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Prestatarios perjudicados por Ally reciben $80 millones en daños

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En diciembre del 2013, junto con el Departamento de Justicia (DOJ) y en virtud de una orden de la corte federal, les ordenamos a Ally Financial Inc. y a Ally Bank que pagaran $80 millones (en inglés) en daños y perjuicios a los consumidores perjudicados por las políticas de precios de préstamos para automóviles discriminatorias de Ally. El viernes, el administrador del acuerdo de Ally les envió cheques por un total de $80 millones más intereses a los prestatarios perjudicados que participaron en el acuerdo. Descubrimos que Ally tenía una política que les permitía a los concesionarios aumentar o agregar un “margen de beneficio” a las tasas de interés de los consumidores basado en la probabilidad de riesgo (en inglés) de que el consumidor no pague, y les pagaba a los concesionarios a partir de esos márgenes, y que la política carecía de controles o supervisión adecuados. Como consecuencia, se descubrió que entre abril del 2011 y diciembre del 2013, esta política de márgenes de beneficio causó que prestatarios afro-americanos, hispanos, asiáticos e isleños del Pacífico pagaran más por préstamos para automóviles que lo que pagaban prestatarios blancos no hispanos en situaciones similares.

En el verano y otoño del 2015, el administrador de este acuerdo con Ally contactó a prestatarios potencialmente elegibles para confirmar su elegibilidad y participación en el acuerdo. Para ser elegible para un pago:

  • el prestatario debe haber obtenido un préstamo de auto de Ally entre abril del 2011 y diciembre del 2013;
  • que por lo menos un prestatario en el préstamo era afroamericano, hispano, asiático o de las islas del Pacífico; y
  • que al prestatario se le cobró de más.

A través de ese proceso, el administrador del acuerdo identificó aproximadamente a 301,000 prestatarios y co-prestatarios elegibles, a quienes se les cobró de más como resultado de la política discriminatoria de márgenes de beneficio de Ally durante el período en cuestión, lo que representa aproximadamente unos 235,000 préstamos.

Además de los $80 millones en pagos de liquidación para consumidores a quienes se les cobró de más entre abril del 2011 y diciembre del 2013, y de conformidad con sus obligaciones continuas en los términos de las órdenes, Ally recientemente pagó aproximadamente $38.9 millones a los consumidores que Ally determinó eran elegibles y a quienes se les había sobrecargado en préstamos para automóviles emitidos durante el 2014.

¿Qué hacer si le dan un cheque?

El administrador del acuerdo de Ally envió cartas el viernes a prestatarios participantes elegibles, las que incluirán un cheque para cambiar o depositar. Si usted cree que ha recibido un cheque por error o usted no es elegible, por favor llame al Administrador de Liquidación de Ally al 1-844-271-4780.

¿Qué hacer si usted no recibe un cheque, pero cree que es un prestatario participante elegible?

Sólo aquellos consumidores elegibles que recibieron materiales de participación y siguieron las instrucciones de participación recibirán pago. Si usted es un prestatario participante y elegible, pero no recibió su cheque por correo, por favor llame al Administrador al 1-844-271-4780.

Como parte de este acuerdo, el Administrador de Liquidación de Ally, el CFPB, el Departamento de Justicia, o la oficina local de la Fiscalía de los Estados Unidos puede ponerse en contacto con usted. Ally le está pagando a Heffler Claims Group para que sirva de administrador. Cualquier otro contacto que afirme estar relacionado con este acuerdo puede ser una estafa. Por favor, informe de inmediato cualquier estafa al Administrador a través de info@autofinancesettlement.com.

¿Todavía tiene preguntas?

Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, visite la página web del Administrador del Acuerdo de Ally (en inglés), o puede llamar al Administrador al 1-844-271-4780.

Lea más sobre préstamos justos para saber más sobre cómo protegerse de la discriminación de crédito.

Leer in inglés

Guides to help you open and manage your checking account

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Are you thinking about opening a checking account but aren’t sure how to get started? We have resources to help you select a product that’s best suited for your financial needs.

Banks and credit unions provide safe places to keep your money, but it’s important to shop around to find the financial products and services that work for you. If you’re new to banking, struggling to stay on top of your expenses, or simply want to avoid costly or unexpected fees, you may benefit from an account that helps you avoid overdraft and the costs that come with it. Our new account guides have information to help you shop for and manage your checking account.

How to select a lower risk account

The first step is to know your options. A number of banks and credit unions offer checking accounts that are designed to let you only spend the money you have in your account; these accounts are intended to prevent you from overdrawing your account, even for checks and online bill pay. These lower-risk products can prevent unexpected overdrafts and overdraft fees and reduce your risk of losing your account privileges because of unpaid overdrafts. Some banks do not offer “no-overdraft” accounts or do not market them. So it’s important to shop around and ask whether the bank or credit union offers an account that allows you to avoid overdrafts and minimize fees. Learn more in our guide to selecting a lower-risk account.

If you’ve been denied a checking account

If a bank or credit union denies your application to open a checking account, it may be because of negative information in your checking account consumer report, such as, having a checking account involuntarily closed due to unpaid fees. If the bank or credit union denies your application due to information in your report, you should request a copy of and review it for any errors. If you find errors, you can use our sample letters to file a dispute with both the checking account reporting company that created the report and the bank or credit union that provided the information to the reporting company.

If you have had past difficulties managing a checking account, you should still be able to access the banking services that you need. Many banks and credit unions offer checking accounts that are designed to reduce risks for both you and financial institutions by preventing overdraft and overdraft fees. You might also consider getting a prepaid card. Learn more about the steps you can take in our guides to choosing and managing checking accounts.

Check out our consumer guides to checking accounts

If you have had past difficulties managing a checking account, you should still be able to access the banking services that you need. Many banks and credit unions offer checking accounts that are designed to reduce risks for both you and financial institutions by preventing overdrafts and overdraft fees. You might also consider getting a prepaid card. Learn more about the steps you can take in our consumer guides to choosing and managing checking accounts:

You may also find other helpful information about checking accounts in the CFPB’s Newcomer’s Guide to Managing Money

If you’re helping someone else with issues related to their checking account, there’s information available here.

We want to hear from you

If you’re having an issue with your checking account, you can submit a complaint to the CFPB at consumerfinance.gov/complaint or call (855) 411-2372 toll-free.

You can also tell us your story, good or bad, about your experience with checking accounts at help.consumerfinance.gov/app/tellyourstory.

Have questions about checking accounts or other consumer financial products and services? Find answers at consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb.

Harmed Ally borrowers have been sent $80 million in damages

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In December 2013, together with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and pursuant to a federal court order, we ordered Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank to pay $80 million in damages to consumers harmed by Ally’s discriminatory auto loan pricing policies. Today, harmed borrowers participating in the settlement were mailed checks by the Ally settlement administrator, totaling $80 million, plus interest. We found that Ally had a policy of allowing dealers to increase or “mark up” consumers’ risk-based interest rates, and paying dealers from those markups, and that the policy lacked adequate controls or monitoring. As a result, we found that between April 2011 and December 2013, this markup policy resulted in African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers paying more for auto loans than similarly situated non-Hispanic white borrowers.

In the summer and fall of 2015, the Ally settlement administrator contacted potentially eligible borrowers to confirm their eligibility and participation in the settlement. To be eligible for a payment, a borrower must have:

  • gotten an auto loan from Ally between April 2011 and December 2013;
  • had at least one borrower on the loan who was African-American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander; and
  • been overcharged.

Through that process, the settlement administrator identified approximately 301,000 eligible, participating borrowers and co-borrowers who were overcharged as a result of Ally’s discriminatory markup policy during the relevant time period, representing approximately 235,000 loans.

In addition to the $80 million in settlement payments for consumers who were overcharged between April 2011 and December 2013, and pursuant to its continuing obligations under the terms of the orders, Ally recently paid roughly $38.9 million to consumers that Ally determined were both eligible and overcharged on auto loans issued during 2014.

What to do if you get a check

The Ally settlement administrator sent letters today to eligible, participating borrowers that will include a check for you to cash or deposit. If you think that you received a check in error or you are not eligible, please call the Ally Settlement Administrator at 1-844-271-4780.

What to do if you don’t get a check but think you are an eligible, participating borrower

Only those eligible consumers who received participation materials and followed the participation instructions will receive a payment. If you are an eligible, participating borrower but didn’t get your check in the mail, please call the Administrator at 1-844-271-4780.

As part of this settlement, the Ally Settlement Administrator, the CFPB, the DOJ, or your local U.S. Attorney’s office may contact you. Ally is paying Heffler Claims Group to serve as the Administrator. You should treat any other contact claiming to be related to this settlement as a scam. Please immediately report any scam to the Administrator at info@autofinancesettlement.com.

Still have questions?

If you have any questions, check out the Ally Settlement Administrator’s website or you may call the Administrator at 1-844-271-4780.

Read more about fair lending to learn how you can protect yourself from credit discrimination.

You have the right to request your consumer reports

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Like many consumers, you may be aware that a credit report provides you with a useful summary of your credit history. What you may not be aware of is where and how to actually request your credit report, and what your rights are with your consumer reports.

Every year, we update and publish a list of consumer reporting companies. Today, we present you with the 2016 edition of our list, which includes the following features:

  • Information to request a report. This includes the latest company name and contact information from the three largest nationwide consumer reporting companies and dozens of specialty reporting companies. We sort the companies by specialty (e.g., employment, tenant, bank, subprime, insurance, medical).
  • New tips on which specialty reports might be important for you to fact-check depending on your specific situation. Did you know that outside of employment screening, consumer report users provide you with a notification about the reasons why the report user is taking adverse action only after the fact when, for example, you have already been rejected for a loan or residential rental property?
  • New information about how consumer reporting companies make sure you are who you say you are before they will give you your reports, and the types of questions they might ask to authenticate your identity.
  • Companies that will provide free scores along with free reports. Not many do, but there are a few.

Did you know?

  • You should fact-check your credit reports for free from the three largest nationwide consumer reporting companies every twelve months.
  • You should fact-check your specialty consumer reports during important life events and situations, such as when applying for a job, rental home, or at other times like when applying for a new bank account or insurance policy.
  • In prior years, this list has referred to consumer reporting businesses as “agencies” or “bureaus.” These terms can be confusing because they make it sound as if these businesses might be part of the government. But they are not. They are private-sector companies which are overwhelmingly for-profit. In our list, we call them “companies” for greater clarity.

Your Rights with your Consumer Reports

Finally, when it comes to your own consumer reports, you have the legal right to:

  • obtain the information in your consumer reports, and
  • dispute inaccuracies with the consumer reporting companies and those who gave them the information.

A few years ago, we published a CFPB bulletin that highlighted the legal requirement that certain consumer reporting companies must establish and manage “a streamlined process for consumers to request consumer reports.” Our single, user-friendly list of companies makes it easier for you to make the first move.

Accepting applications for our Advisory Board and Councils

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To be sure that we hear from a variety of experts with diverse viewpoints, we set up the Consumer Advisory Board and two other advisory groups – the Community Bank Advisory Council and Credit Union Advisory Council. These groups allow us to hear directly from small financial institutions. They also provide us with information about emerging trends and practices in the consumer financial products and services industries.

Today, we’re accepting applications for membership on all of our advisory groups. We’re inviting applications from individuals who can provide us with guidance as we carry out our work. Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Experts in consumer protection, community development, consumer finance, fair lending, and civil rights
  • Experts in consumer financial products or services
  • Representatives of banks that primarily serve underserved communities
  • Representatives of communities that have been significantly impacted by higher priced mortgage loans
  • Current employees of credit unions and community banks
  • Academics (Experts in research methodologies, framing research questions, data collection, and analytic strategies.)

How many seats are available?

  • 7 seats on the Consumer Advisory Board will become vacant in the fall of 2016.
  • 8 seats on the Community Bank Advisory Council will become vacant in the fall of 2016.
  • 8 seats on the Credit Union Advisory Council will become vacant in the fall of 2016.

The CFPB blog aims to facilitate conversations about our work. We want your comments to drive this conversation. Please be courteous, constructive, and on-topic. To help make the conversation productive, we encourage you to read our comment policy before posting. Comments on any post remain open for seven days from the date it was posted.