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Illinois Consumer Law Blog

  • Many people rely on credit scores to determine their financial health and stability. Employers occasionally use it to determine the responsibility level of the people they hire. For years, most consumers have relied on a few main credit reporting agencies to determine their score, including Equifax and Transunion. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced in January that Equifax and Transunion had been deceiving and ...
  • A recent case has been reviewed and re-reviewed by a higher court by using the standards established in Brunner v. New York State Higher Educ. Servs. Corp. (Brunner v. NYSHE) . Within the case, a woman filed to become a Chapter 7 Debtor due to $112,000 of student loan debt that she claimed would be an “undue hardship” upon her to try to repay. The bankruptcy court assigned to her petition initially agreed that the debt was indeed too ...
  • Case Law Update: Bald v. Wells Fargo

    A federal appellate case from Hawaii, Bald v. Wells Fargo, recently focused on a putative class action initially filed by plaintiffs who alleged that Well Fargo Bank violated Hawaii state law when it unreasonably caused damages during the non-judicial sale of their homes by failing to take reasonable steps to conduct foreclosure proceedings in a way that would obtain the best price. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Wells Fargo violated ...
  • Plaintiff S. Azeem used a mortgage loan with Guaranty Bank back in 2006 in order to buy a new home. It is worth noting that her husband at the time – they have since divorced – did co-sign that mortgage but is not actually a plaintiff in this lawsuit. In 2008, a foreclosure complaint was filed against the property and OneWest Bank was brought into the procedure after the mortgage loan was transferred to it. Ocwen Loan Servicing was ...
  • Sulaiman Law Group, LTD.is pleased to announce that our Chicago consumer lawyers have secured an important victory against Portfolio Recovery Associates for deliberately using ambiguous collection letters in an attempt to compel our client to pay a legally unenforceable debt. The decision was issued by a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, March 29th. In its ruling, the 7th Circuit Court upheld a ruling from a ...
  • Debt collectors have used an array of tactics over the years to contact debtors and compel them to make payments toward debt. As our legal team at Sulaiman Law Group, LTD. knows all too well, many of these tactics toe the line of not just human decency, but also federal law established by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ( FDCPA ). In some cases, some tactics are blatant violations. When debt collectors violate the Fair Debt Collection ...
  • Student loans have become one of the largest financial concerns of our generation, and for good reason. Today, student loan debt exceeds all other types of debt, and has been noted as a substantial barrier to major life milestones, such as buying a home, for millions of young Americans. While efforts have been made to address student loan debt on a large scale, individual debtors still find it difficult to deal the very real problems they face. ...
  • Debt Collection Harassment: How to Protect Yourself

    As debt has become a profitable business, debt collection agencies have sprouted and thrived throughout the country. Unfortunately, these agencies and the debt collectors they employ can become overly aggressive in their efforts to collect money from debtors, sometimes to the point that they violate the law and the rights of consumers. It happens all the time. In fact, the problem of debt collection harassment is so prolific that it is the top ...
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an Outline of Proposed Rules regarding debt collection within a 117-page document, some of which addresses voice messages and frequency of contact, which have been a hotly debated topic for years. One of the proposals regarding voicemail requires that collectors leave limited-content messages in their voicemails, in conversations with a third party, or through other methods of communication ...
  • Kevin DeOliveira-Longinetti was an honors student and talented athlete when he enrolled at the University of Vermont in 2009. According to CBS News, his goal was to become a doctor. But in January 2015, Kevin was found dead in his Burlington apartment. He had been shot in the head. Marcia, Kevin’s mother, was overcome with grief, anguish, and sadness – as well as the rest of the state. Electric bills and gas bills were forgiven, and ...
  • Case Law Update: Adams v. Fifth Third Bank

    A federal case from the U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky recently focused on a complaint filed by two plaintiffs who executed a note and mortgage with Fifth Third Bank. According to the original complaint, the mortgage lender filed a foreclosure action in Jefferson County, Kentucky against the two plaintiffs for unclear reasons, later dismissed the suit and released the mortgage through a Deed of Release, only to later sue the ...
  • 7 Ways You Can Sue a Debt Collector

    Most people want to pay off their debt; however, unfortunate circumstances in life can make it an extremely difficult task. On many occasions, a debt collector will work with those in debt and resolve the issue. However, not every debt collector follows the rules. Consumers can experience hostility in the form of harassing, frequent phone calls or threats. In order to protect customers from dealing with such behavior, here are seven occasions ...
  • Chicago Consumer Attorney and Sulaiman Law Group, LTD. Associate Jim Haller recently authored an opinion piece on student loan debt published by The Hill. The article – Trump is right: Student loan debt an ‘albatross’ on families, young people – focuses on the nation’s tremendous student loan debt problem, which has ballooned to nearly $1.3 trillion dollars and far surpasses credit card debt held by Americans. In his ...
  • In a case involving GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc., a motion for summary as to the claims raised against them by John Wick and Shirley Wick was granted in part and denied in part. In 2003, the Wicks purchased a single-family home for which they took out a $120,000 loan with Homecomings and executed a mortgage. However, soon after the purchase, Mr. Wick received a notice from Homecomings, informing him that an error was made in the amount in ...
  • In a federal case from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, a federal judge denied a loan servicing company’s motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s claim that the company failed to comply with regulations established in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the loan servicing company failed to acknowledge receiving the plaintiff’s request for ...
  • In a bold move Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to end its 18-year business relationship with Wells Fargo over concerns regarding the bank’s checkered history of unsavory business practices and its funding of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project. The measure was passed to cheers from local advocates and supporters who aim to set an example for other cities and businesses that may do business with Wells Fargo. ...
  • In 2009, Jennifer Castillo applied for a modification with her mortgage servicer at the time, Bank of America, which she received the following year after a dispute over the implementation of the modification. Before the modification was executed, Bank of America transferred the loan to Nationstar. The Castillos were assured that Nationstar would honor the modification, but their subsequent payments were all rejected, and Nationstar claimed the ...
  • Although foreclosure rates are significantly down from their historic numbers at the height of the housing market crash, experts have found that many foreclosure cases are still in limbo. According to a Planet Money story published by NPR, it’s also a lot of work to tie up loose ends for people who are still dealing with foreclosure proceedings initiated during the financial crisis. At the peak of the housing market collapse, banks across ...
  • Moody’s Corp. agreed to pay nearly $864 million to settle federal and state claims, acknowledging that they did not follow their own standards and inflated ratings to risky mortgage investments. $437.5 million will go to the Justice Department and $426.3 million will be divided between 21 states and the District of Columbia. Moody’s Corp. is the world’s second largest credit ratings agency and, in failing to rate the risk of ...
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a government agency that ensures consumers are treated fairly by lenders and financial companies, has finalized new rules that require loan servicers to offer more transparency and communication. Specifically, the rule will give homeowners, or those who have borrowed mortgages, the right to demand periodic reporting statements from banks or financial companies that service their loans. The new ...
  • The Dangers of a Reverse Mortgage

    Although the number of reverse mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) significantly dropped in the past year, from its high of 114,412 to 57,977, there is still a concern for seniors who took out reverse mortgages prior to the rule change Congress approved. The new rule offers seniors a repayment plan that will help past-due customers avoid foreclosure. However, people like Frederick Feil, who took out a ...
  • Don't Let Overspending Ruin Your Holiday

    During the holidays, we often feel the pressure of gift-giving. Not just any gift, but the perfect, in demand and, in all likelihood, expensive gift. It is a holiday so wrapped up in consumerism that much of its joy is replaced with the stress of spending more than one should. This is exactly what creditors hope for. It is, of course, in their best interests that you spend beyond your means. After all, they are not concerned with whether you ...
  • Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported that some mortgage servicers were violating the new servicing rules with their continued use of failed technology, which harms customers. The problems were specifically found in loss mitigation and servicing transfers, but the CFPB was adamant in stating that these mortgage servicers cannot hide behind outdated systems and that the rules must be enforced and followed. The ...
  • Wells Fargo Settles TCPA Class Action

    Wells Fargo Bank recently settled a class action lawsuit that alleged they called plaintiffs on their cell phones through an automatic telephone dialing system without permission, violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The calls were not emergencies, but rather debt-collection calls and texts. The TCPA states that telephone solicitations, such as telemarketing, or the use of any automated phone equipment are strictly prohibited. ...
  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s summary judgment in favor of a defendant regarding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which requires that a debt collector must send a consumer notice about specific disclosures within 5 days of communication about the debt collection. According to the panel, which reviewed the Hernandez v. Williams, Zinman & Parham, P.C. case, this requirement does not only ...