As designed and envisioned, student loan ombudsmen are government officials tasked with helping borrowers struggling with repaying their student loans.  Among other varied means, they are designed to protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices and help them understand their repayment options. In recent years, a growing number of jurisdictions, including Connecticut, Illinois, and the

This past May, alums of a for-profit program run by the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, Inc. won a stunning, albeit temporary and partial, victory against the Department of Education: the grant of their motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction by a magistrate judge sitting on the United States District Court for

The Federal Trade Commission recently reached a settlement agreement with a Los Angeles-based company purporting to offer student loan debt relief services for alleged violations of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

The FTC filed a complaint against defendants Salar Tahour and his companies, M&T Financial Group and American Counseling Center Corp., as…

On May 22, Vermont passed the nation’s most expansive data broker legislation in an effort to provide consumers with more information about data brokers, their data collection practices, and consumers’ right to opt out.

The legislation, which in part takes effect on January 1, 2019, defines “data brokers” to mean “a business … that knowingly…

In mid-May 2018, per multiple reports, John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced plans to fold the CFPB’s Office of Students and Young Consumers into its preexisting Office of Financial Education, itself a part of this agency’s Consumer Education and Engagement Division. During this reorganization, the…

As the student loan total keeps climbing and Congress keeps debating what to do, advice from all corners keeps bombarding the nation’s desperate borrowers. Some tout the use of crowdfunding via sites like GoFundMe and Zero Bound; others encourage borrowers to leverage rebate programs; and in some cases, cryptocurrencies have been hyped

On May 31, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a $150,000 sanctions award against three consumer attorneys and their law firms for bad faith conduct and misrepresentations.

The opinion reads like a detective story and lays out, in the Court’s own words, “a mosaic of half-truths, inconsistencies, mischaracterizations, exaggerations, omissions, evasions, and failures to…

Many employers use background checks when evaluating potential candidates for hire.  They do this for a variety of reasons, from basic due diligence to a desire to avoid negligent hiring claims in the future.  If an employer intends to use this employment background check – often referred to as a consumer report – to take

On May 29, the Ninth Circuit ruled that an end-user’s misuse of reported information does not render a credit reporting agency’s report inaccurate for purposes of liability under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  The Court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in the putative class action case brought against a national credit