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Morgan Stanley to Pay Billions for Mortgage Decption

Abandoned room

The Justice Department announced yesterday that Morgan Stanley will pay a $2.6 billion penalty to resolve claims related to Morgan Stanley’s marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). This settlement constitutes the largest component of the set of resolutions with Morgan Stanley entered by members of the RMBS Working Group, which have totaled approximately $5 billion. As part ... Read More »

    Consumer Credit Card Debt Not the Biggest Problem in 2015

    Inside view of an antique combination lock of bank Mandiri in Jakarta, Indonesia

    This morning, New York Fed President William Dudley spoke to the press about the growing resilience of the U.S. household sector. His speech was followed by a briefing by New York Fed economists on developments in household borrowing. Their presentation included a detailed decomposition on mortgage borrowing and payment trends, and some new research on how borrowing has evolved differently ... Read More »

      Utah Lawmaker Says the Dumbest Thing When it Comes to Payday Loans

      Mia Love

      Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) said the dumbest thing and made the worst argument about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulation of payday loans. If the quote published by many is correct it just shows a total lack of understanding about why people get into trouble with payday loans. Debt is the byproduct of misfortune or bad choices. It’s created ... Read More »

        Beling & Associates Student Loan Assistance Websites(s) Make Me Curious

        Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.36.50 PM

        A reader sent in a consumer complaint about a company called Beling & Associates. As a result of the complaint and the information the consumer submitted with it, I took a quick look at the company. I’ve reached out to the company with questions but at the time of publication I have not heard back. The reader claimed Beling & ... Read More »

          Obama Proposes Tax Help for Student Loan Relief. Congress Says No.

          2017 Budget

          In the budget the Obama administration has just sent to Congress there are some benefits for students who will face massive tax bills when their student loans might be forgiven under income based programs. As it stands now, students are enrolling in income driven repayment programs to reduce their current monthly payments to a level based on their income. After ... Read More »

            Would You Like Your Employer to Pay Off Your Student Loans?

            You will help protect people when you sell me your junk mail.

            Since World War II, subsidized health insurance has been one of those unquestioned work benefits. We’ve come to expect it, just like the 8-hour workday. Of course, many Americans don’t get health coverage at their jobs, and they work more than 8 hours a day to make ends meet. That might help explain why today’s young workers want a brand-new ... Read More »

              Prosper Study Shows Americans Want to Do Better Financially

              Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.55.18 AM

              Prosper Marketplace, which operates an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors, today released results from the Prosper Marketplace Financial Wellness Study, which examines the current state and sentiment around personal finance in America. The study revealed that nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have the financial freedom to enjoy life, but improving financial wellness is a top priority. ... Read More »

                Most College Students Massively Fail When it Comes to Understanding their Student Loans


                I’ve been helping people with financial problems since 1994. And in that time I’ve seen all sorts of suggestions to inoculate consumers from money problems. Most of the suggestions surround the need for kids to have more financial literacy education. Sounds logical, right? But my mouth is hanging open as I read the latest college student survey from LendEDU. The ... Read More »

                  Debt Relief Scammer Headed to Jail After Pleading Guilty

                  Dead man walking - Sad prisoner with handcuffs in prison with orange clothes

                  An Orange County, California, man pleaded guilty today for his role in operating fraudulent debt relief firms that offered to settle credit card debts but instead took victims’ payments as undisclosed up-front fees, the Justice Department and U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced. Jeremy Nelson, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of an indictment alleging conspiracy to commit mail fraud and ... Read More »

                    Anatomy of a Scam – How Easily You Can Get Suckered


                    Here is a great story that lays out how shady telemarketers can convince you to jump into any scam. In my world it is usually some B.S. debt relief effort. Today the most prevailing debt relief product some scammers are pushing is student loan assistance for federal loans. But it is a moving target. In the past the scam of ... Read More »

                      Do I Have a Good Case for Eliminating My Private Student Loan Debt?

                      courthouse 2

                      Question: Dear Steve, I am interested in pursuing bankruptcy for my private student loans. While this is usually a futile battle, documentation from the research I have done will make my claim valid. I have $41000 in debt to ACS, and I have $111000 in debt to Navient (Sallie Mae). Only about $30,000 of that money ($152,000) was actually used ... Read More »

                        Orange County Mortgage Modification Telemarketers Arrested

                        Dead man walking - Sad prisoner with handcuffs in prison with orange clothes

                        Seven Orange County residents were arrested Tuesday morning and face federal fraud charges in connection with a boiler-room mortgage loan scheme that required homeowners to pay thousands in upfront fees. A federal grand jury in Connecticut returned an indictment on: • Aria Maleki, 33, Santa Ana; • Serj Geuttsoyan, aka Anthony Kirk, 33, Santa Ana; • Mehdi Moarefian, aka Michael ... Read More »

                          CFPB Discloses Why People Complain About Debt Settlement and Credit Repair

                          CFPB Consumer Complaints

                          The CFPB took a look at complaints it has received and shared why most consumers seem to complain about debt settlement and credit repair services. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said: “Excessive fees for debt settlement and credit repair services: Of all complaints marked as other financial service, 60 percent of them were about problems consumers had when dealing with ... Read More »

                            Before You Enrolled in College Did They Tell You Your Degree Sucks?


                            In my ongoing thread over the concern colleges and universities have been enrolling students and not giving them the window sticker of what was really to be expected (see this, this, and this) comes this interesting information out today. While some students were induced to enroll in college and go deep into debt, there is growing concern that the messages ... Read More »

                              FTC Makes Case Students Deceived in College Enrollment


                              I’ve been rattling on about a trend I’m seeing in college enrollment deception and the ability for people to file a claim to discharge, in full, their federal student loans. See this article. I’ve advised haste to get claims in and what to do before the door closes on this current process. See this article. The basic issue is students ... Read More »

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