Author Archives: Allison Zieve

CFPB investigates eBay’s “Bill Me Later” Program

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has subpoenaed documents from eBay relating to its "Bill Me Later" financing service, which allows financing of purchases from many online stores, apparently over concerns that the finance charges imposed by "Bill Me Later" are excessive. The Wall Street Journal has details about the CFPB investigation.

Analysis of CFPB complaint database

In a recent analysis of complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about financial services, the consulting firm Deloitte found that mortgage-related issues are the basis for most of the 94,000 complaints posted so far and that customer misunderstanding is often the problem. The Washington Post has a short write-up of the findings and […]

Two Recent Decisions on Class Certification – One Devastating, One Practical

Consumers’ ability to address and seek redress for deceptive practices through private litigation is threatened by a recent decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In Carrera v. Bayer (like the FTC case discussed in the post below, a case about deceptive practices involving a dietary supplement), the court recently held that, if the […]

FTC mails $200,000 in checks to Wal-Greens customers who bought Wal-Born supplements

The FTC reported yesterday 7,979 checks averaging $27.42 each to consumers who bought "Wal-Born" dietary supplements sold by the pharmacy chain Walgreens are now being mailed. The FTC’s press release explains: In 2010, Walgreens settled FTC charges that it deceptively advertised that the supplements could effectively prevent colds, fight germs, and boost the immune system. […]

Tribal payday lenders sue NY financial regulator

On August 6, New York's financial regulatory agency took aim at online payday lenders, who "offer short-term loans at interest rates that often exceed 500 percent annually." As the New York Times reported, the state's financial regulator sent letters to 35 of the online lenders, instructing them to “cease and desist” from offering loans that […]

“Debt relief” company pushes back against CFPB

The Blog of LegalTimes reports: When Morgan Drexen Inc. found itself in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's crosshairs, the company, which works with law firms to provide debt relief services to consumers, initiated a response that's proving to be both unusually aggressive and public. The CFPB filed suit against the company earlier this week in […]

Justice Dep’t Investigating Online Payday Lenders

The Washington Post reports that the Justice Department "has issued subpoenas to banks and other companies that handle payments for an array of financial offerings, ramping up an investigation that has been under way for several months." The investigation reportedly is focusing on companies that process payments for online payday lenders. Read the full story.

U.S. Sues BofA over Sale of Mortgage-backed Securities

The Washington Post reports today: Traders at Bank of America willfully misled investors about the quality of the residential mortgages tucked into the securities the bank sold at the start of the financial crisis, according to separate lawsuits filed Tuesday by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. . . . Justice claims […]

Richmond, CA May Use Eminent Domain to Prevent Foreclosures

The New York Times reports today that the City of Richmond, California is considering using eminent domain to buy mortgages and reduce homeowner debt. The banks don't like the idea. The article explains: [R]oughly half of all homeowners with mortgages in Richmond are underwater, meaning they owe more — in some cases three or four […]