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    Chicago, IL 60603

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    Phone: 312-739-4200
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    Archive

    Kahuna Payment Solutions

    Saturday, February 13th, 2016

    Please contact us if you are being sued or dunned on a retail installment contract owned or formerly owned by  Kahuna Payment Solutions.  Companies attempting to collect these include JRSI, HBLC, and CGR.  Many of these debts appear to be furniture store contracts.

    IDO3D

    Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

    Please contact us if you have purchased IDO3D  products.

    TeleCheck Services

    Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

    Please contact us if you have received a letter from TeleCheck Services Inc.

    Student loan collections

    Monday, February 8th, 2016

    Please contact us if United Guaranty or CACH is attempting to collect a student loan from you.

    CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU TAKES STEPS TO IMPROVE CHECKING ACCOUNT ACCESS

    Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
    February 3, 2016

     

    CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU TAKES
    STEPS TO IMPROVE CHECKING ACCOUNT ACCESS

    CFPB Concerned that Screening Inaccuracies and Lack of Account 

     Options are Keeping Consumers Out of the Banking System

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking steps to improve checking account access amidst Bureau concerns that consumers are being sidelined by the lack of account options and by inaccurate information used to screen potential customers. Today the CFPB sent a letter to the 25 largest retail banks encouraging them to make available and widely market lower-risk deposit accounts that help consumers avoid overdrafting. The CFPB also issued a bulletin warning banks and credit unions that failure to meet accuracy obligations when they report negative account histories to credit reporting companies could result in Bureau action. And finally, the CFPB is providing consumers with resources to help navigate the deposit account system.

    “Consumers should not be sidelined out of the basic banking services they need because of the flaws and limitations in a murky system,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “People deserve to have more options for access to lower-risk deposit accounts that can better fit their needs.”

    Almost nine out of 10 American households have at least one checking account, and many also maintain a savings account. In recent decades, technology has made it possible for consumers to access funds in their accounts in a variety of ways. More and more banks have also introduced automated overdraft programs. As these changes have occurred, banks have placed greater emphasis on screening new applicants for potential risks that may arise if a consumer exceeds his or her account balance.

    One way that banks and credit unions screen account applicants for risk is to use information provided by checking account reporting companies, which have databases of information on involuntary closures of consumer checking accounts supplied by banks and credit unions. In October 2014, the CFPB laid out concerns about the information accuracy of these reports, people’s ability to access the reports and dispute incorrect information, and the ways in which the reports were being used.

    Today, the CFPB is warning banks and credit unions of their obligations when reporting. And while some banks and credit unions currently offer products that help consumers avoid overdrafts and other risks, the CFPB is also encouraging the industry more broadly to provide account options for consumers so they are less likely to overspend their funds.

    Lower-Risk Deposit Accounts

    Today the CFPB sent a letter to the nation’s top 25 retail banking companies urging them to do more to create or promote deposit accounts designed to meet consumers’ financial needs. The CFPB is urging banks and credit unions to offer consumers accounts that do not authorize them to spend money they don’t have. Separately, the CFPB is weighing what additional consumer protections are necessary for overdraft and related services. Among today’s CFPB recommendations:

    • Offer lower-risk products: Today the CFPB is encouraging banks and credit unions to offer products that are designed not to authorize overdrafts and that do not charge overdraft fees. A number of institutions have introduced “no-overdraft” accounts and offer them alongside more common checking account products. However, in a recent CFPB review of the top retail banking websites, the CFPB found nearly half do not appear to offer any deposit account that ensures consumers can’t overspend. Such a product would give consumers an opportunity to choose an account that helps them avoid overdrafting.
    • Advertise the lower-risk products: The CFPB is concerned that even when companies have these accounts available, consumers don’t know about them. So the CFPB is also urging banks and credit unions to feature such products prominently in their marketing efforts, their online and in-store checking account menus, and during sales consultations.

    The letter sent to the financial institutions is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201602_cfpb_letter-to-banks-on-lower-risk-accounts.pdf

    Screening Accuracy Improvements

    The bulletin issued by the CFPB today warns banks and credit unions that they must have systems in place regarding accuracy when they pass on information, such as negative account histories, to checking account reporting or other credit reporting companies. The consumer reporting companies focused on checking accounts typically generate reports on charge-off amounts, past non-sufficient funds activity, unpaid or outstanding bounced checks, overdrafts, involuntary account closures, and fraud.

    The CFPB is concerned about inaccuracies and inconsistent information provided by the financial institutions to the reporting companies. In a recent Supervisory Highlights, the CFPB noted that examiners found that one or more financial institutions failed to “establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy of the deposit account information provided to the consumer reporting companies.” Examiners also found that at least one entity violated its federal obligation to handle consumer disputes about these issues.

    Banks and credit unions should expect accurate information from checking account reporting companies to make fair assessments of deposit account applicants. If the system is tainted with incomplete, inconsistent, and inaccurate information, banks and credit unions cannot make informed decisions.

    The bulletin is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201602_cfpb_supervisory-bulletin-furnisher-accuracy-obligations.pdf

    Empowering Consumers to Navigate the System

    The CFPB is also releasing resources to encourage consumers to shop for lower-risk checking and prepaid accounts that will not authorize them to exceed their account balances. These products can help consumers maintain their accounts longer, and the banks and credit unions that offer them are often more accepting in their screening practices. The resources include tips and information about choosing an account and managing an account.

    The CFPB also released a consumer advisory to help people know what to do if they have been denied a deposit account or have an involuntary account closure. The CFPB is concerned that most consumers are unaware of what to do if they are rejected by a bank; and most are probably unaware of the screening system that provided the information to the bank about their checking-account profile. A consumer who had an account closed and goes to open a new account at another institution may be equally unaware of how this screening information will be used to judge his or her account application. Today’s advisory tells consumers:

    • How to obtain a copy of their checking account history: If a bank or credit union makes its decision to deny a new account based on negative reporting, the bank or credit union is required to provide the consumer with the source. The consumer should contact that source and has the right to obtain a free copy of his or her consumer report.
    • How to dispute items with the consumer reporting company: If the consumer thinks the information provided by the checking account reporting company is inaccurate, he or she should file a dispute with the company. The company is required to conduct a reasonable investigation. The CFPB is providing a sample letter to help consumers dispute the inaccurate information with the checking account reporting company.
    • How to dispute items with a bank or credit union that reported inaccurate information: If the consumer thinks some of the information on the consumer report is inaccurate, then he or she also should contact the financial institution that reported it, such as his or her old bank. The consumer can then request a correction. Federal law requires financial institutions to promptly correct inaccurate information. The CFPB is releasing a sample letter that consumers can use to contact a financial institution to dispute inaccurate information.
    • To shop around for lower-risk products: Consumers can shop around to find banks or credit unions that offer accounts without features like overdraft, many of which are available despite prior negative account history. Prepaid products are also a viable option for consumers looking to ensure they only spend the money they have.

    The guide to select a lower-risk account can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201602_cfpb_consumer-guide-to-selecting-a-lower-risk-account.pdf

    The guide to manage your checking account can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201602_cfpb_consumer-guide-to-managing-your-checking-account.pdf

    The consumer advisory about being denied a checking account can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201602_cfpb_consumer-guide-to-being-denied-a-checking-account.pdf

    FTC Seeks $1.3B From Race Car Driver Over Payday Loans

    Thursday, January 21st, 2016

    FTC Seeks $1.3B From Race Car Driver Over Payday Loans

    By Hannah Sheehan

    Law360, New York (January 20, 2016, 11:53 PM ET) — The Federal Trade Commission urged a Nevada federal judge Wednesday to order race car driver Scott Tucker to pay $1.3 billion in equitable monetary relief after two companies affiliated with Tucker and now owned by three Native American tribes agreed to a record $21 million settlement over unlawful payday loans.The FTC told the court that Scott Tucker and his now deceased brother Blaine ran a payday lending enterprise for over 10 years that deceived consumers by materially misstating the cost of loans issued by various companies with ties to the brothers, including AMG Services Inc. and MNE Services Inc., before transferring ownership to three Native American tribes.

    “Even after nominally transferring the payday lending business to the three tribes, Scott Tucker and Blaine Tucker continued to control, participate in and benefit from the so-called ‘tribal’ payday lending operation,” the FTC said in a memorandum.

    The agency, which is also seeking to permanently ban Scott Tucker from engaging in consumer lending activities, argued that the brothers are personally liable for the companies’ illegal lending and collection practices, claiming the pair had direct involvement and knowledge of the misconduct, as well as the authority to control it.

    The FTC called the $1.3 billion sum conservative in view of the defendants’ failure to produce data on loans issued before 2008. The agency said it arrived at the figure by calculating the difference between the disclosed costs of loans issued by the Tuckers’ companies and the amount they actually took from borrowers, court documents show.

    According to the memorandum, Blaine Tucker committed suicide on March 9, 2014, but the FTC said its claims survive against his estate. His widow and executor Nereyda Tucker has been substituted as a defendant by court order.

    Two of the companies affiliated with the brothers, AMG Services and MNE Services, recently agreed to pay the FTC $21 million — which the FTC says is its largest-ever payday lending settlement — to end allegations that they charged customers undisclosed and inflated fees in violation of the FTC Act.

    The FTC asserted that the payday lending companies violated the FTC Act by misleading customers on how much loans would cost. For example, a contract stated that a $300 loan would cost $390 to repay, but customers were then charged $975 in repayments, the agency said.

    The FTC also alleged Truth In Lending Act violations for inaccurately disclosing annual percentage rates and loan terms.

    The $21 million settlement will be paid into a fund administered by the FTC that will be used for equitable relief and consumer compensation, court documents show.

    Counsel for the parties did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

    Scott Tucker is represented by Von S. Heinz of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP.

    The FTC is represented by Nikhil Singhvi.

    The case is FTC v. AMG Services Inc, et al.,  case number 2:12-cv-00536, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.

    Title Loan Company d/b/a Loan Machine

    Friday, January 15th, 2016

    Please contact us if you live in Illinois and have a line of credit from the Title Loan Company d/b/a Loan Machine.

    Lumosity to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC Deceptive Advertising Charges for Its “Brain Training” Program

    Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

    Company Claimed Program Would Sharpen Performance in Everyday Life And Protect Against Cognitive Decline

    Lumosity logo, a brain inside a head with rays emanating from itThe creators and marketers of the Lumosity “brain training” program have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges alleging that they deceived consumers with unfounded claims that Lumosity games can help users perform better at work and in school, and reduce or delay cognitive impairment associated with age and other serious health conditions.

    As part of the settlement, Lumos Labs, the company behind Lumosity, will pay $2 million in redress and will notify subscribers of the FTC action and provide them with an easy way to cancel their auto-renewal to avoid future billing.

    “Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.”

    According to the FTC’s complaint, the Lumosity program consists of 40 games purportedly designed to target and train specific areas of the brain. The company advertised that training on these games for 10 to 15 minutes three or four times a week could help users achieve their “full potential in every aspect of life.” The company sold both online and mobile app subscriptions, with options ranging from monthly ($14.95) to lifetime ($299.95) memberships.

    Lumosity has been widely promoted though TV and radio advertisements on networks including CNN, Fox News, the History Channel, National Public Radio, Pandora, Sirius XM, and Spotify. The defendants also marketed through emails, blog posts, social media, and on their website, Lumosity.com, and used Google AdWords to drive traffic to their website, purchasing hundreds of keywords related to memory, cognition, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, according to the complaint.

    The FTC alleges that the defendants claimed training with Lumosity would 1) improve performance on everyday tasks, in school, at work, and in athletics; 2) delay age-related cognitive decline and protect against mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease; and 3) reduce cognitive impairment associated with health conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, ADHD, the side effects of chemotherapy, and Turner syndrome, and that scientific studies proved these benefits.

    The complaint also charges the defendants with failing to disclose that some consumer testimonials featured on the website had been solicited through contests that promised significant prizes, including a free iPad, a lifetime Lumosity subscription, and a round-trip to San Francisco.

    The proposed stipulated federal court order requires the company and the individual defendants, co-founder and former CEO Kunal Sarkar and co-founder and former Chief Scientific Officer Michael Scanlon, to have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making future claims about any benefits for real-world performance, age-related decline, or other health conditions.

    The order also imposes a $50 million judgment against Lumos Labs, which will be suspended due to its financial condition after the company pays $2 million to the Commission. The order requires the company to notify subscribers who signed up for an auto-renewal plan between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014 about the FTC action and to provide a means to cancel their subscription.

    The Commission vote authorizing the filing of the complaint and proposed stipulated order was 4-0, with Commissioner Julie Brill issuing a separate concurring statement. The FTC filed the complaint and proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

    The FTC is a member of the National Prevention Council, which provides coordination and leadership at the federal level regarding prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices. This case advances the National Prevention Council’s goal of increasing the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. This case is part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from misleading health advertising

    FTC Secures $4.4 Million From Online Payday Lenders to Settle Deception Charges

    Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

    Lenders Will Waive $68 Million in Inflated Fees Charged to Consumers Nationwide

    Two payday lenders have settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they illegally charged consumers across the country undisclosed and inflated fees. The two companies, Red Cedar Services Inc. and SFS Inc., have each paid $2.2 million and collectively waived $68 million in fees to consumers that were not collected.

    Combined with earlier settlements, the FTC has recovered about $25.5 million thus far in connection with the case, which involves Red Cedar, SFS, AMG Services, Inc., and MNE Services, Inc., and a number of related entities and individuals.  The case also has resulted in an estimated $353 million in waived debt – making this already the largest FTC recovery in a payday lending case, with litigation still continuing against other defendants.

    “Payday lenders need to be honest about the terms of the loans they offer,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “These lenders charged borrowers more than they said they would. As a result of the FTC’s case, they are paying a steep price for their deception.

    The settlements stem from FTC charges filed in federal court in April 2012 alleging that the lenders and others misrepresented how much loans would cost consumers, in violation of the FTC Act. For example, a contract used by Red Cedar, AMG Services and MNE Services stated that a $300 loan would cost $390 to repay, but they charged consumers $975.

    The defendants also failed to accurately disclose the annual percentage rate and other loan terms, in violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and made preauthorized debits from consumers’ bank accounts a condition of the loans, in violation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA). Red Cedar and SFS operated under the trade names 500 Fast Cash and One Click Cash, respectively.

    In May 2014, the federal court found that the defendants’ loan documents were deceptive and violated the TILA, as the FTC had charged.

    The stipulated final federal court orders for Red Cedar and SFS also prohibit those defendants from misrepresenting the terms of any loan product, including the payment schedule and interest rate, the total amount the consumer will owe, annual percentage rates or finance charges, and any other material facts. The orders also bar defendants from violating the TILA and the EFTA.

    The Commission votes approving the proposed stipulated final orders for Red Cedar and SFS were 4-0. The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada entered the orders on November 25, 2015.

    The Commission previously reached court-approved settlements with AMG Services, MNE Services, Robert D. Campbell, Troy LittleAxe, and Don Brady. Litigation continues against AMG Capital Management LLC, Level 5 Motorsports LLC, LeadFlash Consulting LLC, Black Creek Capital Corporation, Broadmoor Capital Partners LLC, Scott A. Tucker, the estate of Blaine A. Tucker, and relief defendants Park 269 LLC and Kim C. Tucker.

    Loan Machine

    Thursday, December 31st, 2015

    Please contact us if you have a 36% line of credit from The Loan Machine in Illinois.