The Child Care Industry Was Collapsing. Mrs. Jackie Bet Everything on an Impossible Dream to Save It.

Father and Child

Jackie Thomas pulled up to her child care center, Damion’s Place, picked up the mail and stretched out beside a baby on a giraffe-printed playmat. She opened a letter from state regulators who had sent over a motion in their case to shut her down. In the chaos of the past year, they’d found Jackie’s … Read more

JPMorgan Chase Bank Wrongly Charged 170,000 Customers Overdraft Fees. Federal Regulators Refused to Penalize It.

Federal bank examiners considered levying fines and sanctions when JPMorgan Chase informed them last year that faulty overdraft charges caused by a software glitch had impacted roughly 170,000 customers. But the bank urged the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, its chief regulator, to take less severe action, according to two people … Read more

Prosecutor Fired for Speaking Out Against Jail Time for People Who Fall Behind on Rent

An Arkansas prosecutor has been fired after speaking out against the state’s criminal eviction statute in an October ProPublica story. Garland County deputy prosecutor Josh Drake was let go from his position on Oct. 31 by Michelle Lawrence, the prosecuting attorney. Arkansas is the only state where landlords can file criminal charges rather than civil … Read more

Millions Still Haven’t Gotten Stimulus Checks, Including Many Who Need Them Most

It’s been 217 days since Congress instructed the IRS to send $1,200 stimulus checks to every citizen below a certain income threshold. And yet, it’s likely as many as 12 million people — including those who most need a financial boost — never got the cash. The reasons include confusion about how the complex program … Read more

He Made a Minor Mistake Filling Out an Unemployment Form. Then the State Demanded $14,990 From Him.

Ahmad Ghabboun broke into a sweat. It was a late night in August and he had just discovered an unexpected $14,990 debt posted to the online portal he uses to access his account with Washington state’s unemployment agency. Since May, he had been receiving payments every week through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, newly established … Read more

Sometimes it Really Does Suck to Live in West Virginia Coal Country

One year ago, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice promised business leaders that the state’s economy was on the verge of a boom. Continued growth in natural gas production was going to spark an industrial renaissance, bringing construction of a giant collection of spinoff factories. Speaking to the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, held … Read more

Debt Collectors Still Have Time to Kick You While You Are Down

Earlier this year, the pandemic swept across the country, killing 100,000 Americans by the spring, shuttering businesses and schools, and forcing people into their homes. It was a great time to be a debt collector. In August, Encore Capital, the largest debt buyer in the country, announced that it had doubled its previous record for … Read more

The FTC Is Investigating Intuit Over TurboTax Practices

The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Intuit and its marketing of TurboTax products, following ProPublica’s reporting that the Silicon Valley company deceived tax filers into paying when they could have filed for free. The FTC probe, run out of the commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, centers on whether Intuit violated the law against unfair … Read more

She Was Sued Over Rent She Didn’t Owe. It Took Seven Court Dates to Prove She Was Right.

In August 2018, Chermire Gladden sat on the dark wooden benches in Maryland District Court, waiting her turn as a judge churned through more than 90 cases filed against public housing residents. Gladden had informed the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis two months earlier that she wouldn’t be able to afford the $604 … Read more

Intuit Takeover of Credit Karma is Getting a Close Look by Justice Department

Social Security Card

Credit Karma is a site that I often suggest to consumers to obtain free credit report monitoring and credit report reviews, even if only for two credit bureaus. As long as users are aware that the motivation for Credit Karma to provide those free services is to market additional financial products, they can get the … Read more

They Sued Thousands of Borrowers During the Pandemic

A Silicon Valley-based installment lender that caters to Latino immigrants announced on Tuesday that it would drop all the lawsuits it has filed against borrowers who fell behind on payments, including during the coronavirus pandemic. Oportun Inc. also said it would cap interest rates on new loans at 36% — a percentage that consumer advocates … Read more

The Billionaire Governor Who’s Been Sued Dozens of Times for Millions in Unpaid Bills

Raymond Dye had a buildup of blood behind his left eye that prevented him from seeing. David Polk had an abnormal heartbeat, and his wife had high cholesterol. Roger Wriston’s wife had a bad back. All the men had worked for a collection of coal companies owned by Gov. Jim Justice and his family, which … Read more