"Sutton ended up with a series of installment loans from World -- renewed one after the other -- that dragged her ever-deeper into debt, and made getting her bills paid and getting back on her feet a whole lot harder. It is a repeated pattern for low-income borrowers with low or no credit, which an investigation by Marketplace and ProPublica was able to verify from interviews with World borrowers and former World employees." Read the full investigation by Marketplace and ProPublica here.
Extra Extra : Consumer protection
10 News (WTSP), Tampa Bay’s CBS affiliate, exposes cracks in Florida’s zero-deductable windshield-replacement law. While the law is designed to help consumers, 10 News shows the lack of policing over fraud has lead to a proliferation of glass companies pushing unnecessary replacements. The effect has been rising rates for all policyholders, and now, state legislators are calling for action.
"Thousands of Bay Area homeowners are fighting in court to save their homes from a foreclosure system rife with mistakes, mismanagement and even fraud, a joint investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting and NBC Bay Area has found. Stephen Stock reports." Read the full investigation by CIR and NBC Bay Area here.
"Even as more than 800,000 novelty helmets are sold in the U.S. every year, and as motorcycle crash deaths mount, federal regulators have never acted with urgency to crack down on the popular but flawed headgear. Proposals to limit sales of the novelty helmets have been delayed over and over again," according to Fair Warning's investigation.
Extra Extra Monday: Motorcycle novelty helmets, secrets of the gulf oil spill and unregulated day cares
How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators | MSNBC
“One avenue of investigation is already closed off to forensic officials working the Boston Marathon bombing case due to efforts dating back decades by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.”
What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill | Newsweek
“What has not been revealed until now is how BP hid that massive amount of oil from TV cameras and the price that this “disappearing act” imposed on cleanup workers, coastal residents, and the ecosystem of the gulf. That story can now be ...
Analyzing websites such as ARMSLIST.com, The New York Times found convicted felons advertising to buy and sell guns, sellers calling themselves private parties to avoid background checks and 170,000 advertisements offering unknown quantities of guns for sale. The Times reports that sellers often include in listings phrases such as "No questions asked. No paperwork." In all, the analysis revealed that "Armslist and similar sites function as unregulated bazaars, where the essential anonymity of the Internet allows unlicensed sellers to advertise scores of weapons and people legally barred from gun ownership to buy them."
"Lax federal oversight dating back years allowed lenders to repeatedly make bad loans to small businesses under a government program that has cost taxpayers $1.3 billion since 2000 on defaulted loans, a Dayton Daily News investigation found." Read the Daily News's investigation here.
"More than 430 auto-title-lending branches have been licensed in Arizona since 2009, the year after voters rejected payday lending, state figures show. By comparison, from 2000 to 2008, about 160 title-lending branches were licensed with the state. The rise of title lenders has rekindled a debate over whether these kinds of high-interest loans ultimately help or take advantage of low-income borrowers," according to an investigation by The Arizona Republic.
Dozens of Internet sweepstakes cafes are owned and operated by people who are in so much financial hot water that they couldn’t land a job at an Ohio casino. The pseudo gambling parlors have flouted a decades-old state law that requires businesses to register with the secretary of state. And most cafe owners snubbed an affidavit requested by the Ohio attorney general’s office last year to obtain more information about owners and their businesses; most provided little more than a street address. The Columbus Dispatch investigated the backgrounds of both the businesses and the names of owners supplied ...Read more ...
Extra Extra Monday: Ethics of legislature, immigrant justice, tired drivers, campus sexual assault cases
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Ethics and the Legislature: Money, secrets, power rule dome
On the floor and in the committee rooms, you can identify the most powerful lawmakers simply by checking their fundraising and lobbying totals. The cost of access to a legislator rises as he does: being promoted to chair a key committee doubles his campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts.
How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?
"The answer to the simple question in that headline is surprisingly hard to come by. So Slate and the Twitter feed @GunDeaths are collecting data for our crowdsourced interactive ...