‘Courtesy Loans’ Big Money For Banks, Abusive to Customers

Delinquent

Even as regulators crack down on abusive mortgage and credit card practices, another type of lending threatens to mire consumers in a credit trap.It’s called “courtesy overdraft” and has long been used by banks to automatically pay transactions that account holders don’t have the money to cover — and then charge them a steep fee. For years, banks have made it easier for customers to overdraw their checking accounts, aided by a cottage industry of consultants who make big money by helping to wring fees out of consumers, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

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Judge Rules Sprint Early Termination Fees Illegal

 Judge Rules Sprint Early Termination Fees Illegal

California law specifically forbids early termination charges

In a preliminary ruling Monday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw said Sprint Nextel must pay California mobile-phone consumers $18.2 million as part of a class-action lawsuit challenging early termination fees.

Though the decision could be appealed, it’s the first in the country to declare the fees illegal in a state and could affect other similar lawsuits, with broad implications for the nation’s fast-growing legions of cell phone users.

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