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Acknowledging that a previous law did not go far enough, Defense Department said it needs to expand rules to protect service members from high-cost lenders. Read more»

High-cost lenders, like AmeriCash, exploit laws to sue tens of thousands of Americans every year. The result: A $1,000 loan grows to $40,000.

High-cost loans already come with annual interest rates ranging from about 30 percent to 400 percent or more. In some states, if a suit results in a judgment – the typical outcome – the debt can then continue to accrue at a high interest rate. In Missouri, there are no limits on such rates. Read more» 2

Bank of America, Washington DC

Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees. Read more»

Title Credit Finance Home Page

Seven years after Congress banned payday-loan companies from charging exorbitant interest rates to service members, many of the nation's military bases are surrounded by storefront lenders who charge high annual percentage rates, sometimes exceeding 400 percent. Read more»

Katrina Sutton of McDonough, Ga., stands outside the World Finance storefront where she took out an installment loan in August 2009.

Installment loans have been around for decades. While payday loans are usually due in a matter of weeks, installment loans get paid back in installments over time — a few months to a few years. Both types of loans are marketed to the same low-income consumers, and both can trap borrowers in a cycle of recurring, deceptively expensive loans. Read more» 1

Figure 1

The government’s largest effort to compensate victims of the banks’ foreclosure practices is finally sputtering to an end. But for most of those eligible – nearly three million borrowers – it won’t be much of an ending: they’ll be receiving a check for $300 to $500. Read more»

A study by government and academic researchers finds that approximately 800,000 homeowners missed out on mortgage modifications because of big banks' poor performance. Read more» 1

While Democrats paint a glowing picture of the bailout, this Bailout Tracker database tells the whole story. A look at the biggest losses and gains stemming from the TARP and Fannie, Freddie bailout. Read more» 1

Despite a ban on the practice, banks have been using clauses in loan modification and forbearance agreements to make it easier to foreclose on struggling homeowners who may believe they're out of danger of foreclosure once signing the agreement.

While regulators have banned the practice, some banks and others who handle mortgages still have been forcing homeowners into a corner. Read more»

The administration has been on a PR offensive in recent months to tell the good news about the TARP. In fact, many of its investments have turned a profit, and some of its most infamous bailouts — such as the rescue of AIG — won't end up being the tax dollar black holes they once seemed sure to be. But the true picture isn't so rosy. Read more»