Mortgage Holders Can’t Foreclose on Consumers Without the Proper Documents, According to Ohio Court

Consumers who are sued by debt collectors can defend in court by demanding that the debt collector prove it is entitled to collect the debt. Particularly when the debt collector is not the original creditor, the debt collector is frequently unable to prove it owns the debt. The result? The court dismisses the debt collector’s case and the consumer wins. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that an Ohio federal judge dismissed 14 foreclosure cases brought on behalf of Deutche Bank National Trust Company for a similar reason: Judge Christopher Boyko ruled that the bank had failed to prove it...

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When Can a Creditor Pull a Consumer’s Credit Report? The Ninth Circuit Ignites a Controversy

Last month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided an important consumer protection issue concerning when creditors trying to collect consumer debts can permissibly pull consumers’ credit reports. The Court held that creditors can only pull credit reports if the debt involves a “credit transaction,” in which the consumer directly participated and voluntarily sought credit. This was an important victory for our client, Maria Pintos. Her car was towed for a registration violation and sold, but the sale price didn’t cover the towing and impound charges. The towing company assigned the outstanding debt to a debt collector, which pulled her...

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Consumer Credit: Five Reasons to Have a Good Credit Score

Your credit score basically predicts the possibility that you won’t pay your bills. Creditors figure that the higher your credit score, the less likely you are to miss payments. Most credit scores on based on the Fair, Isaac & Co. model, known as FICO scores. But why is your credit score important? A recent article by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine explains who relies on that score: 1) Lenders. Most people would expect lenders to look at their credit scores, and indeed they do. Your credit score affects the rate you pay on your mortgage, your car loan and your credit...

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Consumer Abuse Film Previews Tomorrow

Maxed Out, an illuminating new documentary film about how the credit industry takes advantage of vulnerable consumers, arrives in theaters tomorrow. I had a chance to preview this film by director James Scurlock in November and was blown away. I highly recommend it to anyone who uses credit or credit cards at all. In 1979, when I graduated from law school–with a great job–it took three tries before I could get a VISA card. The film demonstrates just how much has changed since then. Now creditors are luring college students into applying for credit cards as soon as they leave...

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