FTC Rule Bans Upfront Fees on Some Debt Relief Services

A new telemarketing sales rule prohibits for-profit companies that sell debt relief services over the telephone from charging an upfront free, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Starting Oct. 27, these companies must settle or reduce a customers’ credit card or other unsecured debit before collecting a fee.

Read more

Bank of America 2Q Profit Slips; But Credit Losses Declining

Lower costs to cover bad loans helped Bank of America beat estimates with second quarter net income of $3.12 billion, or 33 cents a share, down slightly from $3.22 billion reported a year ago. But future uncertainty pushed financial stocks downward today as Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank ranked by assets, faces uncertainty in months ahead as Wall Street oversight reform takes hold.

Read more

U.S. Consumer Bankruptcies Up 14% in First Half of 2010

U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 770,117 in the first six months of 2010 – a 14 percent increase over the 675,351 filings from the same period a year ago. The consumer filings for January-June of this year mark the highest total since 2005, when Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to slow down the rate of filings

Read more

Credit Card Debt, Late Payments Fall in 1Q , TransUnion Says

Consumers lowered the credit card balances on average almost 11 percent over the past 12 months, and fewer were late on their payments in the first quarter, pushing down the 90-day delinquency rate nearly 16 percent over a year ago, TransUnion said today. The quarterly analysis of credit card trends based on 27 million anonymously sampled credit files shows that Americans continue to reduce card balances through economic hard times, possibly helped along by credit card reform that took effect Feb. 22.

Read more

FTC: Credit Card Debt Settlement Tips, Red Flags

The Federal Trade Commission today is urging caution for those with mounting credit card debt who seek companies that promise “pennies on the dollar” solutions. There is no guarantee that a debt settlement company can convince a credit card issuer to accept only a partial payment for the full, legitimate debt, the FTC said.

Read more

Faster Pace in 2010: FDIC Says Bank Failures at 37

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported the failure of 7 more banks this week, bringing this year’s total to 37, representing a pace that will easily surpass last year’s total of 140 bank collapses. Through the end of March last year, 21 banks had failed.
Crippling loan losses propelled by a still peaking commercial real estate crisis prompted the FDIC to act against banks in Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio and Utah.

Read more

Discover: Credit Card Late-Pays Ease, But Sees 1Q Loss

Discover Financial Services sees a more positive outlook for 2010 with a stabilizing credit card delinquency rate, but it took a net loss of $104 million, or 22 cents a share, in the first quarter ended Feb. 28 – that includes a previously announced loan-loss reserve increase of $305 million. Its first quarter loss compares to a net income of $120 million for the first quarter of 2009. However, Discover card sales volume increased 5 percent from the prior year to $22 billion.

Read more

Bank of America Shifts Credit Card Unit, Leadership

Bank of America, the nation’s top lender and second-largest credit card issuer, is combining its troubled Global Card Services with its deposits business under Susan Faulkner, who’s been with the bank for 25 years, BofA said today. Faulkner will now head the combined business of “Global Card Services and Deposits” following the resignation of Ric Struthers, who was a principal founder of MBNA and has marshaled Bank of America through the hardship of mounting credit losses.

Read more