Blog
  • Every day, a countless number of Americans receive unwanted phone calls to their cellphones from banks, debt collectors, and other companies. However, this act is considered unlawful under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which states that persons must give their consent to receive these types of calls from companies. If an individual receives an unwanted call from a debt collector or various other types of companies, the individual may be ...
  • Lenders Make Mistakes, Too

    According to an article published by The Wall Street Journal, Ocwen Financial Corporation, a business that specializes in risky loans, will become the ninth-largest servicer out of all servicers in the industry, tripling its size since 2009. Recently, the company has agreed to purchase Litton Loan Servicing from Goldman Sachs Group Incorporation for $264 million and Saxon Mortgage Services from Morgan Stanley for $59 million. But, why is the ...
  • Beware of This New Debt Collection Scam

    The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers of a new debt collection scam involving fake collection notices for phantom debts. According to the FTC website, criminals are putting a creative – and scary – twist on an old scam by impersonating judges, court officials, and law firms. These fake debt collectors are using intimidation to try to get consumeres to send them money for debts that they don’t actually owe. ...
  • How Courts Punish People for their Poverty

    Think debtors prisons no longer exist? Think again. One way that court systems commonly raise revenue is to impose fees and fines on those who commit minor offenses. For many people, these expenses can pile up, driving them into poverty. Often, people who fail to pay their fees are jailed illegally by local and state governments, further perpetuating the cycle of poverty when these people lose their jobs and homes. This is a huge problem in many ...
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced the first-ever principal reduction loan modification program for homeowners with underwater mortgages – excellent news for both homeowners and investors. The implementation of this program is an important reversal of a poorly-conceived FHFA policy that has been in place since the government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the housing market collapse. Since then, the agency has strictly ...
  • One of the largest debt collectors in the United States, Midland Credit Management, Inc. is facing a potential class action lawsuit from consumers accusing the company of trying to force payment of old debts that are no longer legally enforceable. The company is accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by mailing out collection letters without informing consumers that the statute of limitations expired, which means that ...
  • It is extremely important to check your credit report on a yearly basis. The three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion all offer a free report once a year. You should look through your report for any errors and take action to fix them as soon as possible. Even an error that seems small or insignificant can have an impact on your credit health, potentially negatively affecting your loan eligibility, ability to obtain ...
  • Thanks to a supercomputer owned by data analytics company LexisNexis, your insurance company can find information on just about every aspect of your life, allowing them to predict, assess, and manage the risk involved in offering you services. The program can also use the information in order to get you to increase your coverage, market new products to you, or raise your premium or drop your coverage if it finds that you have done something ...
  • New changes from Fannie Mae will make it easier for people to get approved for a mortgage after a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale. The mortgage-backer has reduced the mandatory waiting period for reapplying for a loan, which used to be four years, down to only two years with documentation of extenuating circumstances. This is one year longer than the FHA’s minimum waiting period through the FHA Back to Work program, in which certain ...
  • Recently, our Chicago consumer law attorneys, Attorney Paul M. Bach and Attorney Penelope N. Bach asked the bankruptcy court to review a case for our client, Renato Casali. Casali filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 31, 2013. Prior to filing, Casali opened a home equity line with Parkway Bank & Trust, a local financial institution. Upon discovering Casali’s choice to file for bankruptcy, the institution filed a lawsuit against him. ...
  • How Did Three Credit Agencies Gain a Monopoly?

    The practice of extending credit dates back to the 19 th century when industrialization led to the mass production of expensive machines that most consumers were unable to afford in a single payment. Credit reporting agencies were created as credit became more widely used. The oldest of these reporting bureaus that is still around today is Equifax (formerly Retail Credit Company, founded in 1899). The agency reported all kinds of information on ...
  • Myths & Facts About Payday Loans

    It is pretty common for those who are considering bankruptcy to have taken out one or more payday loans in the past. Payday loans, also called cash advance loans, are small loans that are meant, in theory, to be paid off by the time the borrower receives their next paycheck. Here’s how it works: the borrower goes to the payday lender and provides them with some sort of proof of employment, and then gives the lender a check, postdated, for ...
  • HANGUP Act to End Unwanted Robocalls

    Two House Democratic Lawmakers introduced a new law that would roll back a budget bill provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 allowing unsolicited autodialed collection calls to borrowers of government-backed loans. According to Congresswomen Tammy Duckworth and Anna Eshoo, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce communications subcommittee, the HANGUP Act (Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone Calls) will forbid debt collectors ...
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death in February at the age of 79 threw into disarray the fate of many of the Supreme Court’s most high profile cases, including those involving hot-button topics like immigration, abortion, class action standards, and affirmative action. With his passing, there is now a clear opening for the high court to split evenly on whether consumers are allowed to sue companies for ...
  • TCPA Exemption for Fed-Backed Loans Circulated to FCC

    On February 17, a draft rule to exempt robocalls to collect federal debt from TCPA rules was circulated to the FCC. This proposal is looking to create a balance between consumer protections and a directive by Congress allowing companies servicing federally issued mortgages or student loans to autodial borrowers without the consumer’s permission. If the item were ultimately approved, companies like Navient Solutions, Inc. and Nelnet Inc. may ...
  • A bankruptcy judge has ordered 50 Cent into her courtroom to explain a number of photos of the rapper posing with large stacks of cash, suggesting that he could be lying about his current financial situation after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last summer. According to the judge, bankruptcy is supposed to be a transparent process meant to help “honest, but unfortunate” people achieve a fresh start. These photos suggest that 50 ...
  • A topic that is often overlooked regards debts for people over the age of 65. If debts are large enough, who will be responsible for paying such debts after the elderly person can no longer pay them? Sources state that although assets and income are lawfully protected, creditors can wait to recover finances from the elder person’s children. To help you understand how this process may work, our team has answered a few questions: 1. What ...
  • Ocwen has been in enough hot water lately without adding to their long list of questionable activities. You may recall from our previous blog that Ocwen sent misdated letter claim program notices to borrowers, which robbed them of their ability to appeal loan modification denials within the time period specified in the letter. In 2013, Ocwen made news when it entered into a multi-billion dollar consent order for a slew of mortgage servicing ...
  • Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly passed away on Saturday, February 13. Unfortunately, this death is not only disheartening, but it may cause serious problems within the Supreme Court as the court will be hearing cases regarding the Obama administration’s executive actions on the following: Immigration Contraception coverage Union contributions Abortion restrictions Affirmative action Now, the court is left with only eight justices. Many ...
  • U.S. Marshals Arresting Student Loan Borrowers

    The U.S. Marshals Service is arresting people in Houston for not paying their outstanding federal student loans. According to a Fox 26 article on the story, one man was arrested for a $1,500 student loan he took out in 1987. Seven marshals showed up at his home, in combat gear and armed with automatic weapons, and took the man to the federal courthouse. After an hour of being held in a four-by-four cell, the man was escorted to the courtroom, ...
  • How to Fix Your Credit Report After Bankruptcy

    One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients is how to fix a credit report after bankruptcy. While it is very important for everyone to periodically check their credit report for errors, it is especially important for people who have filed for bankruptcy whose focus is on rebuilding their score. Allowing false information to remain on a report can have serious consequences for a consumer, jeopardizing their ability to obtain ...
  • The CFPB issues monthly complaint reports. These reports highlight the types of complaints that the Bureau receives and the number of complaints for each category. The October complaint report focuses on credit card-related complaints and also provides insight regarding consumer complaints throughout the metro area of Chicago. Since the Bureau has been tracking consumer complaints, it has received 21,000 from the Chicago Metro area. Of those ...
  • Rising Drug Prices Hurting American Families

    Martin Shkreli-style drug price hikes are everywhere, according to an article published by CBS News. You may recall from recent news that Martin Shkreli, the shamed CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, has been up to his eyeballs in bad publicity after first raising the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug 5,500 percent, and later being arrested for fraud charges for allegedly running a Ponzi-like scheme to pay off investors at his former hedge fund. As ...
  • According to an article published by Consumerist, if a company causes harm to consumers, that company cannot preempt an entire lawsuit by offering victims full settlements in advance. The United States Supreme Court made this decision on January 20, 2016. How the U.S. Supreme Court Make This Decision The United States Navy hired Campbell-Ewald, a marketing and advertising communications agency, to create a recruiting campaign that would only send ...
  • America's Foreclosure Crisis is Far From Over

    In our previous blog, we talked about the $5.1 billion settlement that Goldman Sachs is responsible for paying as recompense for its part in the 2008 mortgage scandal. As part of this settlement, $1.8 billion is to be earmarked to help struggling homeowners who are still trying to avoid foreclosure of their homes. It has been seven years since the Recession ended, but how effective have anti-foreclosure programs actually been? The answer depends ...