Fred Williams

Fred O. Williams is senior reporter for A business journalist since 1987, he writes about consumer financial issues from Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in USAToday and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, and he is the author of “Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices,” published by FT Press.

Posts by Fred Williams

Protecting yourself, Research, regulation, industry reports

Fine against Well Fargo: Is Mulvaney’s CFPB changing course?

The federal government’s consumer financial watchdog broke a four-month enforcement lull on Friday, but one rain shower does not necessarily end a drought. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought its first enforcement action against a company since Trump appointee…
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Living with credit, Protecting yourself, Research, regulation, industry reports

BofA’s Privacy Assist: Recurring charge customer paid $700 for 7 credit alerts

After his mother was diagnosed with a mild cognitive impairment, Craig DeLue started checking her finances. The northern California resident was puzzled by a $12.99 charge deducted from her bank account for something called Bank of America Privacy Assist. “She…
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Fine print, Protecting yourself

Why I opted out of credit card arbitration – and you should too

When I signed up for my Citi Double Cash card, I was torn. I liked the 2 percent reward rate, without the headaches of a points system. But Citi is one of those cards that requires you to sign away…
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Living with credit, Research, regulation, industry reports

CFPB’s complaint system makes friends and enemies

Capt. Will Jamison is in the minority of Americans who know about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As a judge advocate at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, he called the consumer watchdog agency to get help for a…
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Fine print, Living with credit, Protecting yourself, Research, regulation, industry reports

1099-C rule change is good news for debtors

This tax season, there’s good news for people struggling with debt. Under a new IRS rule, people will no longer be squeezed for taxes just because an old debt has gone unpaid. Before coming to that, however, some bad news:…
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