Sanctioned Disruption of the Banking Industry to Come

For the most part the announcement from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are painful boring. Sorry fellas. But this one looks like it could provide some innovative changes to the banking industry that could disrupt things for the better. The OCC says: “On December 2, 2016, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas … Read more

Your Bank Will Drive You Longer in Debt Than the Return Trip

One of the options you can use to get out of debt is a Debt Management Plan (DMP) from a non-profit credit counseling agency. These groups can organize many of your unsecured debts into one monthly payment that consumers make to the agency. It is then divided up and sent along it’s merry way to … Read more

Government Agencies Request Banks Be Gentle With Borrowers

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and National Credit Union Administration are all asking banks and lenders to be gentle with borrowers. The agencies are encouraging financial institutions to work with customers affected by the federal government … Read more

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Money Waiting – Scam Alert

The government agency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is warning consumers to be on the lookout for fraudulent messages that are intended to scam money out of consumers. The OCC says fictitious correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly under the control of … Read more

Big Foreclosure Compensation, But Only for the Right Wrongs

by Paul Kiel ProPublica Can you put a price on the damage caused by a wrongful foreclosure? Banking regulators have. And it’s $125,000. Or $60,000. Or $15,000. Or2026 it’s unclear. Last November, banking regulators launched a process to force the big banks to compensate homeowners victimized by their foreclosure abuses. Many crucial details remained unclear, … Read more

Banks Still Foreclosing on Wrong People

by Paul Kiel, ProPublica Four years into the foreclosure crisis, banks say they’ve made major improvements in how they handle struggling homeowners. They’ve promised, for example, not to foreclose on homeowners who are being considered for mortgage modifications. But that’s still happening. Consider the cases of Laurie Pinkerton and Lisa Peterson. The two women, both … Read more

Financial Reform Headed Down Wrong Track. Is the OCC That Inept?

by Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein, ProPublica Early last year, as they weighed whether to bar banks from speculative trading with their own money, congressional staffers turned to a key regulator for advice. The response from Julie Williams, the chief counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, was startling, according to people … Read more

Modified Mortgages Still Not Honored By Lenders

by Paul Kiel ProPublica Chanel Rosario was supposed to be one of the lucky ones. After years of sending and re-sending documents, waiting on hold and attending court hearings to avoid foreclosure on her Staten Island home, she’d finally received a much-needed reduction on her mortgage. Eagerly, she and her husband signed it and mailed … Read more

Regulators Totally Missed Foreclosure Problems

Marian Wang, ProPublica While they may be conducting their own investigations, federal prosecutors and national bank regulators for the most part aren’t the ones leading the investigation into the foreclosure mess. At least that’s the perception–one that’s reinforced when Elizabeth Warren, Obama’s head of consumer financial protection, says her money is on a 50-state investigation … Read more

I Hate American Express.

“Dear Steve, Currently paying off about $75,000 in credit card debt taken on during the economic slowdown last year when my consulting business tanked; current income of about $150,000. Not sure that debt relief is a viable option for me without severe negative credit rating consequences, so I’m paying down debt on most cards with … Read more

I Was Laid Off and Burned Through My Savings. – Tom

Tom “Dear Steve, I was laid off last year and out of work for 5 months. That burned through my savings. I got a one year contract position which has now ended. I have $45K of unsecured credit and a $6K balance on a secured auto loan. Since I am out of work, I contacted … Read more

Government Kills Debt Write Off And 40% Debt Elimination Plan

All I’ve got to say is, Good! The plan would have done more damage than good and while some people might have hoped that the government would accept the creditor based plan, it was shallow and not enough to make a real difference to help people avoid bankruptcy and get out of debt. Recently I … Read more

Banks Agree to Wipe Out Up to 40 Percent of Credit Card Debt But Watch Out.

Credit card lenders include Discover Financial Services LLC, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Capital One Financial Corp., American Express Co. and HSBC Holdings have finally come together with the help of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Consumer Federation of America and the Financial Service Roundtable to start the process … Read more