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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 5, 2013/ 2 Teves, 5774

Consumer Finance Needs Better Morals

By Froma Harrop



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Drawing moral lines in our rough-and-tumble capitalist system can be hard. But it should not tax too many ethical muscles to set aside some protections for trusting, unsophisticated borrowers of modest means. That is, unless you're a politician working on behalf of predatory lenders.

And it's amazing how many politicians do, making the recent successes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seem all the more miraculous. The CFPB was created in 2010 to set rules of the road for consumer financial products — mortgages, student loans, payday loans and such.

Last month, the bureau nabbed its first payday lender, Cash America. The company was caught robo-signing loan documents in Ohio, where that's illegal. Robo-signing refers to mass approval of documents without proper review. The sloppy paperwork often traps borrowers in a bureaucratic nightmare designed to wear them down.

Cash America also bilked military personnel on their loans. The legal limit for interest charged to American service members is 36 percent, itself no small amount.

Payday loans are the bottom of the borrowing barrel. Some borrowers are desperate for quick cash. Some don't have great credit histories. Thus, one expects them to pay higher rates of interest.

But lenders slip in outrageous charges on top of already steep borrowing costs. Those unable to pay off the entire amount in two weeks (the supposed next payday) are often forced to renew the loan, with another $50 fee tacked on each time. Some borrowers end up paying 400 percent interest.



For these lenders, the working poor are the perfect mark. They have a steady stream of income to divert but little schooling in the tricks being played.

Payday lending is so lucrative that "respectable" names in finance do it through subsidiaries. Cash America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The CFPB addresses abuses further up the consumer-loan food chain — in mortgages, student loans and other common credit tools. For home loans, it wants the contracts easier to undertand. During the housing bubble, many borrowers took loans with initially low "teaser" rates that later grew to shocking numbers. They should have been more careful, but piles of paper and legalese hid the snakes. The improved forms would show projected monthly payments, plus break down insurance and closing costs.

Mortgages will always be complex transactions. Much money is involved and paperwork required. Those too lazy to study the deal may be unpleasantly surprised. But borrowers willing to apply themselves should have more of a fighting chance to understand what's going on.

Last month, the bureau proposed new rules on collecting debts, which if approved would strike a new blow for decency. It would make financial institutions responsible for the behavior of the companies they use to deal with customers.

What happens is that big-name banks make loans and then outsource the servicing of them to thuggish third parties. The hirelings casually sue, harass and otherwise abuse borrowers, often using deceptive claims based on shabby paperwork. (See "robo-signing" above.) Sometimes they lack proof that the money is owed. But they have lawyers, and the little guy doesn't.

If the bureau prevails, the big banks won't be able to look away from the carnage.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Previously:


12/03/13 Will Americans Pay for American-Made?

11/28/13 Data Debris and the Time of Our Lives

11/21/13 'Wild Turkey on the Rocks?'

11/12/13 Wheels of Misfortune

10/31/13 The Problem With Twitter

10/24/13 Scandal in Candyland

10/17/13 Fashion Can't Be Tech's New Big Thing

10/15/13 The Generations Rock On

© 2013, Creators Syndicate

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