Tag Archives: Banks

Supreme Court Rejects Class-Action Suit Against DirecTV

by Robert Barnes, Washington Post

“These decisions have predictably resulted in the deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses, and turning the coin, they have insulated powerful economic interests from liability for violations of consumer protection laws,” wrote [dissenting Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg. … “It has become routine, in a large part due to this court’s decisions, for powerful economic enterprises to write into their form contracts with consumers and employees no class-action arbitration clauses … further degrading the rights of consumers and further insulating already powerful economic entities.” Read More ›

Paris Attacks Spark Another Fight Against Encryption

by Sean Sposito, San Francisco Chronicle

walking smartphone aps illustration

[Encryption “back-doors” for law enforcement] won’t necessarily weaken terrorist organizations’ ability to communicate with each other over the Internet. … But what it could do is make it easier for criminals and terrorists to access our financial, medical and other personal records, said Pam Dixon, the executive director of the World Privacy Forum in San Diego. They might find a way through the back-door as well. “Strong crypto means good security for all of us,” she said. “It means that banks and hospitals can secure financial and other transactions in our digital world.” Read More ›

Beware The Fine Print: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking The Deck Of Justice

by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times

The move to block class actions was engineered by a Wall Street-led coalition of credit card companies and retailers, according to interviews with coalition members and court records. Strategizing from law offices on Park Avenue and in Washington, members of the group came up with a plan to insulate themselves from the costly lawsuits. Their work culminated in two Supreme Court rulings, in 2011 and 2013, that enshrined the use of class-action bans in contracts. The decisions … upended decades of jurisprudence. Read More ›

CFPB May Let You Sue Your Bank Instead Of Going To Arbitration

“Consumers should not be asked to sign away their legal rights when they open a bank account or credit card,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “Companies are using the arbitration clause as a free pass to sidestep the courts … ” In a first step toward potential new rules, the CFPB is publishing an outline of proposals under consideration in preparation for forming a small business review panel to gather feedback from industry stakeholders. … [New rules would apply to] credit cards, checking and deposit accounts, prepaid cards, money transfer services and several types of loans. Read More ›

CFPB To Consider Rules That Would Revoke Banks’ “License To Steal”

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

Earlier this year, the Bureau released its first report on arbitration in the financial products sector. It found that while the clauses are incredibly prevalent — 92% of prepaid debit cards and 88% of cellphone contracts use them — most consumers are completely unaware if they are affected. According to the CFPB, of those Americans constrained by arbitration agreements, fewer than 7% understood that this meant they had given up their right to file a lawsuit. “Consumers should not be asked to sign away their legal rights when they open a bank account or credit card,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in statement. Read More ›

Oakland Sues Wells Fargo For Predatory Lending Against City’s Black, Hispanic Residents

by Mike Blasky, Oakland Tribune

ill of mortgage lender and family

City Attorney Barbara Parker said the bank targeted minority borrowers — including churches — for predatory mortgage loans in violation of the Fair Housing Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. … Parker on Tuesday said no bankers were held personally responsible for the foreclosure crisis, which in part forced Oakland to lay off 80 Oakland officers in 2010 and make drastic cuts to other departments. Read More ›

Banks Continue To Improve Consumer Safeguards, But Progress Isn’t Coming Fast Enough

by Ashlee Kieler, The Consumerist

ATM keyboard

Opening a checking account with a bank is a rite of passage of sorts for many consumers, but the plethora of small-print disclosures, fees and other services are enough to confuse even the most seasoned account holder. While banks attempted to simplify their practices over the years, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows that some banks – and regulators – have a long way to go before they’re truly doing everything they can to protect consumers. Read More ›

70 Million Americans Report Stolen Data

by Donna Tapellini, Consumer Reports

While some of those incidents may have resulted from stolen credit cards or other crimes, many stemmed from data breaches. And, as a slew of widely reported breaches last year showed, not only online shoppers are at risk. According to Consumer Reports’s survey, 79% of those notified of a data breach were told by a brick-and-mortar store or a financial institution. Just eighteen percent said the problem originated with an online retailer. Read More ›

L.A. Sues Wells Fargo, Alleging ‘Unlawful And Fraudulent Conduct’

by E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times

The civil complaint, filed Monday in state court in Los Angeles by City Atty. Mike Feuer, says the largest California-based bank encouraged its employees to engage “in unfair, unlawful and fraudulent conduct” through a pervasive culture of high-pressure sales. Employees misused customers’ confidential information and often failed to close unauthorized accounts even when customers complained, the suit alleges. … In addition to charging fees on unwanted accounts, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo harmed customers by placing them into collections based on unauthorized withdrawals and reported damaging information on their credit reports … Read More ›

Data Broker Is Charged With Selling Consumers’ Financial Details To ‘Fraudsters’

by Natasha Singer, New York Times

This week, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit claiming that a data broker in Nevada sold intimate details about several hundred thousand people, including their Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, to marketers and other companies that had no legitimate need for that data. Read More ›