Latest in Consumer News

Young African-American man

Plan To Require Unaccredited Law Schools In California To Disclose Dropout Rates OKd

A panel of the State Bar of California approved a plan on Friday to require unaccredited law schools to disclose their dropout rates, in an effort to improve transparency for prospective students. … California is one of a handful of states that allow students from unaccredited law schools to take the bar, the state’s legal licensing exam. About 1 in 5 of them pass the bar, according to state records.

One percenters enjoy fine wine.

PUC Launches PG&E Probe As Agency Fails To Comply With Search Warrant

Meanwhile, the commission – beset by criticism that its officials have a too-cozy relationship with the utilities they regulate – failed to respond to a search warrant for records related the California attorney general’s investigation of agency operations. A court document filed Aug. 7 states that “after multiple requests, and two months after the search warrant was served on CPUC, no records have been produced.” … The attorney general is investigating secret talks between the commission and Southern California Edison, the state’s second largest investor-owned utility.

GECKO ON KTVU

Auto Insurance Company GEICO Pays Out Multi-Million Dollar Settlement

The Consumer Federation of California charges that GEICO tried to discourage less preferable customers. Those include those not college-educated, not professional, not executive, a woman, an unmarried person, or those not currently insured. They would not be offered those lowest legal minimum [rates.]

Geico gecko in trademark car

Geico Pays $6M To Settle Insurance Discrimination Claim

Geico will pay $6 million to settle a complaint alleging it illegally discriminated against women, unmarried people, blue-collar workers and those without four-year college degrees by showing them costlier auto insurance policies on its Web site than it showed other potential customers. “We believe the primary intent was to drive these folks away from Geico to someone else’s Web site or at least make sure they were paying a lot more money if they didn’t drive them away,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America, the nonprofit advocacy group that filed the complaint.

Empty pockets

Garnishing California’s Future: New Bill Seeks To Curb Wage Seizures

Unable to keep up payments, loans fall into default and too often result in crippling court-ordered garnishments that claim up to a quarter of earnings. … “People’s lives are being ruined by these very high, 25 percent garnishments – the national maximum – being taken out of their check before they get it home,” [one expert said]. … [SB 501 would] eliminate the current law’s penalty against garnished workers who might want to work more than 40 hours a week. As the law stands now, every additional dollar above $360 a week is taken by the creditor.