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US charges 4 members of Chinese military with Equifax hack

Washington (CNN)A federal grand jury has charged four members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army with hacking Equifax and stealing personal data and trade secrets in one of the largest hacks on record.   Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the scale of the theft in 2017 was “staggering” and the suspects obtained information for nearly 150 million Americans. The attorney general said the hack was one of the largest on record and was a “deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American peopl

New FTC Data Spotlight: Fake Check Scams Cause Big Losses, Especially for Consumers in Their Twenties

new update from the Federal Trade Commission shows that fake check scams led to reported individual median losses of nearly $2,000 – losses far higher than on any other of the top ten scams reported to the FTC. According to the new data analysis, consumers in their twenties are more than twice as likely as people 30 and older to report losing money to these scams.

Consumer credit jumps in December

The numbers: Consumer borrowing surged in December, as consumers used credit cards to make holiday purchases, according to Federal Reserve data released Friday. Total consumer credit increased $22.1 billion. That’s an annual growth rate of 6.3%, up from a 3.4% rate in the prior month. Economists has been expecting a $15 billion gain, according to Econoday.

‘A major, major initiative’: California wants to create its own Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

Frustrated with federal inaction, California aims to build a “mini” version of a federal agency that is tasked with consumer protection. Billing it as California’s version of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Governor Gavin Newsom revealed in his proposed 2020-2021 state budget that the new entity — a Department of Financial Protection and Innovation — intends to “cement California’s consumer protection leadership amidst a retreat on that front by federal agencies including the [CFPB] and “provide consumers greater protection from predatory practices.”

Maze ransomware spree continues amid advisories from French, FBI officials

Roughly a month after the FBI advised U.S. companies to protect themselves against a pernicious strain of ransomware, hackers have continued to attack victims and threaten to publicize their private information. A hacking group deploying Maze ransomware has used a network of websites to publicly identify organizations it claimed to hack, and which of them refused to pay a ransom.

Waters to Kraninger: America Needs Better From You

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, delivered the following opening statement during a full Committee hearing entitled, “Protecting Consumers or Allowing Consumer Abuse? A Semi-Annual Review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Kraninger speaks on constitutionality, payday during semi-annual hearing

CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger – during a House Financial Services Committee hearing to review the bureau Thursday – reinforced her position to no longer defend the bureau’s single-director structure in a lawsuit set to be considered by the Supreme Court in March.

Eleventh Circuit Endorses Narrow Definition of TCPA Autodialer Creating Circuit Split

On January 27, 2020, a federal court of appeals issued a significant decision interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the “TCPA”) in a way that limits the expansive potential liability companies face under the statute. In Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reached three significant conclusions:

The Fed faces a housing conundrum

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell may have a problem on his hands. Buoyed by three interest-rate cuts, not only did the U.S. housing market stand as a pillar of economic support in 2019, it largely offset the protracted slowdown in business investment. Now, though, cracks have begun to appear in housing.

As Mortgage Rates Skid, Homeowners Rush to Refinance and Save

Homeowners are responding in a big way to tumbling mortgage rates, which have dropped to the lowest levels in years and have reached all-time lows for midwinter. Applications for mortgage refinance loans have spiked and are coming in at the fastest pace in six and a half years, a trade group says.  But owners who decide to swap out their mortgages and stay in their homes aren’t helping to relieve the shortage of houses for sale. Would-be buyers keep struggling to find homes they want, and they’ve become less eager to borrow.