowners will receive $2 billion in principal reductions from Ocwen Financial Corp. for unfair and deceptive practices. The mortgage servicer will also pay $125 million to those who've already lost their homes to foreclosure. Ocwen is charged with taking advantage of struggling homeowners with unauthorized fees, deceptive loan modifications, and illegal foreclosures.
- Friday, December 20, 2013
Refunds for auto and mortgage loan discrimination »
Minority car buyers and mortgage borrowers were charged higher interest rates for home and auto loans because of a discriminatory pricing system, according to the CFPB. Regulators have ordered banks to repay harmed borrowers who were allegedly discriminated against.
- Friday, October 04, 2013
Banks pressed to make good on deal to help homeowners »
Homeowners struggling to save their homes from foreclosure will now receive more time to consider a mortgage modification offer. Under the National Mortgage Settlement, attorneys general have created several new requirements for mortgage servicers to assist homeowners. New measurements have also been devised to ensure that mortgage servicers are meeting their obligations.
- Wednesday, September 18, 2013
CFPB public database provides local mortgage stats »
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has launched an online tool to provide consumers with easy access to public mortgage information collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The tool enables greater transparency by helping inform people of trends in their local mortgage markets. The CFPB’s online HMDA tool is available at: www.consumerfinance.gov/hmda
- Wednesday, September 04, 2013
CFPB warns credit reporting mistakes must be investigated »
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) put companies on notice that if a consumer disputes information in her credit file that an investigation must occur and, if warranted, the error must be corrected.
- Thursday, April 11, 2013
Checks hit the mail to foreclosed homeowners »
The first wave of checks will head to homeowners who were foreclosed on in 2009 and 2010 starting Friday, April 12. While payouts range from $300 to $125,000, most borrowers will receive only about $300. Those receiving $300 to $600 include nearly two million homeowners who applied for a loan modification but ended up in foreclosure anyway, and others whose mortgage servicers never considered them for a modification.
- Thursday, January 17, 2013
Bought drywall in the past 12 months? Read this »
Consumer Action has been informed by a law firm we work with about a potential lawsuit against companies that produce and sell gypsum drywall for the construction and remodeling of homes. The attorneys believe that these companies (see footnote) may have been involved in price fixing (see footnote). The legal action would seek refunds for consumers and the builders of homes that purchased drywall from these companies from Jan. 1, 2012 to the present.
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