Consumer Protection Laws and Information

Is it just me or does it seem like calls to your cell phone are exploding in volume?  I am probably getting five or more unsolicited and unwelcome calls each day trying to sell me items and services that I do not need nor do I want!  I feel like I am under assault! Given the fact I know the law in this area, I thought I would share some ways we can help when you are getting this same type of telephone harassment. This blog post will discuss your rights regarding unsolicited and harassing phone calls, facsimiles, and SMS…Read   More

Subprime Auto Loan Crisis Looming

Posted on April 24th, 2017 by Jace Ferraez

Several weeks ago, I wrote on the possibility of another subprime mortgage crisis. Now, it appears that subprime auto loan defaults are nearing crisis levels. According to a Morgan Stanley research booklet, finance providers and the consumer debt market as a whole should take note that auto delinquency and default rates are on the rise. Specifically, 60+ day delinquencies in subprime loan pools—4.51%—are nearing crisis levels. While not at crisis-era peak levels yet, if that delinquency rate holds up, it will pass the peak level of 4.69% by year’s end. And what about default rates for subprime auto loan pools?…Read   More

In a scathing 113-page report, released last Monday, Wells Fargo’s Board of Directors described its former chief executive as a tone-deaf leader who protected an irresponsible lieutenant and worked for board members who didn’t keep the pair in check.  According to The New York Times, the report stated that then Chief Executive John Stumpf and then lieutenant, former retail-bank chief Carrie Tolstedt’s behavior was so reprehensible that it decided to claw back an additional $75 million from the pair in the form of pay and incentives. Largest Claw Back for Financial Firm The latest decisions on pay brought the total money clawed…Read   More

Don’t get caught by the latest robocall scam.  First off, you might ask, “What is a Robocall?”  A Robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized auto dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot.  Robocalls are often associated with political and telemarketing phone campaigns, but can also be used for public-service or emergency announcements.  Basically if you if you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall.  If the recording is a sales message and you have not given your written permission to get calls from the company…Read   More

With every passing year a person’s credit score becomes more central in basic decisions people face on a daily basis.  Leases for housing, ability to obtain automobile or homeowner’s insurance and, yes, even employment are some of the areas that are now affected by your credit score.  Your credit score is ultimately determined by what is reported in your credit file with the 3 major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and can be impacted by such things as accounts in collections and collection lawsuits reported under the public records section of the report. Removing Tax Liens and Civil…Read   More

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday fined Experian PLC $3 million, alleging that the leading credit-reporting firm misrepresented the credit scores it marketed to consumers, according to the Wall Street Journal. On Thursday, the Journal reported that the CFPB said Experian claimed the credit scores it sold to consumers were the same ones lenders used to make credit decisions. In reality, these scores were generated for the purpose of being sold directly to consumers, the CFPB said. In some instances, there were significant differences between the credit scores the company provided to consumers and the credit scores lenders actually…Read   More

Not too many would be shocked to hear that topping the nation’s list of consumer complaints during the year 2016 would be. And the Winner IS………. Illegal Debt Collection Practices Debt collection efforts by creditors and collection agencies. I’m not sure about the general public, but I can tell you from experience in representing consumers as well as receiving calls made to me for someone else’s debt…..These collectors are relentless! It has been our experience over the years that the greatest relief clients seem to experience when they come in for a consultation is hearing the words: “You may tell…Read   More

At Bond & Botes, P.C., we work with a variety of people who have fallen on financial hard times and, in some cases, need to file for bankruptcy. Of all the financial problems we encounter, few compare to being caught in the trap of payday lending. We believe that the state of Alabama is not doing enough to protect our citizens from the predatory payday loan industry, and we are working to make our voices heard. We’ve created a petition to demand that our state legislators take concrete action to reform payday loans in our state. What Is a Payday…Read   More

Want free groceries?  If so, on April 5th Winn Dixie is replacing its Fuel Perks program with Winn-Dixie Reward + Plenti.  Customers will be able to earn points buying groceries at Winn-Dixie or spending money at any Plenti reward partner.  You can earn points by: Switching to AT&T Buying gasoline at any Exxon or Mobile station Buying goods at Macy’s and many other online retailers Dining out at participating local restaurants The Plenti reward program was launched by American Express.  For every 1,000 points your earn you receive $10 or more.  There are two ways to earn points:  1) shopping…Read   More

According to a recent article by the Montgomery Advertiser, 45 Alabama legislators are pushing a bill that would give the power to the people of Alabama to vote on whether payday loan interest rates in Alabama should be capped at 36% Interest Rates Out of Control A bi-partisan group of legislators and payday reform advocacy groups gathered at the Alabama State House last Tuesday to introduce the bill that would allow Alabamians to vote on a constitutional amendment that would cap payday loan interest rates at 36%. Currently, the average rate for payday loans is 300%, with a maximum possible rate…Read   More