Strange and Long Trip of Payday Loan Providers Through 2017

An air of uncertainly loomed over the short-term lending industry, especially payday loan as it became clear that the CFPB was going to finally release their proposed list of regulations for the short-term lending industry as a whole. The regulations brought about some real changes – strict analysis of borrower’s ability to repay loans, individual loan payments per day must be limited to a level that did not cause any financial trouble, lenders need to allow borrowers to reborrow instantly and in the event that there is insufficient funds to repay the loan, lenders can make an attempt to directly debit payments from the accounts of the borrowers.Banks Being Scrutinized By Regulators for Payday-Like Loans

The new regulations did not go further.

Supporters of the regulations argue that the rules are only an attempt to protect the consumers from getting caught in the debt trap. Critics, however, are of the opinion that it restricts the customers’ access to credit and funds. Caught in between both the groups is payday lending consumers.

Who is a typical payday loan borrower?

Non-PaymentAs per the Pew Charitable trusts, typical payday lending customers are white women between the ages 25 and 44. Payday lending providers helps millions of Americans find a quick solution to their financial bind. It offers them access to credit and they can use that money to take care of their pressing needs before the next paycheck.

In the absence of short-term lending, where will the customers go?

It is difficult for high-risk customers to obtain loan from traditional financial institutions. There is often pressure on banks and other large financial organizations to wiggle their way out of having to offer any kind of loan to risky borrowers. Even though Richard Cordray, director of CFPB, thinks that small banks and credit unions will be able to offer loans at reasonable rates, it is not entirely true. The high rate of defaulters often makes these agencies pull the plug on offering loans. To them, short-term lending is unprofitable and too risky.

Some supporters of CFPB even suggested that Post Officers can act as short-term, low-cost lenders. However, there are strong arguments against Post Offices functioning as banks. This is because it has never been the purpose of the Post Office. So, consumers practically have nowhere to go if the payday lending industry is forced out of business.

Some options for payday lenders to consider

There are innovators who offer software solutions that can help payday lenders to tie into their POS and verify the borrowers’ status, amount, loan term and interest rare as per the state usury laws. This technology exists in 16 states and in such states, there is no abuse of the system.

Alternatives to payday lending have been dreamed of, such as Cumulus launched in 2016 at the Innovation Project. But, nobody knows how these solutions are going to function in the brand new regulatory system.

One thing is for sure that payday day lending is a very simple issue, but it does not have a simple solution. This is because lending to a class of borrowers with a history of not repaying loans is not easy. So, it is no feasible to offer them short-term loan at low rates of interest.

The payday lending industry heavyweights are of the opinion that destroying small-dollar loans would cause millions of Americans a lot of problem. They might not even be able to manage their day-to-day expenses. Payday loan is something that a lot of Americans depend on. In a utopian world, it would have been easy to give our small-term loans at very low interest, but it is not realistic.

Mr. Cordray, It’s Time to Step Down to Let Payday Loans Online Providers Breathe

CFPB or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a controversial agency and continues to remain polarizing. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently declared that the structure of 1 director followed by the bureau is unconstitutional. In light of the criticisms and the voters’ desire for a modification of the status quo, CFPB need to refrain from pushing regulations about payday loans online providers before the president’s enters his office.cfpb

It is common trend for federal agencies to implement some last-minute regulations when a new administration takes over the government. These regulations are usually rushed and supported by low quality assessment of the benefits and expenses. Since CFPB’s regulation can influence the financial well-being of tens and thousands of Americans, they should take time and act in good faith.

For instance, the proposed regulations on payday lending and arbitration have sparked a lot of public interest. 1.4 million comments have been received by the payday rule, which ranges from legal and economic analysis to people’s personal stories about how they quite terrified about losing access to important products and services.

The CFPB needs some time to carefully consider and reply to genuine concerns highlighted by the commenters. The staff of the bureau will really need to work 24/7 to be able to sift through, review and analyze the 1.4 million comments internally before the new administration takes over the reins of the government. Scrutinizing the comments of the arbitration rule is going to take some more time. The bureau’s proposed rule on arbitration and payday lending is going to influence significant change in the financial services market and affect so many consumers, along with their accessibility to credit. The bureau should give it the attention and time that it needs.

CFPB need to exercise control to get the rules right and to maintain legitimacy. Originally, the bureau did not have any accountability to the president and the Congress. Its structure was recently held as an independent agency by the decision of a federal appeals court. The court even said that the director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire US government, next only to the president.

The problem was addressed by the court and it gave the president the power to sack the director for various reasons other than neglect of his duty. The president has the authority to oversee the work of the CFPB and fire the director, just like for any other agency.

The CFPB also need to avoid taking aggressive actions for the interest of legitimacy until the new president decided on who he wants as director for the bureau. The future of CFPB is uncertain, and therefore, any new rules will be viewed as an invalid attempt to dictate policies. This can lead to the rules being overturned by the new administration and can cause even more uncertainties in the industry.

Instead of putting the financial industry under whipsaw policy, the bureau and its director need to step away from the pen. CFPB should spend some time to work through the information that it has received as response for its proposed rules. This way, the new administration will be able to make better, informed decisions. The major goals of the bureau is to protect the customers and promote innovation and access in financial products and that does not change. The best way for the bureau at this moment is to wait before inaugurating and announcing the final policy regarding payday loans online industry. They need to really take the time to evaluate and assess the whole situation.

Pitfalls That Force Consumers to Apply for E Payday Loans

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office partnered up with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in filing a complaint in a federal district court against an influential immense debt gathering system that executed their plans from Buffalo. These schemes are the main reason why people who don’t engage in financial malpractice fall into debt and have to resort to means like e payday loans.

The CFPB alleged that the perpetrators had dishonored the ‘Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’. Eric T. Schneiderman and the CFPB also asserted that the offenders dishonored the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform along with the Consumer Protection Act, which forbids prejudicial and misleading acts in the consumer monetary market. Their grievance also alleged recurrent deceitful acts and dishonest acts or in defilement of New York law. The offenders were clearly violating the New York state debt-collection laws too. Precisely, the CFPB and the Attorney General accused that the perpetrators MacKinnon and Gray (the ringleaders) along with their chain of debt collection companies had committed these malpractices:payday-online

Exaggerated consumer arrears which distorted sums consumers owed. The perpetrators had altered to consumers the amounts they actually owed by adding of amounts they never owed and weren’t indebted to recompense. The illegal corporations did not have a lawful right to gather these amounts from the customers. Explicitly these companies – Northern Resolution Group, Enhanced Acquisitions and Delray Capital had illegitimately tagged an additional amount of $200 to every consumer debt-account they had attained, irrespective of the fact that appropriate state law or the fundamental agreement between the consumer and the initial issuer allowed such dues or costs. Many cases showed that this evil arrangement went on to inflate the sums owed by appending on the extra unofficial charges and levies to the amounts outstanding. Many hoarders cited consumers balances that surpassed 600% of the actual debt amount.

These organizations also went on to deceptively portend legal action. The corporations misleadingly threatened consumers with lawful acts that the hoarders had no purpose of taking. In actuality, they never mentioned a case for trial. In one case, the businesses stressed one consumer by telling their victim that she didn’t even have the time to get legal representation as she was going to be arrested the day after. Some cases have shown the companies falsely accusing consumers of acting criminally. The companies also had fibbed to their customers, making claims of their arrest to burden them to pay additional amounts which they told them were part of their debts. These misleading practices could also have exaggerated the comparative precedence consumers gave to opposing financial obligations.

The organizations also mimicked law-enforcement administrators, government agencies, and officers of the high court. These fraudsters conducted falsified calls and emails to make it show as if their customers were being communicated by government officials. The businesses used call-faking skills to show their customers that the collectors were actually calling from real government agencies. These agents would conduct bombardment of calls to consumers and their families, portraying themselves to be government officials with powers to arrest the customer for being unable to pay the full amount of the debt.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a newly formed agency. It is dedicated to helping consumers in various finance markets by making highly effective regulations through consistent just enforcement of those rules. The agency alongside Attorney General Schneiderman demanded that the court should levy heavy penalties on the fraudulent company and its associates for their demeanor. They also called for compensation for the victims, many of them who were deeply hurt financially and were barely managing to live off by attaining further debts and e payday loans. There is a high need to be aware of such fraudsters in today’s world.

 

Payday Advance – a Thing of the Past Now That The CFPB Is Gone!

Encouraging no hassle, a federal court had condensed the United State of America’s most influential and self-regulating supervisory agency to one of the most ardent receivers of political notions. The agency which was at the root of increasing financial malpractices like the upsurge in both availability and acquisition of payday advance and other such financial loopholes that the average man was forced to get into.

The U.S. Court of Appeals which falls under District of Columbia adjudged that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, shaped as a portion of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial modification struggle, did not obey a Constitution based on checks and balances. In simpler terms, the leader of the CFPB had excessive control and the agency had lavish levels of freedom from any supervision which was frankly un-American at its core.

Banks Now Trying To Compete With Payday LendersThe rather newly formed agency saw a lot of heads turn, especially the common folk who needed economic reform but the structure of the agency was deemed undemocratic and quite rightly so. The organization had been intended to unify the supervision of consumer economic foods such as loans, credit cards. These amenities had previously been spread among numerous agencies, of whom all failed. The CFPB’s readiness to charge fines and recover reimbursement for consumers in several types of financial swindles had initially made it a champion for consumer supporters and a worry for fiscal lobbyists and the politicians, chiefly Republican, who supported them.

The judgment, in a case that upturned a $109 million imposition charged by the CFPB against loan and mortgage creditor PHH, arose, incongruously, just as the agency had achieved one of its major successes. The chief executive of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf had resigned following fines by CFPB and other controllers. To sort out the discoveries that the financial organization might’ve deceitfully opened new financial records for consumers in order to achieve sales targets.

The court ruling was an impediment for Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been accredited for incepting the idea of an agency like the CFPB. She was also likely to have become its first director. She discharged the court ruling on as a minor and insignificant, “tweak” on the hypothesis that the agency would ensure occupying its role as it has before by directors chosen by Democratic presidents. That hypothesis might have been too superficial.cfpb

In the court ruling, the pleas panel constituting of three members settled 2-1 that the agency’s edifice dishonored the Constitution’s, “separation of powers” facility due to the fact that the agency wasn’t adequately answerable shockingly, either to the president of the country or even to the Congress. The system also lacked the built-in checks and balances of the dual-party commissions followed by other prominent independent agencies. For example, the SEC, has five administrators, two chosen from each party and a chairperson habitually allied to the party occupying the White House. Other major agencies, too, have similar structures. The CFPB instead has a lone leader with extensive. The director can be fired only by the president that too after presenting a viable cause. That director is established by the Senate or else Congress has diminutive influence in the agency’s business. Even the money is not handled by Congress but comes directly from the Federal Reserve. The CFPB being technically a unit of the Federal Reserve allows a little or no control over the banks.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was never meant to live up to what the people thought it would achieve. Its complexity proved to be a burden on businesses forcing the reduction of jobs and increase of activities like payday advance which harm the masses in a highly negative manner. The current government knows about this and is acting strongly to fix this. That might be a glimmer of hope for our economy.

Jobs Aplenty, No More Need for Payday Loans Online, Thanks To Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has been rendering most of his anti-elitist campaign orotundity into policy declarations. This aggressive attitude towards breaking of shackles can prove to be a great thing for people who deal with money, people who engage in high quantity fiscal operations, payday loans online, etc. This is because the next shackle in contention for Trump’s dismissal is the Dodd-Frank Act. The heinous act must be gotten rid of as it has made the shifty Wall Street banks a superior danger to the country’s macro economy and especially the common man.direct_payday_loans_pros_cons1

Ever since the government answered for the 2008 financial catastrophe, the big banks, the culprits have gotten bigger in terms of financial power while meek community fiscal organizations have died out at a frequency of one every day. This hard-hitting truth of modern American society was posted on Trump’s official transition website. The statement went on to speak about the fact that taxpayers have remained on the edge despite having bailed out the banks and other financial firms who were considered to be immutable due to their sizes in 2008. The statement also said that Trump’s team of Financial Services Policy Implementation would be looking forward to the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank Act replacing it with original policies, ones that will actually encourage economic growth and create jobs.

Adding to the promise of annulling the Dodd-Frank Act, the statement on his website also outlined numerous policies that he had spoken a lot about in his campaign. They included demands for a suspension of new policies so that the present measures could be revised. The statement also spoke at length about a tax-code refurbishment. It declared the president’s plan to be seen from a broader view as meeker, more reasonable and pro-growth.

The decision to get rid of Dodd-Frank Act is not expected to be received as good news for Senator Elizabeth Warren. Even the staunch Trump critic had nothing bad to say about Trump’s motives. She said that she would be eager to work with the arriving administration to ratify economic and banking policies as long as Trump did not change the existing rules. In remarks arranged for an AFL-CIO labor alliance occasion in Washington, she quoted matters they agreed upon, with the need to limit Wall Street impact in government. The reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act restricts banking actions and reform trade agreements. She said that when the time comes for President Trump to take on these issues by implementing new policies keeping in mind his goal of increasing the economic safety of middle-class families, she would happily join in. Warren a Massachusetts Democrat promised to put aside their problems of the past and work with the president to achieve their mutual goal.

The new government’s strategies for a much-needed financial revamp needs certain regulations. However, this could pull from a suggestion which came out previously this year. The proposal was by Representative Jeb Hensarling who is a Texas Republican. He leads the House Financial Services Committee. He had an idea of a bill which was dubbed the ‘Choice Act’. The bill demands the tearing up of the fundamental parts in Dodd-Frank Act. It includes a facility that authorizes the government to pull to pieces banks or financial organizations who have failed in their endeavors. The Texas Republican also wishes to do discard the Volcker Rule limitations on banks’ dealings and investments. His plans also include formulating ways to deteriorate the influence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Anyone familiar with financial terms like payday loans online or macro or micro economics should be able to understand the importance of what Donald Trump is doing. Under him, the future looks bright for USA’s stagnant economy.

Sudden Harsher Restrictions On E Payday Loans and Their Effects On the Masses

http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/05/killer-new-regulations-on-loans-hurt-women-blacks-the-most/

Situations and moments are very fickle; no one has the slightest of the notion what is going to happen the next moment. While everything may seem like near perfect this very moment, the next moment might welcome about a completely new accident that no one thought about. This was exactly what happened when the news about the newest changes in regulation in the lending of loans was inflicted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). While it seemed like a “good” change for some who already have their impending luxuries, this definitely came out as a shock for the people who depend on the e payday loans. These new restrictions were talked down upon by maximum of the citizens who vividly depend on the payday loans in times of need.Banks Are Offering Payday Loan Type Services

What Are Payday Loans?

For a very brief idea about what this entails, Payday loans are the small amount of money that is sanctioned to be loaned to a certain person on a higher rate of interest for a shorter time frame. It has been seen on a lot of occasions that the date of returning the money is often set on the borrower’s pay day but this rule is not applicable all the time. The borrower even has to pay an advance check with the said day when the money is to be returned.

The amount of money that is mostly lent via the payday loans doesn’t exceed $500 and the rate of interests are often under a close margin from $15-$100 depending on the amount of money that is loaned.

What Are the Implications of the Restrictions?

The newest set of regulations and restrictions that are inflicted on the entire lending system of money has affected the payday lending schemes and companies the most as per the calculated statistic made by Competitive Enterprise Insitute. These are those sudden assurances that help people guide through a sudden turmoil but these sudden restrictions are surely going to leave people in a pickle.unsecured-loans-can-be-easily-obtained-through-payday-lenders-direct-6516

The payday loan market is a big and widespread one. According to several reports, over 12,000,000 citizens of America opted for this way out during their times of need. The newest restrictions on these cash advances are sure to leave people in a financial liability in times of severe need. People without proper rainy-day savings or even a credit card won’t be able to easily appeal for these now that the restrictions have been tightened.

  • The most common people who seek out for these quick cash advances are either women or young citizens with an annual wage varying from $30,000-$35000. The quick cash was an easy and a quicker way out but several reports have now claimed that it is most likely that the women and the African-Americans are the ones who are going to suffer the wrath of these restrictions the most.
  • It is not just the borrowers who are going to be affected but even the payday loaners because it has been estimated that there will be a cut shortage of 3/4th of the total payday lending market. It is most likely possible for over 20,000 payday loaners might end up leading an unprofitable organization which is definitely a blow for them as well.

The only argument put forth by the CFPB is that people often “overuse” the advantages that the payday loan schemes bring them. They even expect these sudden restrictions on the regulations are more likely going to increase the free market interaction with the consumers and the sellers which are nothing but a far-fetched notion.

This sudden demarcation on the e payday loans seems to just affect a certain part of the area which is unjustifiable. If the aim of this is to bring about the changes as mentioned by the CFPB, then the effects of the same should be similar for every strata and race which definitely looks like a big question mark at the moment.

Obama Administration Accused by Payday Lenders of Last-ditch Effort with Operation Choke Point

The Obama administration is being accused by short-term lenders of attempting a last-minute effort to crack down on their industries by using Operation Choke Point. This has caused an emergency situation where businesses are not able to perform their basic functions, such as paying their employees.

Following a loss of more than dozens of banking relationships over the past few weeks, payday lenders asked for emergency relief from the program of the government from a federal judge in the District of Columbia. The program has been severely criticized for incorrectly targeting businesses that are legitimate.cfpb

CEO of Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), a trade association representing about nine thousand short-term lenders, Dennis Shaul, said that immediate relief is more important than ever. He believes that some members of the CFSA will be coerced to dramatically retrench their operations and others might have to shut down altogether without an injunction against Operation Choke Point.

The Justice Department designed Operation Choke Point in 2012 for attacking telemarketing, Internet, mail and other such mass market scam against the end-users by restraining swindlers’ access to the banking system.

The Justice Department believed that by partnering up with federal regulators including the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, they will be able to crack down on scams by utilizing federal regulators to pressurize the banks out of offering their services to businesses that are fraudulent.
However, critics of the program including several Republicans in Congress said that the program was being used to put financial pressure on legal industries that the Obama administration did not like, payday lenders and firearms sellers.
The Justice Department was contacted by the Daily Signal for an update, but they did not respond.

In April, a former official of President Barack Obama’s Justice Department said that the program has unintentional, but collateral consequences on the US consumers and banks. The complaints regarding the program damaging legal business owners have not stopped since then.

Operation Choke Point: A Shadow Campaign

A spokesperson for Advance America, the largest payday lending agency, Jamie Fulmer, said that the program is a shadow campaign against the businesses that abide by the law. To eliminate short-term lending, backdoor tactics are being utilized by regulators.

In a lawsuit filed in 2014 against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve for their participation in the program, the CFSA and Advance American are co-plaintiffs.
The chief financial officer for Advance America, Christian Rudolph, said that at least twenty-one banks have sent the organization notifications for termination since 2013.

When requesting an emergency injunction against the program, he said that recently the terminations of the bank have reached a point where it has significant begun to restrain the ability of Advance America to carry out its business operations and it is on the verge of being refused to even hold a bank account.

Payday loans are typically small-dollar, 2-week loans that are meant to be given back when end-users receive their paycheck. Payday lenders usually charge a fee of $15 for every $100 borrowed.

Critics are worried that borrowers are going to struggling with repaying the loans leading to higher fees and eventually leaving the consumers in a cycle of debt. Supporters are of the opinion that industry offers a much-needed service to the Americans in financial bind or lack accessibility to the bank. They even argue that paying late fees on a credit card or the costs of bounced checks are much higher.

The case, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. VS CFSA, is still going on and last year, the court granted it to move forward on the basis that the federal government might have breached the clause of the Fifth Amendment.

As per this clause, the lawyers for CFSA argued in court documents that the stigma established by the government against their industry under the program has been deprived of their right to having bank accounts and there selected business line. The negative effects of the program have been spoken out by the victims since the program was launched in 2013. A number of accounts have been documented by the Daily Signal.

But, the bank officials neither confirmed nor denied the theories of the federal regulators.

When a judge was asked for an emergency relief by CFSA and Advance America, however, the lawyers incorporated a written statement from the chairman of the Business Bank of Texas, Ed Lette.

Lette traced out how federal regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency coerced him to put a stop to a mutually advantageous relationship with a Texas-based payday lender, Power Finance Texas.

An expert in financial regulations at the Heritage Foundation and a critic of Obama’s program, Norbert Michel, said that it is very unusual for bankers to be discussing their problems publicly with their regulators.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency does not comment on any open litigation, but they did point to a testimony by Daniel Stipano, the agency’s deputy chief counsel, in 2014. Stipano had said that the agency does not direct banks to matters of individual accounts or even encourage banks to be engaged in termination of customer accounts. In case the bank is unable to manage the risks presented by a customer or the customer is related in any suspected illegal or criminal activity, the agency may direct the bank, via enforcement action to discontinue a customer’s account.

Stipano even confirmed that some of the requests that they had received during 2013 from the Justice Department were associated to Operation Choke Point.night-television-tv-theme-machines

The Program Reaches Beyond Payday Lenders

Payday lenders are not the only industry complaining about the program. The chief operating officer of Western Shamrock, a Texas-based installment loan corporation, Tom Hudgins, said that his industry also felt the pressure. Their sources of funding continue to be pressurized and their banking relationships at the local level continue to be discontinued. Hudgins operates three hundred locations in nineteen different states.

Installment loans are repaid over time and they have been around for much longer than payday loans. It differs from payday loans in the sense that they are fully underwritten and need strict verifications of the customers’ ability to repay the loan.
CEO of Banner Finance, an installment loan business with thirty-seven branch offices in 4 different states, Randy Dalton, said that there have been at least been 3 instances over 2 years where he had had to change banks because of terminations. He said that he has lost some bank relationships that his company had cherished for more than 50 years.

He said analyzing the current situation is of utmost importance and he is scared to think what will happen next.

A New Administration Brings Hope

Both installment and payday lenders agree that they have reasons to be hopeful, regardless of the uncertainties. Even though Donald Trump, the President-elect, has not made any comments on the Operation Choke Point, attempts have been made on multiple occasions by the Republicans in the Congress to terminate the program.

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, presented legislation aimed at deciphering Operation Choke Point, and the 2 are regular allies of Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

The administration of Trump has not said much about the program, except that it is going to change very soon.

How to use free Wi-Fi for shopping, banking and safe browsing?

Isn’t it extremely convenient to update status, shop, post photos and bank online? You do not have to physically go to the store, the bank or even travel a certain distance to catch up with friends and family.

The only drawback of doing things online is that your information is travelling, via the Internet. If you thought that the information is only between you and the website that you are using, you are wrong. The data collected from you is actually bouncing through servers around the country or maybe around the world giving hackers the chance to steal your information. If they happen to get your data in transit, they might be able to gain knowledge about you that they should not know, your password or may even pretend to be you in order to trick your bank or such other security sites.

Hacking becomes especially easy when you are using public Wi-Fi. Hackers using the same network have a number of tools to know what you are doing. Not just hackers, even your internet service provider and government can also monitor your connection to find out where you are going and if they want, what you are doing.

Safety Tips for Women Going Out With FriendsThe measures of Internet security in place

Any shopping, finance or medical website that is even a little concerned about security is going to provide with a connection that is encrypted. The encryption helps to scramble your traffic so that hackers are not able to get a hold of your passwords or any other information.

How will you understand if a website is encrypted? If the web address in your browser starts with https://, it is an encrypted site.

Websites like, Google, Facebook and other such major sites have also adopted always-on encryption. However, every website is not going to provide you with any encryption or they might only provide you with partial encryption.

Partial encryption means that the site may not be encrypted until you log in or they only encrypt your login details and leave details, such as email messages exposed for hackers to snoop.

Lucky for you, a lot of sites are now moving towards full-time encryption.

However, you do not have to wait for sites to provide you with a level of security. You can encrypt your connection yourself. How? Read on…

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

You can use VPN to encrypt your connection. In the world of business, VPNs allows employees who work remotely create a connection with the network of the company so that they are able to safely work.

Macs and Windows have in-built VPN features. However, a thirty-party VPN service is best for travelers and average home-users. With this service, you will be able to create an encrypted connection with one the servers and you can use that server to browse the web. Even VPN will not be able to see your traffic.

To start with, you have to ensure that the VPN service has US-based servers. Also know the bandwidth that you can use and find out if they keep logs of your activity. Paid services are going to need you to provide personal, as well as, payment information.
cellphoneFor Android gadgets, PCs and Macs, CyberGhost is a preferred free option that offers unlimited bandwidth, strong encryption and does not store logs. If you want to go for a paid plan, there is an Apple app.
For Android and Apple gadgets, Hotspot Shield VPN with more than three hundred million downloads is a popular free application.

How to use VPN?

After installing VPN, fire it up and allow it to establish a safe connection. You can then continue browsing the Internet normally. The traffic is going to flow to your tablet, computer or any other device, via a VPN server and encrypted connection.
The encrypted websites is going to be safe from hackers and other prying eyes.

Please note that when you are searching for VPNs, you will come across two terms – proxy services and VPN services. Always choose VPN services because a proxy service will not encrypt the connection, only disguise the identity of your computer.
When you are using public Wi-Fi, it is strongly recommended that you use a VPN for your security. However, it is highly recommended that you save all your online banking activities for your cellular connection or home.

Have you used VPN services before? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Facts about Payday Loans the CFPB would rather you did not know about

We have officially reached a point where a good number of people are all too aware that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is on a mission to cripple – possibly even eliminate – the payday lending industry. The CFPB officially released its proposed regulations for this industry earlier this summer, and it seems that the Bureau and the payday lending industry are on a collision course. There are some things about payday lending that the CFPB would probably rather that you did not know about.

Are Payday Loans PredatoryIs the Glass Ceiling Sending Women to Payday Lenders

When you think of a predator, you probably think of a vicious, wild animal that hunts down defenseless creatures in the wild. This is a pretty brutal picture, right? It’s easy to understand why the CFPB continues to refer to payday lenders as being predatory. They want people to picture huge lending companies that are mercilessly making life difficult for the poorer people of this country. The truth, however, doesn’t seem to indicate that payday lenders are predators at all.

The CFPB has been collecting consumer complaints via an online database for several years now. Consumers are allowed to log complaints about every type of financial service/product from their local banks to debt collectors. They are also able to log complaints about payday lending companies. If payday lenders are really preying on people, you’d think that a lot of those people would be doing everything they could to make it stop. That means that we would expect to see tens of thousands of complaints about payday lending in the CFPB’s official database.

That’s not what we’ve seen, though. Payday loan complaints make up a miniscule amount of total complaints logged thus far. As a matter of fact, complaints about payday lending companies account for far less than 1 percent of the total complaints logged to date. But there are plenty of complaints in the database that people have taken the time to officially submit. Mortgage lenders, debt collectors and even credit card companies have managed to be the most complained-about topics so far.

One would have to assume that if the CFPB is receiving more complaints about mortgage loans, credit cards and other types of financial products/services that the Bureau would focus on doing what they can to introduce rules that those industries must adhere to; rules that would more effectively protect consumers. But what are they doing instead? They have focused a lot of time, energy and money on regulating an industry at the federal level that is already regulated quite effectively at the state-level.

What we have here is another case of an arm of the federal government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. If payday loans were such a huge problem – if payday lenders were predators – then people (to the tune of about 10 million to 12 million per year) would not be going back to these lenders, and they would certainly be logging complaints about being preyed upon.

Could it be that the larger lending companies can afford to do what they want because they have more money and maybe even help to prop up the political careers of certain elected officials? Maybe. Could it be that since the CFPB has been nothing more than a puppet for the Obama administration (and Obama has gone on record about his personal disdain for payday loans) that the group is simply using its power to toe the line, so to speak? People need money for emergency expenses. Payday lenders are often the only resource that lower income households can turn to. Complaints about the industry from real people are minimal. SO why the continued focus on an industry that supplies a legitimate service and that consumers are obviously not against? These are the kinds of questions that need to be brought to the table, and the CFPB must answer them if it hopes to maintain any semblance of being a legitimate protector of American consumers.

The CFPB is a top concern with Elections Right around the Corner

Any time we get close to a big election, financial issues are always a top priority for candidates and voters. A banking regulation issue that both Republicans and Democrats have a lot of concern about is that of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB.) As might be expected, neither side sees eye-to-eye on this topic.

Generally speaking, Republicans are in favor of less regulations on the banking industry. As such, this party believes that the CFPB is a rogue government agency. They have said that its work has done nothing but make trial lawyers rich while clogging up the system with troublesome investigations. Democrats, for their part, have stood behind the creation of the agency and have supported additional regulations on the banking industry. They say that the agency is dedicated to protecting the interests of American consumers.350737613_80_80 cfpb

As important as the issue is, it will likely become even more important over the next few months. As we get closer to the next elections, both parties will likely work hard to sway voters to take their side in the battle over which banking regulation approach is best for the United States. This battle is a lingering effect of the financial meltdown of 2008. Industry experts believe that the crisis never would have happened if the right kinds of checks and balances were in place back then, and that new legislation – including the creation of the CFPB – were intended to help prevent a similar financial crisis from happening in the future.

Financial analysts state that the Republican perspective on the CFPB fits in with the position that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and bigger banks have taken. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce looked at 251 CFPB-studied cases. It turns out that lawyers averaged about $1.35 million per case on these sample cases. Banks have also gone on record about being concerned with complaints that are difficult to justify. A statement from Frank Keating of the American Bankers Association said, “While the banking industry is committed to helping consumers make informed and responsible financial decisions, public disclosure of unverified consumer complaint narratives doesn’t advance that goal and raises significant consumer privacy issues.”

Supporters of the CFPB, however, see things a bit differently. They believe that the things the CFPB has been doing have been important aspects of the overall banking regulatory foundation. At the DNC, Elizabeth Warren said, “Five years later, that consumer agency has returned $11 billion to families who were cheated. And Republicans? Republicans, they’re still trying to kill it.” Warren, of course, has a vested interest in the success of the CFPB. After all, she was one of the chief architects of this agency, and has been one of the CFPB’s most vocal supporters over the years.

Recently, the CFPB took action against one of the country’s leading banks. This action came after the bank allegedly did not comply with Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regulations. The CFPB said that the bank charged illegal fees on educational loans and that it did not give payment information to borrowers that they are legally required to provide.

We won’t see either side back down when it comes to the ideological battle over the CFPB. Voters need to learn as much as they can about the Bureau and the various issues it has been involved with over the years. They then need to support what they believe to be right by casting votes to support any measures that are directly related to the future of the CFPB. It may prove to be a battle that goes on for some time, but voters need to understand the issue and then vote accordingly to effect positive change.