Articles Tagged with debt defense attorneys

Recently, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced indictments of nearly a dozen individuals tied to an alleged organized crime family for engaging in broad scale illegal loansharking. The long-term investigation reportedly uncovered “the largest” loan sharking operation ever investigated by the agency, with defendants allegedly saddling victims (lured in by an illegal gambling operation) with interest payments that topped $1 million in just a single year.debt defense attorney

Investigators say victims were required to drop off weekly interest payments at “exorbitant” rates that averaged 200 percent annually, setting a trap of high-cost debt for those who took out the loans.

Meanwhile, let’s compare that to the investigation into payday lending firms that was suddenly dropped by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Trump administration earlier this year. The CFPB announced in January it was no longer pursuing litigation against a group of payday lenders – despite the fact that this group allegedly carried interest rates as high as 950 percent annually. That is almost five times as much what the accused loan sharks in New York were allegedly charging their victims. Continue reading

America’s criminal justice system is being used to enforce private debts. That’s according to a new in-depth investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) into the extent and impact of courts cooperating with the private debt collection industry in the U.S.debt collection

In “The Criminalization of Private Debt,” the ACLU reports that courts in 26 states (including Florida) plus Puerto Rico have issued warrants for the arrest of alleged debtors, all because a private debt collection company asked them to. Of course, such practices violate numerous state and federal laws, as well as international human rights laws. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hammer of these practices comes down especially hard on Black and Latino communities, primarily because of a long history of gaps in wealth and poverty along ethnic and racial lines.

It’s estimated 77 million Americans – 1 in 3 – has debt that has been turned over to a private collection agency. Of those, the ACLU reported, thousands were arrested and thrown into jail because they had not paid this money. Bear in mind: Debtors’ prisons were eradicated in the U.S. way back in 1833. And yet, the ACLU discovered tens of thousands of debt-related warrants are issued annually. Continue reading

While Americans are “drowning in debt,” the White House is waging a war on regulation that is ultimately going to push even more consumers into greater debt and higher rates of poverty. Although these plans are touted as part of a pro-business agenda intended to spur economic growth, our Miami debt defense attorneys recognize many of these measures are going to have a harsh impact on consumers – especially those already in the lower tax brackets.debt defense attorney

One of the most recent and perhaps most destructive of these efforts is the recent stripping down of the consumer protections and watchdog oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You may recall this is the agency created seven years ago that has since been dedicated (successfully so) to preventing consumer rip-offs by loan and credit card issuers, debt collectors, payday lenders and other large financial players. Prior to this administration’s assuming control of the CFPB, the agency had collected nearly $12 billion in compensation for 29 million consumer victims of financial scammers.

Since Mick Mulvaney (also budget director for the Trump administration) stepped in as interim director of the agency in November, he has been dismantling key elements of the program piece-by-piece. He has done significant damage just in the last several months, and planned actions are likely to further threaten consumer financial well-being. Continue reading

Private student loan debts – possibly tens of thousands of them, worth $5 billion – could be wiped away completely unless creditors start producing the proper paperwork.student loan debt defense

In a series of events that mirror that of the 2008 housing crisis and subsequent fall out, the troubled loans involve former students and graduates who have not been able to keep pace with their payments. Americans owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, which is spread out over some 44 million borrowers – far exceeding the $620 billion owed to U.S. credit card companies. The average graduate in 2016 has more than $37,000 in student loan debt – an increase of six percent from just one year earlier.

Meanwhile, the student loan delinquency rate, as reported by the Federal Reserve, is 11.2 percent. The Consumer Federation of America reports $137 billion federal student loans had not been paid for at least nine months last year, which is a 14 percent uptick in just a single year. Continue reading

The first U.S. Supreme Court opinion in which Justice Niel Gorsuch wrote may not be of much note for its eloquence. However, you will find it means a great deal to you if you ever have – or ever will be – on the other end of the line when a debt collector calls to harass you in the middle of the night. debt defense

The decision in Henson v. Santander gives bottom-feeder debt collectors a pass to violate consumer rights and basic protections. Of course, it’s not shocking that Gorsuch, appointed by President Donald Trump, would defer to the big business party in the case. However, it seemed lost on the conservatives of the court that this ruling could have real-life implications that favor financial predators.

It is the hope of our Miami debt defense attorneys that at this point, Congress will weigh in to repair the damage. However, given the makeup of the current power structure, that’s unlikely anytime soon.  Continue reading

Since 2010, there has been a rapid growth in the U.S. car loan industry. A new report from Bloomberg indicates borrower fraud is soaring, and we may soon near a bursting bubble, similar to what we saw with the housing crisis. car accident

It’s estimated as many as 1 percent of car loan applications in the U.S. contain some type of material misrepresentation, according to Point Predictive, a data analytics company cited by Bloomberg. That’s close to the just-over-1-percent of fraud we saw in U.S. mortgages back in 2009, when the housing market financial crisis was in full swing.

The good news is the economic fallout is likely to be much less earth-shattering (for most of us) because there is simply less outstanding debt on automobiles as there are on houses. Still, there are some uncanny parallels between the mortgage and auto industries in terms of the growth of this type of fraud. While we don’t know just how widespread the problem was prior to 2009 (lenders weren’t reporting information to each other and often weren’t investigating such incidents on their own), it does seem as if we may be on a similar track.

Continue reading

Bank employees at Citigroup had suspicions for years that more than $1 billion in payments being sent over 30 million transactions to Mexico through its Banamex USA division were shady. Despite ample evidence, that generated some 18,000 suspicious transaction alerts, the company only initiated 10 investigations, filing just half a dozen suspicious activity reports with federal regulators.debt defense

Now, the California-based Banamex USA has conceded it violated criminal laws for its failure to have adequate anti-money-laundering safeguards in place. For its part, Citigroup admitted it didn’t maintain adequate oversight of Banamex. For this, it will pay $97.4 million, a settlement agreement that will steer it clear of criminal charges related to the inquiry.

Miami debt defense attorneys recognize this kind of action as revealing where the priorities of bankers truly lie. While large banks like Citigroup are quick to take consumers to task – sometimes even to court –  over a few missed credit card payments or a default mortgage after a job loss or on an underwater home, they turn a blind eye to what is clearly a viable source of income for violent criminal cartels. Continue reading

College debt is weighing heavily on tens of thousands of elderly Americans, pushing them into poverty. That’s according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office, which revealed more than 110,000 people over the age of 65 had their Social Security checks garnished in 2015 in order to continue paying off student loans on which they had defaulted. coinerolls

The report further indicates more than 70,000 Americans over the age of 50 are currently living under the poverty line specifically because their Social Security payments are being slashed in order to cover the amount they still owe on student loans.

These figures contrast the widely-held notion that student loan debt is largely a problem for millennials. But what this report, which was generated at the request of Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), reveals this is an inter-generational problem. Further, it’s not one that is simply going to “sort itself out.” That’s because of those tens of thousands of borrowers whose Social Security checks are being cut to pay down this debt, they aren’t actually paying it down. Nearly 70 percent of those borrowers are only paying on the fees and interest. That means the overall amount of their debt isn’t decreasing, which means unless they start generating more money with another income source, they aren’t ever going to stop making payments. And guess who profits from all this? The federal government.  Continue reading

Student loan debt is a major problem in Florida. No state is untouched by the problem, of course, but new research by data website WalletHub reveals Florida ranks 40th in the country as one of the worst states for student debt.graduation2

Second to mortgages, student loans are the largest part of household debt for Americans. By the end of the first quarter of this year, the amount of outstanding loan balances was $1.19 trillion. That’s according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which notes that figure is a $32 billion increase from the previous quarter and an astonishing $78 billion increase from where it was just a year earlier.

In essence, what this means is that a college degree is no guarantee of financial security. Continue reading