Debit and Credit Cards

Do you use prepaid money cards? You have 5 new rights

Do you use prepaid money cards? You have 5 new rights

Prepaid money cards now have similar protections regarding fraudulent and unauthorized charges as debit and credit cards...

How can you protect your home and other assets when you go active duty?

How can you protect your home and other assets when you go active duty?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects active duty military personnel and other deployed service members from losing their home and other assets while they are serving active duty, temporarily stationed somewhere else, or permanently relocated...

Do I have 3 days to cancel the transaction in Ohio?

Do I have 3 days to cancel the transaction in Ohio?

Depending on the type of transaction, a consumer can cancel within three days of the initial transaction and receive a full refund...

Do You Know How to Spot a Card Skimmer?

Do You Know How to Spot a Card Skimmer?

Card skimming is the act of stealing valuable credit or debit card information by using an illegal card reader called a skimming device at ATM machines, gas pumps and other machines...

5 Steps to Get Rid of Your Holiday Debt

5 Steps to Get Rid of Your Holiday Debt

Figuring out how to pay off your holiday debt or other credit card debt can be a daunting, challenging task. Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. has created a list of tips and tricks to help you eliminate your debts, become debt free, and avoid receiving calls from debt collectors...

What is your liability on debit and credit cards?

Many consumers have at least one debit card and one credit card. Understanding the liability differences between each and knowing when it is the right time to use them is important...

Are You Thinking About Getting Your Child a Debit Card?

Getting a debit card may be a bigger milestone in your child’s life than it was for you in your younger years. The Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) protects consumers who are involved in using electronic banking methods such as debit and credit cards.

Wells Fargo Created Millions of Fake Accounts

Wells Fargo Created Millions of Fake Accounts

Wells Fargo created millions of fake bank accounts under consumer names between 2011 and 2015. By doing so, the Wells Fargo bank was able to meet targeted sales and collect more money in fees from their consumers who were unaware of these unauthorized accounts. It is noted that consumers were signed up for checking accounts and credit cards that they never agreed to open and pay fees on. Wells Fargo has said to have dismissed over 5,000 employees regarding this issue, suggesting this was a widespread problem and ingrained in the banks culture.

Over a million fake accounts are estimated to have been created by employees in consumers names. Employees allegedly created fake email addresses and fake pin numbers to enter these accounts into the system. Roughly a quarter of the accounts created without a consumer consent were credit card accounts. These credit card accounts jointly created a little under a half a million dollars in fees including interest charges, overdraft protection fees and annual fees. Wells Fargo does plan to compensate consumers involved in these fraudulent accounts.

So how does a fraudulent bank account effect a consumer?

A bank account developing fees that are going undetected by the consumer can continuously grow causing the consumer to have to pay more once detected. If never detected, then the consumer is accumulating debt. The unauthorized bank accounts also affect a consumers’ credit score as they are missing payments. A drop in credit could affect a consumers’ ability to take out a loan on items such as a car or mortgage for a home.

Wells Fargo creating unauthorized bank accounts violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). TILA expresses that consumers should be made aware of certain information when signing contracts related to credit cards and loans. Wells Fargo employees violated this act by never providing a contract for consumers to sign agreeing to the bank accounts and credit card accounts that were created. More information regarding the TILA can be found in 23 Legal Defenses to Foreclosure: How to Beat the Bank by Troy Doucet.

 

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Truth In Lending Act

Truth In Lending Act

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) is a federal law legislated on May 29, 1968 under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The TILA was created to protect consumers involved in contracts with credited purchases with creditors and lenders. Essentially the TILA act enforces loan companies and credit card companies to provide all information regarding interest rates and other fees before a consumer agrees to borrow.

TILA covers open-ended credit and close-ended credit. Open-ended credit includes borrowed funds such as credit cards, debit cards and home equity loans. Examples of close-ended credit include auto loans and home mortgages.  Information regarding terms of an Annual Percentage Rate (APR), the total amount offered in a loan and the frequency of due dates to repay the loan is now obligatory for the loaner to provide to the consumer under this act. The dispense of required information now allows consumers to be aware of contracts, costs of credit and so-called hidden fees. Consumers are also able to be more confident and comfortable agreeing to credit related contracts because they can use the provided information to compare a variety of loans or borrowed money.

Failure of cooperation by a loaner or creditor to provide the required information to the consumer can result in rescission in certain instances. The loan or credit transaction would be disentangled and canceled, and all fees and paid money would be returned back to the consumer in a rescission. Lenders and credit companies are more disposed and willing to provide the required information based on TILA due to the amount of loss which could generated during a rescission.

You can find out more information about the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) regarding home owners and foreclosure by reading 23 Legal Defenses to Foreclosure: How to Beat the Bank by Troy Doucet.

 

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Right of Rescission

Right of Rescission

A borrower facing foreclosure has a number of defenses to losing his or her home.  One such defense is the right of rescission.  One can think of rescission as the ending of a contract or agreement.  Under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1635, a borrower has the right of rescission as to certain transactions including mortgage refinancing, a home equity line of credit, a home improvement plan, or any other non-purchase credit transaction secured by the borrower’s principal dwelling .  However, TILA’s right of rescission does not apply to the purchase of a home.

TILA “requires creditors to provide borrowers with clear and accurate disclosures of terms dealing with things like finance charges, annual percentage rates of interest, and the borrower’s rights[.]”  Barrett v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 445 F.3d 874, 877 (6th Cir. 2006).  See also 12 C.F.R. § 226.1(b) (“The purpose of this regulation is to promote the informed use of consumer credit by requiring disclosures about its terms and cost.”).

Normally, a borrower is allowed until midnight of the third business day after the consummation of the transaction or delivery of the required TILA disclosures to the borrower, whichever is later, to rescind the transaction.  But if the lender does not provide the required TILA forms and disclosures to the borrower, the borrower’s right of rescission may extend up to three years.  In other words, a borrower has an “unconditional right to rescind for three days,” after which the borrower has three years to rescind if the lender fails to satisfy TILA’s disclosure requirements.  Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 790, 792 (2015).

If a lender does not meet its TILA disclosure obligations and the borrower wishes to rescind the transaction within the three year time period, the borrower may do so by giving notice to the lender in accordance certain Federal Reserve Board regulations.  For a borrower, a rescission of a transaction means the borrower is refunded all payments, fees, and costs, essentially placing the borrower in a position as if the transaction never occurred.

If you feel your lender did not meet the TILA disclosure requirements, please give Doucet & Associates a call at (614) 944-5219 to discuss your legal options.

 

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Can my credit card company sue me?

Can my credit card company sue me?

Troy Doucet is quoted in this Yahoo article about arbitration clauses. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/credit-card-company-sue-123048287.html

He would also point out that every so often arbitration clauses will be reciprocal, but that is rare and he has only seen it in commercial contracts. Even then, the clauses are usually limited in some respect or another.

If you have an arbitration clause you are worried about, please contact the attorneys at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. by calling (614) 944-5219.

 

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Best Foreclosure Defense Available to Consumers

Best Foreclosure Defense Available to Consumers

TILA rescission is one of the best statutory consumer foreclosure defense because it enables homeowners to unwind their entire mortgage transaction and get a refund of nearly all money paid to the lender, including monthly interest and closing costs. A subset of TILA, called HOEPA, offers even greater benefits that can generate substantial damages for the homeowner.

To qualify, the loan must have been used for your primary residence and not be older than 3 years old (HOEPA loans can be longer). Most importantly, the loan must have been used to refinance the home. That is, the loan must be a refinance under three years old. If those things apply, you should have your loan evaluated for TILA rescission based on faulty disclosures.

The book 23 Legal Defenses to Foreclosure walks you through that evaluation process. If you are in Ohio, contact Attorney Troy Doucet at (614) 944-5219.

 

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