By  Mon Apr 2, 2012

Fed Targets More Banks Over Foreclosure Practices: 5 Things to Know for the Week

Federal regulators plan another strike on another group of financial institutions that have been accused of unscrupulous foreclosure handling. Threats of fines and penalties may convince cited firms to assist affected customers.

  • April is National Financial Literacy Month, when consumers take a pledge to establish their financial wellness. Declared by Money Management International, a nonprofit provider of financial education and counseling, the commitment entails participation in a 30-step plan to improve finances.
  • In early March, Ally Bank announced it planned to release the first version of its much-anticipated mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices in April — a more specific launch timeline was not disclosed. Initially, the apps will offer basic mobile banking functionality with more features — such as mobile check deposit and person-to-person payments — to come in updates later in the year.
  • Friday’s record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot was a frenzy that even attracted many non-believers to shell out $1 to buy a lottery ticket. The $656 million jackpot will be split between three winners in the states of Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. Under the annuity options, each winner will receive roughly $218 million before taxes.
  • BET Networks and NetSpend partnered to unveil a new prepaid debit card called the Control Card. “The Control Card has a combination of the best features available today and is specifically designed to address the needs of African American unbanked or underbanked consumers,” said Scott Mills, COO of BET Networks, in a press release. Some interesting features include a linked 5.00% APY savings, account, a merchant-funded rewards program and a $10 overdraft buffer.
  • The Federal Reserve will seek penalties against more financial firms for “unsafe and unsound practices in their loan servicing and foreclosure process.” The eight firms cited by the Fed include HSBC, SunTrust, MetLife, U.S. Bank, PNC, EverBank, OneWest and Goldman Sachs. As with settlement agreements with previously fined institutions, impacted borrowers may be offered loan modifications.

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