Wednesday, September 30, 2015

GM Settles Ignition Switches Investigation for $900M

On September 17, 2015, GM announced it had settled the case of its faulty ignition switches with the federal government for $900 million. But whether the penalty satisfies the families of the 124 deaths caused by the defect remains to be seen.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

CFPB Calls Fowl on 2 Biggest U.S. Debt Collectors

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently ordered the nation's two biggest debt collectors, Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates, to stop using deceptive tactics to collect bad debts. The order sends millions of dollars back to the nation's citizens and gives a clear warning to other debt collectors.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Citizens Bank to Pay Back Millions in Customers' Money

Three government agencies recently settled claims against Citizens Bank (formerly Charter One Bank in Michigan). The financial institution had resolved five years of deposit discrepancies in the company's favor - pocketing customers' money in violation of federal law.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Give Your Cell Phone Number to Your Creditors

Mr. Hill was fed up. He had received nearly 500 calls from his creditor on his cell phone, some of them automated. He thought the Telephone Consumer Protection Act would protect him against these abusive collections practices. But he didn't realize, by giving his cell phone number to his creditor, he opened himself up to more than he bargained for.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is designed to respond to consumer complaints of creditors using technology for abusive collections practices. The law prohibits collections companies from calling a debtor's cellphone "(other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice."

But Mr. Hill had provided "prior express consent." He had told his original lender to use his cell phone, rather than an outdated home phone number. Then he gave the number to the collections company, knowing that they would use it to contact him about his debt. What he didn't realize was that by providing that number to his creditor he was also opening himself up to the use of automatic dialing and automated messages by the credit company and any later collections company that was put in charge of recovering payment on the loan.

That's why you should never give your cell phone number to a creditor or debt collection company. You may think you are just making it easier for them to reach you, but you are also stripping away important consumer protections against abusive electronic telephone collections practices.

Collections companies can be aggressive enough without debtors giving them the green light. If you are being harassed by creditors who have crossed the line, contact Dani Liblang and the consumer protection team at The Liblang Law Firm PC today for a free consultation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Happy Birthday to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Four years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened its doors and began the hard work of standing up for consumers against discriminatory lending practices, predatory lending, and other abusive behaviors. As the agency celebrates its birthday, Director Richard Cordray recognizes, it has a lot more work to do.