CONSUMER CATCH-UP: CFPB delays rule to make car title loans less risky, Chase forgives Canadians' debt, and robocall-blocking apps may violate user privacy

BySimone Chavoor KGO logo
Friday, August 9, 2019
CONSUMER CATCH-UP: CFPB delays rule to make car title loans less risky, Chase forgives Canadians' debt, and more
CONSUMER CATCH-UP: The CFPB delays a rule to make car title loans less risky for consumers, Chase Bank forgives Canadian users' credit card debt, and robocall-blocking apps may violate user privacy.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- CFPB delays rules to make car title loans less risky

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is delaying a new rule that would make car title loans less risky for consumers.

The rule, known as the "underwriting provision," was set to go into effect August 19, and will be delayed for 15 months. The provision was originally proposed by the CFPB during the Obama administration, and was meant to prevent people from taking out loans they likely couldn't afford. It required lenders to ensure that their borrowers had the ability to pay their loans back before granting the loan. Under the Trump administration, the CFPB has already drafted a proposal to do away with the provision entirely once the delay elapses.

Car title loans are notoriously risky. Usually meant to be short-term solutions, borrowers would be able to put up their cars as collateral for their loans. According to Consumer Reports, most of these borrowers get loans for a 30 day term and for $959 on average. However, a Pew study found that one in nine car title borrowers falls behind on payments, and ultimately has their car repossessed.

Chase Bank forgives credit card debt of Canadian customers

Canadians who carried Chase Bank credit card debt just got huge news.

On Friday, Chase Bank announced that all their debt was canceled.

Chase Bank closed all Canadian credit card accounts in March 2018 as part of their move to exit the Canadian market. Customers were told at the time to continue paying their debts.

Now, Chase states it has made "a further business decision... to forgive all outstanding balances in order to complete the exit," according to Maria Martinez, Vice President of Communications.

Canadian customers received a letter informing them that their debt was forgiven. Chase has not said how much was forgiven, or how many customers affected.

Robocall-blocking apps may violate user privacy

Robocall blocking apps might not be much better than the annoying calls they block.

A security researcher has found that many of these apps violate user privacy by sending their data to third parties without user consent.

Dan Hastings, a senior security consultant at NCC Group, a cybersecurity firm, analyzed some of the most popular robocall-blocking apps and found major privacy violations. One app, TrapCall, sent users' phone numbers to a third party without disclosing it in the app nor its privacy policy. Two other apps, Truecaller and Hiya, uploaded data about the user's device before the user even accepted their privacy policies. Hastings also said that none of the companies responded to his emails warnings them of these privacy issues. Only after Hastings contacted Apple did one company, TrapCall, update its privacy policy.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.