Bernanke Wants Looser Lending Standards In Bubble Reinflation Effort

By: Friday November 16, 2012 6:15 am

I don’t know why I felt so insulted by Ben Bernanke’s housing speech yesterday, but it really stuck with me. Probably because he managed to give an entire speech on housing – one that at points implicitly blamed homeowners for their predicaments – without mentioning the word “fraud.” Or saying “I’m sorry.” It was very [...]

Banks Face Competition From Retailers on Financial Transactions

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 2:36 pm

After consolidating the financial sector rather than seeing it broken up over the last few years, Wall Street actually faces competition, in the form of big box retailers. On a recent shopping trip to Costco, Lilly Neubauer picked up paper towels, lentils, carrots — and a home mortgage. While Ms. Neubauer, 27, said she was [...]

CFPB Report on Student Loan Servicing Shows Same Predatory Tactics as Mortgage Servicing

By: Monday October 22, 2012 7:45 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released an eye-opening report on student lending late last week that got me thinking about a simple truth I think I had overlooked previously. I’ve documented for well over a year the extent to which mortgage servicers make their profits almost entirely through ripping off their customers, adding on unnecessary [...]

CFPB Considering Giving Blanket Safe Harbor Protections on Most Qualified Mortgages

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 6:10 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may relent to a bipartisan desire to provide proactive legal immunity to mortgage lenders who originate qualified mortgages under a new rule from the Dodd-Frank law. Lenders who meet certain conditions on a mortgage they sell would get safe harbor, immunizing them from any private right of action over inaccuracies [...]

CFPB Scrutinizes Credit Scores

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 1:50 pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has shifted its attention to the credit bureaus, and their tendency to calculate credit scores they give to the public that vary from the credit scores provided to lending companies. Credit bureaus sometimes provide Americans with credit scores that are different from those that lenders use in deciding whether to [...]

CFPB Again Gets Full Refund for Customers Abused By Their Credit Card Issuer UPDATED

By: Monday September 24, 2012 1:09 pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has struck again with an enforcement action against credit card abuse. Previously, CFPB got a full refund for Capital One customers deceived into paying for add-on services on their credit card. Building on that work, CFPB joined with the FDIC to file a similar enforcement action with Discover, another major [...]

Randy Neugebauer Angry that CFPB is Compensating Their Employees Decently

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 12:23 pm

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in the House Financial Services committee, writes up a hatchet job on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in today’s Wall Street Journal. He’s really concerned about the CFPB’s salary structure: Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the bureau’s director may set and adjust [...]

Stories from the Dysfunctional Mortgage Market

By: Monday September 17, 2012 8:29 am

I think today is the day for really horrible stories of market dysfunction amid ignorance or outright collusion by the authorities. This does not end with debt collectors on bad checks. It leads back to the mortgage market, where we’ve seen the most horror stories over the last several years. Most market analysts focus on [...]

CFPB Getting Reputation as a Fearsome Regulator

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 1:41 pm

You might have guessed that I don’t have a ton of respect for our nation’s regulatory apparatus, particularly in the finance space. Too often, regulators listen to their Wall Street friends over the nuances of the law, are slow to identify abuses and slower still to crack down on them, and when they finally get [...]

Banks Charging “FDIC Fees” Against FDIC Wishes

By: Friday August 24, 2012 6:58 am

What we’ve learned over the past few years is that banks base a large segment of their profits on their ability to flat-out rip off their customers. Here’s a great example, courtesy McClatchy. Banks have been charging their business customers what is labeled an “FDIC fee,” presumably to recoup costs from the deposit insurance fund [...]

CFPB Proposes New Mortgage Servicing Rules

By: Friday August 10, 2012 6:58 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new rules for the mortgage servicing industry, which include a requirement that servicers must make a decision on any mortgage relief applicant within 30 days, and must not begin foreclosure proceedings until completing that process. Under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal, loan servicers would be required to [...]

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