It's been a whole day since we learned about another example of systematic, widespread fraud by America's largest bank Wells Fargo (ripping off small merchants with credit card fees), so it's definitely time to learn about another one: scamming mortgage borrowers out of $43/month for an unrequested and pointless "home warranty service" from American Home Shield, a billion-dollar scam-factory that considers you a customer if you throw away its junk-mail instead of ticking the "no" box and sending it back.
$43/month gets you pretty much nothing: people who tried to actually use their AHS insurance found it impossible to get them to actually do anything in exchange for this money.
Here's a quick Wells Fargo fraud scorecard: stealing thousand of cars with fraudulent repos; defrauding mortgage borrowers; blackballing whistelblowers; creating 2,000,000+ fraudulent accounts, and stealing millions with fraudulent fees and penalties.
Starting at least in 2009, Wells Fargo and AHS entered into a marketing and payment processing agreement. Wells allowed AHS to solicit their mortgage customers to buy home warranty service, through phone calls, junk mail, and inserts in monthly mortgage statements. Wells would then collect the monthly payments for AHS as an additional charge to the mortgage.
According to one borrower from Newark, New Jersey, AHS claimed its junk mail constituted a “binding contract” that automatically finalized if borrowers didn’t reply to turn it down. “No signature, no affirmation and YET it is considered a BINDING CONTRACT??” the borrower wrote.
THERE’S A NEW WELLS FARGO SCANDAL: THIS TIME IT’S THE TRUCOAT [David Dayen and Ryan Grim/The Intercept]
The House Financial Services Committee has asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook’s planned Libra cryptocurrency, and he will do so on October 23.
In 2008, Congress authorized a $700b bailout of the finance sector, with almost no strings attached (notably, the bailout did not require banks that were receiving public subsidies to abstain from foreclosures or penalties for the members of the public who had just bailed the banks out).
Elena Botella worked at Capital One -- one of the US's leading issuers of subprime credit-cards -- for three years; in a fascinating first-person account, she describes how Capital One's youthful, smart, principled and caring staff created a culture in which the lives they were ruining were replaced by obfuscating jargon and interesting mathematics puzzles.
There’s overwhelming support for clean energy, and the planet is giving us more reasons to invest in renewable power sources with every passing year. Even in the most inhospitable areas, wind and solar can provide a good chunk of our power, if not all of it. So why aren’t we all taking advantage of it? […]
Hey, we love Netflix and Hulu, but let’s face it: The whole setup doesn’t exactly encourage active viewing. For all the binge-watching we’ve done, it’s tough to expand our horizons or learn anything new – except for how many episodes of “The Office” it takes to make us fall asleep. It was only a matter […]
Still using elbow grease to clean the sinks, tubs and other grimy surfaces around your house? Save your elbows, and some time. If you’ve got a power drill, the RevoClean® 4-in-1 Drill Brush Cleaning Kit will instantly turn it into a professional scrubber that can tackle any stain on any surface. Attach the 4″ nylon […]