Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bloom Raskin confirmed

Sarah Bloom Raskin, who was MCRC's Consumer Advocate of the Year in 2009, is joining the Federal Reserve Board.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-sarah-bloom-raskin-20100930,0,641663.story

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Howard County's 50+ Expo is October 15

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Attack on Arbitration Fairness Act

Former Ninth Circuit Judge and Secretary of Education Shirley M. Hufstedler and Former Eighth Circuit Judge, FBI Director, and CIA Director William H. Webster have co-authored a piece in the National Law Journal, Arbitration Under Siege, criticizing the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act, and calling instead for codification of fairness standards. ... Continue reading here.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Banks Pressed on Sour Home Loans

Wall Street Journal: Big U.S. banks are facing legal pressure to make up for losses tied to pools of soured low-end mortgage loans.

In the latest effort, a group of investors in 2,300 mortgage securities worth roughly $500 billion is seeking to force several banks that originated or are now servicing faulty subprime-mortgage loans to repurchase or modify them.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704814204575508143329644732.html

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MCRC releases "How to Buy a Used Car" booklet

This is a great resource for anyone in the market for a used car. Car dealers have been perfecting their sales tactics for years; this booklet gives consumers the knowledge they need to level the playing field. Many of the tips also transfer to new-car purchases. View or download the booklet here.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

MCRC signs on to letter suppoting debt-settlement reform

Sept. 24, 2010

Dear Senator/Representative:

Our organizations, representing millions of consumers across the United States, strongly support the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act of 2010 -- S. 3264, sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer; and H.R. 5387 sponsored by Representative Luis Gutierrez. We ask you to cosponsor this important legislation to protect Americans from harmful debt settlement industry practices, and to support it.

It is crucial to enact this legislation as soon as possible to protect vulnerable consumers from the effects of harmful debt settlement practices.

The debt settlement industry claims that it will help consumers negotiate with creditors to pay off debts for less than the amount owed. Debt settlement providers encourage consumers to stop paying their creditors and instead accumulate money in a special account to fund later settlements. However, debt settlement companies generally deduct fees directly from those savings before any debts are settled, and keep taking fees every month, even if they never settle one penny of the consumer’s debt. Since creditors are not getting paid, they may increase collection activity and even sue.

To download the entire letter, click here.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Countrywide's Mozilo Loses Bid for Dismissal of SEC's Subprime Risks Suit

Countrywide Financial Corp. former Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo must face trial on regulators’ claims he misled investors about risks tied to subprime lending, a judge ruled. ... Read story here.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Obama to appoint E. Warren to advisory role

Washington Post: ... By appointing Warren to a post within the administration - much as the White House did with the "car czar" Steven Rattner and "compensation czar" Kenneth Feinberg - Obama would free her to act as the bureau's director almost immediately while avoiding a confirmation battle.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/15/AR2010091505999.html

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fannie Sets New Foreclosure Timeframe for Maryland

National Mortgage News: Fannie Mae has established new foreclosure timeframes for four states – Florida, Maryland, Nevada and New York – telling seller/servicers they face potentially steep fines if they cannot complete the task. ... Read more here.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Elizabeth Warren may avoid nasty confirmation battle

New York Times: The Obama administration is considering appointing the legal scholar Elizabeth Warren to run a new consumer bureau on a temporary basis to avoid a potentially bruising confirmation battle in the Senate, according to people who have been briefed on the search.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/business/14consumer.html

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MCRC's Marceline White on MPT

MCRC Executive Director appeared on "Your Money & Business" on MPT recently, along with Kathleen Murphy, President and CEO, Maryland Bankers Association, to discuss the new Consumer Protection Financial Bureau.

Watch the full episode. See more Your Money and Business.

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Top 10 job scams

Rarely has there been a riper time for con artists to come out of the woodwork to lure unsuspecting victims into their lairs, with such advertisements as "easy ways to make money", "quick money", and "how to earn money fast." The reason: The U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 9.6% and millions of Americans are currently out of work, desperate for any sort of employment.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Arbitration as Delegation

David Horton, Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Abstract: Hundreds of millions of consumer and employment contracts include mandatory arbitration clauses, class arbitration waivers, and other terms that modify the rules of litigation. These provisions ride the wake of the Supreme Court’s expansive interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). For decades, scholars have criticized the Court’s arbitration jurisprudence for distorting Congress’s wishes and ignoring the fact that companies use fine print dispute resolution provisions as a clandestine way to eliminate substantive rights.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1665565

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

More speculation on Elizabeth Warren and CFP

Washington Post: When fall classes began Wednesday at Harvard Law School, Elizabeth Warren was scheduled to be teaching contract law to first-year students. But something happened on the way to the chalkboard. ... read full story here.

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