Auto Title Loans Riskier Than Payday Loans, New Report Says

By Herb Weisbaum, NBC News Digital When you’re desperate for cash and have run out of options, you might be willing to risk your car to buy yourself some time. That’s what happens with an auto title loan. You keep your car, but sign over the title to the lender who uses the vehicle as […]

Dangers of Applying for an Online Payday Loan

By Susan Ladika, As consumers move their financial activities online, applying online for a payday loan may seem like the natural thing for a cash-strapped person to do. But you could be setting yourself up for a world of hurt, from paying exorbitant interest rates to having funds swiped from your bank account to […]

Payday Lenders are Using the Internet to Evade State Law

By Hunter Stuart, Borrowing from any payday lender can be a risky endeavor. Borrowing from one online can be downright perilous. The pitfalls of borrowing from storefront payday lenders — companies that offer short-term loans with high interest rates — are already well-documented. Regulators and consumer groups have long warned such loans can trap people in vicious […]

Jay Speer and Kristi Cahoon Kelly Named to 2014 Class of “Leaders in the Law”

Virginia Lawyers Media, the publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, has announced the 2014 class of “Leaders in the Law.” Now in its ninth year, this awards program recognizes the lawyers across the commonwealth who are setting the standard for other lawyers in Virginia. “Leaders” are recognized for changing the law, serving the community, changing practice or […]

Car-Title Lenders Surge in Northern Virginia

By Michael Pope, WAMU In the last few weeks, drivers have noticed a subtle change at the intersection of Fairhaven Avenue and Route 1 in Northern Virginia. The palm-reading fortune teller who had this location for decades has closed up shop, and the building is now a LoanMax — the newest location of the growing […]

Loans Thrive in Loopholes

Virginian-Pilot Editorial Certain products – cigarettes, medicines, booze, mortgages – are so prone to abuse that society has a clear obligation to regulate them. Government and industry rules govern their sale and purchase, their advertisement, even their use. Since long before cigarettes were restricted to buyers 18 or older, the basic regulation of such products […]

Could Big Banks Help Rein in Payday Lenders?

By Mitchell Hartman, Marketplace/American Public Media JPMorgan Chase has announced new policies to limit the ability of online payday lenders to access bank customers’ accounts in order to withdraw improper or unwanted automatic payments. The bank — the largest by assets in the U.S. — says that by late spring, it will stop charging customers repeated overdraft fees […]

Laws Protect Against Predatory Lenders

By Craig Carper, WCVE News A coalition of consumer protection advocates says laws regulating the payday lending industry are working to shield customers from excessive interest rates. Listen to the full story Aired: February 15, 2013 More articles on payday lending: Group Thanks Lawmakers for Curbing Payday Lending By Kathy Adams, The Virginian-Pilot Published: February […]

The New Loan Sharks

By John Sandman, AARP Magazine Mary Love wants you to know: You don’t have to be poor to be a victim of payday loans. Love, 67, is a divorced LaGrange, Kentucky, resident and a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). When she got her first payday loan, in 2003, she wasn’t destitute; she was working […]

On Your Side Alert: Automatic Electronic Debits

By Gray Hall, NBC 12 In this age of technology, it’s likely you have a bill or two that’s taken out of our account electronically. For some it’s quick and convenient, but consumer advocates warn it’s not for everyone. Paying bills is just a fact of life. Some like the old fashion way, by mail, […]

Senate Poison Pill Could Allow more Mortgage Crises

By James W. Speer and Deborah Goldberg, Richmond Times-Dispatch Op-Ed What happens when banks make mortgage loans that borrowers cannot afford to repay? The borrowers end up in foreclosure. This is what happened to far too many borrowers in Richmond in recent years, as lenders chasing profits put aside the basic principles of safe, sound […]

46,600 Virginians to Receive Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Checks

By Kelly Avellino, NBC 12 If you lost your home through foreclosure, start checking your mailbox. Some 46,600 Virginians are eligible to receive a piece of a $25 billion settlement against five major mortgage companies, accused of abusing foreclosure practices. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office started mailing out claim forms Monday. Eligible candidates will receive at least […]

12 Investigates: Homeowners Missing Out on Mortgage Settlement Money

By Rachel DePompa, NBC 12 Millions of dollars meant to help distressed homeowners, may never reach the intended target. The funds are Virginia’s share of a $25 billion settlement by five of the nation’s largest loan services that admitted to illegally abusive foreclosure practices and even fraud. Virginia’s portion was $66.5 million, awarded in one-time lump […]

New Data Shows Car Title Loans Big Business in Va.

By Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press Virginia car title lenders doled out nearly 128,500 loans worth more than $125 million in 2011, according to data collected by the State Corporation Commission for the first full year under state regulation. Car title lenders were unregulated in Virginia until October 2010, when a new law took effect that […]

Need Quick Cash? Avoid These 6 Traps

By Barbara Diggs, Fox Business Don’t Risk Your Car With Title Loans Like payday loans, car title loans are small, short-term loans that come with a triple-digit annual interest rate. But while payday loans are secured with a postdated check, title lenders hold the title of the borrower’s vehicle — and a copy of the keys — […]

Debt Collection Defenses Training on May 10

What defense should you consider when a client is being sued for a debt? What if the plaintiff is a debt buyer?  What about counterclaims and attorneys fees? Join us on May 10 at Housing Opportunities Made Equal in Richmond, VA  for this debt collection defenses seminar and learn new and/or better ways to assist […]

Mortgage Settlement Relief Will Take Months

Predatory scammers are hard at work, falsely claiming to have an inside track to getting help from the National Mortgage Settlement. They are working the phones and the Internet, trying to entice desperate people to pay money in exchange for mortgage relief. DON’T BE A VICTIM. The Virginia Poverty Law Center advises you to ignore […]

VPLC’s 2012 Legislative Review

With another General Assembly session behind us, the staff at the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) has had some time to reflect on what our advocacy work means and why it matters. Regardless of which political party holds a majority in the state legislature, and in spite of the often negative rhetoric that comes with […]

CashPoint Distributes Settlement Checks after AG Investigation

By Gray Hall, WWBT NBC12 A settlement check may be coming your way. CashPoint, a car title lender, will refund nearly $600,000 to more than 800 Virginia customers. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli alleges the company operated without a license for two months in 2010. In a letter sent to hundreds of Virginia’s CashPoint admits it made […]

NBC12 Investigates: Mortgage Mix-Up

By Rachel DePompa, WWBT NBC12 The great recession is hitting home for Claireather Mason. Her mortgage company may be trying to take it. “This is the only home I’ve ever known. I’ve raised my children here,” she said. The long time Petersburg resident says her troubles with her lender started last June. She paid her […]

Several Measures Aim to Help Struggling Virginians

By Kathy Adams, The Virginian-Pilot From outlawing fraudulent home foreclosures to protecting college students’ credit ratings, a handful of bills before the General Assembly look to ease the burden on Virginians who are struggling financially and to protect them from being cheated. Although only a few consumer protection bills have progressed this session – during […]

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