June 2014

Report Claims Full Transition to EMV Credit Cards Won’t Happen by 2015

It seems like U.S. consumers will have to wait even longer for a full transition to chip credit cards, according to a new report by Aite Group. The Boston-based consultancy firm recently released a report claiming that about 70% of credit cards and only 40% of debit cards will have transitioned to chip technology by October 2015.

After the massive data breaches at Target and other retailers across the U.S., credit card companies, retailers as well as consumers have been pushing for the transition from old swipe cards to new chip cards – also known as EMV or smart cards.


Credit Card Counterfeit Operations Found in Roanoke County

An apartment complex in southwest Roanoke County was found to be the site of two large credit card counterfeiting operations - sites that could potentially produce thousands of bogus credit cards.

The operations came to light when Honeywood Apartment Homes maintenance workers entered a rental unit on June 19th, in order to perform scheduled maintenance in the 3100 block of Honeywood Lane.


Mortgage Rates Edge Lower On Week

Mortgage rates ended June with a whimper, edging down by a handful of basis points. Freddie Mac said 30-year loans fell from 4.17 percent to 4.14 percent this week, while 15-year loans moved from 3.30 percent to 3.22 percent.

Sam’s Club Chips In With New Secure Credit Card

The first store branded secure chip credit card was made available across the US this week.  The new chip technology will be incorporated into most major credit cards by the fall of 2015, which will help protect cardholders from fraud, identity theft, or data breaches.

Historic State Wide Floods Spreading Across Minnesota

The most serious mainland floods in the US are usually reported near flood plains along the east or west coast.  But Minnesota homeowners are dealing with the worst overland flooding seen in years as water from the Mississippi, Crow and St. Croix rivers spills over into communities across the state.

The spring thaw that normally occurs earlier in the year was delayed due to an extensively long and cold winter.  When the weather finally did begin to warm, Minnesota’s near record levels of heavy snow rapidly thawed, driving water down towards the lower plains.

Was Obamacare Successful In Its First Year?

Healthcare reform is one of the central platforms of the Obama administration, and led to the creation of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  The goal of Obamacare was to provide Americans with affordable health insurance rates to increase the number of households with adequate coverage.

Does JP Morgan Allow Racism To Affect Mortgage Lending?

Wall Street and the country’s largest banks are still paying hefty prices for their roles in the subprime mortgage crisis that triggered the recession in 2008.  Federal prosecutors are investigating the banks for their perceived roles in unlawful lending practices, and settlements worth billions of dollars are being demanded from the banks.


Six Arrested in San Diego Insurance Fraud Crackdown

This past week in San Diego, six people were arrested during a crackdown on insurance fraud dubbed by police as “Operation Bogus Burglary.” According to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), the suspects face multiple charges for staging thefts, then attempting to recover insurance money from the bogus burglaries.

GE Capital to Pay Record $225M Credit Card Settlement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Justice have ordered GE Capital to pay a record $225 million in relief to customers discriminated against by the bank. GE Capital Retail Bank, now known as Synchrony Bank, used deceptive marketing practices and discriminated again Spanish-speaking customers throughout multiple credit card promotions in 2012.


Home Loan Borrowers Unamused By Uptick In Mortgage Rates

Borrowers didn’t react well to last week’s uptick in mortgage rates. After rates fell all throughout May and June, a tiny 6 basis-point increase in 30-year fixed loans sent mortgage applications tumbling 9.2 percent, according to today's report from the Mortgage Bankers Association(MBA). Refinancings meanwhile plunged 13 percent, and applications to purchase a home fell 5 percent.