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Illinois AG suing firm for identity protection charges

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Thursday she is suing a California company for charging consumers for identity protection services that they never requested.

The lawsuit, filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court, claims that ID Lifeguards Inc. of Glendale, Calif., charged $157,562 on the phone bills of 5,071 Illinois consumers between September 2009 and March 2010. Get the full story »

American credit scores sinking to new lows

Figures provided by FICO Inc. show that 25.5 percent of American consumers — nearly 43.4 million people — now have a credit score of 599 or below, marking them as poor risks for lenders. It’s unlikely they will be able to get credit cards, auto loans or mortgages under the tighter lending standards banks now use.

Quinn signs law limiting payday loan interest rates

Payday loan companies will face limits on how much interest they can charge under legislation Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law this afternoon.

Under the new rules, interest rates would be capped at 99 percent for consumer installment loans of $4,000 and less and at 36 percent for loans that are $4,000 or more. Previously, there were no limits on how much loan companies could charge in interest, and some borrowers were smacked with rates as high as 700 to 1,000 percent, according to Quinn’s office.

“Access to credit is the key to economic life not only for business, but for every single person,” Quinn said. “The word ‘credit’ in Latin means ‘to believe,’ it doesn’t mean ‘to gouge.’ So it’s important to those who offer credit to follow some basic rules in the market place that protect consumers from being gouged.”

Chicago credit repair firms charged with fraud

By Mike Hughlett
With complaints rising nationwide against credit repair companies, the
City of Chicago said Friday that it has filed consumer fraud and
deceptive practice charges against nine such firms locally.

The city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
charged four companies with falsely promising they could erase
consumers’ debt from their credit reports. Those companies are: Mark
Anthony & Associates of Skokie; Allstates Credit Repair in Chicago;
Credit Rx in Glenview; and Nationwide Credit Clearing in Chicago.

Get the full story »