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Protecting servicemembers from predatory auto loans: Harry and Ari’s story

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Protecting consumers from predatory financial products and services is part of our mission and something we take very seriously. We received a Tell Your Story from the father of a servicemember that led to us opening an investigation into an auto loan program. The program, which targeted servicemembers, was found to have deceptive marketing and lending practices. The investigation led to an enforcement action against auto lenders requiring them to refund approximately $6.5 million to over 50,000 servicemembers. Ari, a servicemember, and his father Harry, shared their story with us, and here’s what they had to say:

“It’s very important to speak up because there are people within the government that are there to help us get through challenging financial situations,” Harry said. “It’s very important for any citizen to speak up and just tell your story.” Ari mentioned that: “The fact that the CFPB took action in the name of servicemembers across the entire country… really shows us that someone’s in our corner.”

We were glad to be there for Harry and Ari – they shared their story with us and got the help they needed. To learn more about their story, share your own, or find resources for servicemembers check out consumerfinance.gov/yourstory.

El administrador de negociación del National City Bank pronto se pondrá en contacto con los prestatarios elegibles

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El año pasado, presentamos, junto con el Departamento de Justicia, una queja contra el National City Bank (National City) por discriminación en los precios de los préstamos hipotecarios. La queja alegaba que el National City había cobrado a los prestatarios afroamericanos e hispanos precios más altos por sus préstamos hipotecarios que a los prestatarios blancos con capacidad crediticia similar entre 2002 y 2008. Un tribunal federal ordenó al PNC Bank, que compró al National City en 2009, proporcionar $35 millones en alivio a los prestatarios minoritarios que pagaron en exceso.

El Administrador del Mandato Consentido del National City localizará y enviará cheques a los prestatarios minoritarios que recibieron cargos en exceso. Durante las próximas dos semanas, el Administrador enviará paquetes de información a todos los prestatarios elegibles invitándoles a participar en el arreglo legal. Si usted fue sometido a cargos excesivos y es elegible, usted recibirá un paquete informativo diciéndole específicamente qué cantidad de dinero recibirá por mínimo. La cantidad real de su pago puede ser mayor, según el número de prestatarios que aceptan participar en el arreglo legal.

Envíe su formulario

Los paquetes enviados incluirán un formulario que usted debe firmar si desea recibir su pago. Puede devolver este formulario de participación por correo con franqueo prepago, por correo electrónico o por fax. Simplemente siga las instrucciones del formulario. No olvide enviar su formulario a más tardar el 21 de octubre de 2014. Sólo los consumidores elegibles que devuelven sus formularios a más tardar el 21 de octubre de 2014 recibirán pagos.

Si usted no recibe un paquete informativo por correo antes del 30 de septiembre, y cree que debería recibir un pago, llame al Administrador del Mandato de Consentido de National City al (866) 523-6751 para preguntar sobre su elegibilidad. También puede llenar un formulario de elegibilidad para reclamación y enviarlo por correo, correo electrónico o fax.

La participación en el arreglo legal es gratuita

Manténgase en alerta de estafadores alegando que le ayudarán por una comisión o pidiendo información personal con el fin de obtener su cheque. Cuando un gran número de consumidores recibe dinero de un arreglo legal es cuando a veces aparecen los estafadores. El estafador puede tratar de cobrarle una cuota o de robar su información personal. Si bien usted está en libertad de hablar con un abogado, no necesita contratar a un abogado ni pagarle a nadie para poder participar en este arreglo legal.

Como parte de este arreglo legal, el Administrador del Mandato Consentido del National City, la Oficina para la Protección Financiera del Consumidor, el Departamento de Justicia o su oficina del Fiscal de EE. UU. local podrían ponerse en contacto con usted. Cualquier otro intento de contacto que afirme estar relacionado con este arreglo legal debe ser tratado como una estafa. Por favor, informe de inmediato cualquier estafa al Administrador del Mandato Consentido del National City llamando al (866) 523-6751 o por correo electrónico al: info@NationalCityConsentOrder.com.

¿Tiene más preguntas?

Si tiene preguntas, consulte el sitio web del Administrador del Mandato Consentido del National City o llame al (866) 523-6751.

Obtenga más información sobre cómo puede protegerse de la discriminación crediticia.

National City Bank settlement administrator will contact eligible borrowers soon

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Last year, together with the Department of Justice, we filed a complaint against National City Bank (National City) for discriminating in mortgage loan pricing. The complaint alleged that National City charged African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher prices on their mortgage loans than similarly-situated white borrowers between 2002 and 2008. The parties agreed on a settlement, and a federal court has ordered PNC Bank, which purchased National City in 2009, to provide $35 million in relief to minority borrowers who overpaid.

The National City Consent Order Administrator will locate and send checks to minority borrowers who were overcharged. Over the next two weeks, the Administrator will mail packages to all eligible borrowers asking them to participate in the settlement. If you were overcharged and are eligible, you will receive a package that will tell you the specific minimum amount of money you will receive. Your actual payment amount may be greater, depending on how many borrowers participate in the settlement.

Submit your form by mail, e-mail or fax

The packages being sent will include a form that you must sign if you want to receive your payment. You can return this participation form by postage pre-paid mail, e-mail, or fax. Just follow the instructions on the form. Be sure to submit your form by October 21, 2014. Only those eligible consumers who return their form by October 21, 2014 will receive their payment.

If you don’t receive a package in the mail by September 30 but you think you should receive a payment, you can call the National City Consent Order Administrator at (866) 523-6751 to ask about your eligibility. You can also fill out a claim eligibility form and submit it by mail, email or fax.

Participating in the settlement is free

Watch out for scammers claiming that they will help you for a fee or asking for your personal information in order to get your check. When large numbers of consumers receive settlement money, scammers sometimes pop up. The scammer may charge you a fee or try to steal your personal information. While you are of course free to speak with an attorney, you do not need to hire a lawyer or pay anyone a fee in order to participate in this settlement.

As part of this settlement, the National City Consent Order Administrator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Justice or your local U.S. Attorney’s office may contact you. You should treat any other contact claiming to be related to this settlement as a scam. Please immediately report any scam to the National City Consent Order Administrator at (866) 523-6751 or info@NationalCityConsentOrder.com.

Still have questions?

If you have any questions, check out the National City Consent Order Administrator website or call (866) 523-6751.

Learn more about how you can protect yourself from credit discrimination.

Save the date: Join us for a forum on access to checking accounts

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Join us for an event in Washington, D.C. on checking account screening policies and practices. This event will take place on Wednesday, October 8 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

We’ll host a discussion on how checking account screening policies and practices impact consumers. The event will inform the dialogue around how the screening system works and how to improve the availability of information and products for consumers.

The forum will feature remarks from Director Richard Cordray, as well as presentations from consumer groups, federal and local government officials, and industry representatives. We’ll also have discussions about current bank account screening practices, the effect these practices have on consumers’ ability to acquire and use checking account products, and more generally, the availability of financial products and services that meet their needs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Washington, D.C.

This event is open to the public, but RSVP is required to attend. Please RSVP here and let us know if you need an accommodation to participate. You can also take a look at the agenda. A livestream will be available on the blog.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Updated on October 7, 2014 to include the agenda.

Reminder for steps you can take if you think your credit or debit card data was hacked

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Yesterday, Home Depot confirmed that there has been a breach of its payment data systems. According to the company, the breach could potentially impact any customer that has used their card for payment at a Home Depot in the U.S. or Canada since April 2014.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself if you spot unauthorized charges.

If your information was part of a breach, the most immediate risk is that the thieves may make unauthorized charges or debits to your accounts. Keep a close eye on your account activity and report suspicious transactions immediately to your bank or credit card provider. The sooner you tell your provider about any unauthorized debits or charges, the better off you will be.

1. Check your accounts for unauthorized charges or debits and continue monitoring your accounts

If you have online or mobile access to your accounts, check your transactions as frequently as possible. If you receive paper statements, be sure to open them and review them closely. If your provider offers it, consider signing up for email or text alerts.

Report even small problems right away. Sometimes thieves will process a small debit or charge against your account and return to take more from your bank account or add more charges to your credit card if the first smaller debit or charge goes through. And keep paying attention: fraudulent charges to your card or fraudulent debits to your bank account might occur many months after the theft of your information during a data breach.

2. Report a suspicious charge or debit immediately

Contact your bank or card provider immediately if you suspect an unauthorized debit or charge. If a thief charges items to your account, you should cancel the card and have it replaced before more transactions come through. Even if you’re not sure that PIN information was taken, consider changing your PIN just to be on the safe side.

If your physical credit card has not been lost or stolen, you are not responsible for unauthorized charges. You can protect yourself from being liable for unauthorized debit card charges by reporting those charges immediately after you find out about them or they show up on your bank statement.

If you spot a fraudulent transaction, immediately call the card provider’s toll-free customer service number on the back of your card. If the provider asks, follow up with a written letter. The provider should give you the address where you need to send the letter. Make sure to send it as soon as possible after you tell the provider about the unauthorized charge.

When you communicate in writing, be sure to keep a copy for your records. Write down the dates you make follow-up calls and keep this information together in a file.

If your card or PIN was lost or stolen, different rules may apply. Your timeline for reporting after your card, PIN, or other access device is lost or stolen is tied to when you discover the loss or theft or when unauthorized transactions show up on your bank statement. Therefore, you should make the report as soon as you know that there is a problem.

Debit card issuers should investigate the charges (generally within 10 business days) and take action quickly (generally within 3 business days). For your credit card, it can take longer, but you don’t have to pay the charge while it is under investigation. You also have a right to see the results of their investigations.

3. You can submit a complaint to the CFPB if you have an issue with your bank account or credit card

If you have an issue with your bank account or credit card, you can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372), TTY/TDD (855) 729-CFPB (2372).We’ll forward your complaint to the company and work to get you a response.

If you have other questions about billing disputes and your debit and credit card protections, you can Ask CFPB.

4. Know when to ignore anyone contacting you to “verify” your account information by phone or email

This could be a common scam, often referred to as “phishing,” to steal your account information.

Banks and credit unions never ask for account information through phone or email that they initiate. If you receive this type of contact, you should immediately call your card provider (using a customer service number that you get from a different source than the initial call or email) and report it. Reliable sources of contact information for your card provider include the customer service number or web address listed on your bank or credit card statement or the back of your card.

For more information on phishing scams, check out the FTC’s consumer alerts.

For more information, check out the consumer advisory on card security.

Disputing debt you never owed: William’s story

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Being on the hook for a debt you don’t owe is not only stressful, but can be scary. If you don’t know where to turn, you might feel hopeless. We heard from William, who was receiving calls for a debt he didn’t owe. William tried to resolve the issue for over four years, seeing his credit get ruined in the process. He said “None of them could do anything… except tell me I had to pay them the $8,500.”

Stories like William’s are important because it’s often hard to know where to turn and who to trust for help. Because William submitted a complaint, he was able to end a four year long credit dispute in one week.

“Just to have the situation resolved…that just felt good.” William said. “In a situation for me that was seemingly endless and hopeless, the CFPB helped me to find resolution. It’s a new day.”

We’re glad William got the help he needed, and we want to make sure that you know that we’re here for you too. To share your experience or learn more from others, visit us at consumerfinance.gov/yourstory.

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.