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Bob Sullivan

Contributor |  In Personal Finance, Identity Theft

Bob Sullivan is author of the New York Times best-sellers Gotcha Capitalism and Stop Getting Ripped Off. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of other publications. He has appeared as a consumer advocate and technology expert numerous times on NBC’s TODAY show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC, NPR’s Marketplace, Terry Gross’ Fresh Air, and various other radio and TV outlets. He helped start MSNBC.com and wrote there for nearly 20 years, most of it penning the consumer advocacy column The Red Tape Chronicles. See more at www.bobsullivan.net. Follow Bob Sullivan on Facebook or Twitter.

Obama, CFPB Seek to Regulate Payday Loan “Debt Traps”

Personal Loans

Obama, CFPB Seek to Regulate Payday Loan “Debt Traps”

Obama, CFPB Seek to Regulate Payday Loan “Debt Traps”

Payday lenders would face a new set of restrictions under rules being proposed Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rules include requirements that lenders ensure borrowers have the ability to repay the loans, and limits to the number of times consumers can renew the loans. The proposal covers a wide set of short-term,… Read More

Is There a Subprime Car Loan Bubble?

Auto Loans

Is There a Subprime Car Loan Bubble?

Is There a Subprime Car Loan Bubble?

Auto loans are hot. Consumers can’t seem to get enough of them, and the average loan has soared from $14,700 to $17,400 in the past five years, according to TransUnion. Wall Street can’t get enough of them either: Santander Consumer USA just sold off $700 million of its subprime loans to investors within a few… Read More

The 10 Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers

Mortgages

The 10 Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers

The 10 Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers

Young people are flocking to cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C., when perhaps they should consider places in North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee — at least if they want to buy a home. First-time homebuyers often find gathering enough cash to make a down payment is their biggest obstacle, but millennials aren’t helping… Read More

7 Credit Score Myths That Will Still Surprise You

Credit Score

7 Credit Score Myths That Will Still Surprise You

7 Credit Score Myths That Will Still Surprise You

Surprise! Consumers are still confused about what goes into a credit report and a credit score. Given how opaque these things were for such a long time, it’s entirely predictable that confusion reigns. It’ll be that way for a while. Credit bureau TransUnion recently released a survey with more proof that the mythology built up… Read More

The 2% Down Payment Mortgage: Can You Get One?

Mortgages

The 2% Down Payment Mortgage: Can You Get One?

The 2% Down Payment Mortgage: Can You Get One?

The biggest barrier for many would-be homeowners is the pile of cash that’s needed before a bank will even discuss a mortgage. The Federal Housing Administration, in an effort to boost the housing market, recently lowered down-payment requirements to 3.5% of the purchase price, but by the time would-be buyers consider closing costs, they still… Read More

Consumer Watchdog Says You Should Be Able to Sue Your Credit Card Company

Credit Cards

Consumer Watchdog Says You Should Be Able to Sue Your Credit Card Company

Consumer Watchdog Says You Should Be Able to Sue Your Credit Card Company

For years, consumer advocates have claimed that binding arbitration clauses have quietly but dramatically limited consumers’ ability to seek justice and have their day in court. On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released results of a broad study that appears to support those claims. While a majority of banking customers are subject to arbitration… Read More

10 Cities Where Identity Theft Is a Huge Problem

Identity Theft

10 Cities Where Identity Theft Is a Huge Problem

10 Cities Where Identity Theft Is a Huge Problem

Fraud can happen anywhere, but certain places seem to have it worse than others. The Federal Trade Commission recently published its annual report on consumer complaints, and it includes rankings for cities with the most fraud reports, and in a separate list, the most identity theft reports. Did your hometown make the top 10 list?… Read More

‘Free Cruise’ Robocalls Get FTC Crackdown

Personal Finance

‘Free Cruise’ Robocalls Get FTC Crackdown

‘Free Cruise’ Robocalls Get FTC Crackdown

A massive telemarketing robocalling campaign called millions of consumers every day with sales pitches for cruises disguised as political surveys, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. The total number of calls involved in the campaign was “over a billion,” an agency spokesman said. The FTC and 10 state attorneys general allege that a network of… Read More

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