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Financial Regulation

NEWS
August 25, 2013
Fear not, boardwalk vacationers. Labor Day may be approaching, but one of summer's favorite pastimes, the Whac-A-Mole game, is getting an extended run. We speak, of course, of Maryland's unceasing efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous payday lenders. Just like those varmints that pop up unpredictably - and must be hammered with authority - these modern-day Shylocks charging their 400 percent interest rates are not easily thwarted. Since 2005, every state in the union has adopted laws banning such loans, yet an estimated 12 million Americans are trapped in the payday lending cycle.
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BUSINESS
By Jim Puzzanghera and Walter Hamilton and Jim Puzzanghera and Walter Hamilton,Tribune Newspapers | March 27, 2009
The Obama administration is proposing the most far-reaching reforms of the financial industry since the Depression - including measures that would for the first time regulate hedge funds and give government the power to seize and dismantle companies deemed a threat to the economy. The measures, which must be approved by Congress, come in the wake of last fall's near-meltdown of the global banking system and in advance of next week's meeting of the Group of 20 economic powers. The key measures outlined by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Thursday include: * Giving the Federal Reserve or another agency the authority to oversee the entire economy for signs of "systemic risk."
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2010
Maryland's top financial regulator is joining the board of the Federal Reserve. Sarah Bloom Raskin was confirmed as a Fed governor late Wednesday by the U.S. Senate, a move that was expected. Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, was given the go-ahead to join the board of governors as vice chair. Raskin, the state's commissioner of financial regulation for the past three years, is resigning from that job effective Friday. Her deputy, Mark Kaufman, has been nominated for the commissioner position, a job that requires approval by the state Senate.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2011
Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has hired a former Baltimore prosecutor to oversee the enforcement of financial regulations, the state said Wednesday. Cynthia H. Jones, the new assistant commissioner of enforcement and consumer services, will also direct staff who handle consumer questions and complaints within the department's financial regulation office. She worked for the Baltimore state's attorney's office for 15 years. She was deputy state's attorney for the past five years, with duties that included managing investigations.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2009
WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee unveiled Tuesday his version of legislation to overhaul the nation's financial regulations, which sharply differs from the Obama administration's plan by proposing the creation of a single federal banking regulatory agency and stripping significant power from the Federal Reserve. The 1,136-page proposal by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is likely to be strongly opposed by the Fed and the three other bank regulatory agencies. Dodd's legislation also further complicates White House efforts to pass an overhaul by the end of the year because it differs significantly from legislation moving through the House.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2010
Sarah Bloom Raskin is deeply interested in the economy's effect on everyday life, a driving force in her work to keep Marylanders from being scammed, foreclosed on or caught up in a bank failure. That consumer focus caught White House attention. Raskin, Maryland's top financial regulator, is one of three nominated Thursday by President Barack Obama to fill empty seats on the powerful Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She would join at a fraught time for the Fed, which has been criticized for paying too little attention to consumer issues.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2011
Maryland's financial regulators have been busy for several years now, sorting through the fallout from the financial crisis and the real estate collapse. The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation oversees state-chartered banks and is responsible for ensuring that other financial companies — such as mortgage lenders, brokers and debt-collection agencies — operate properly in the state. Most recently, the office has been pursuing unlicensed debt collectors and ramping up efforts to make sure that licensed collectors have enough documentation when trying to win court judgments.
NEWS
April 27, 2010
Immigration reform is the right issue — at the wrong time. It's the right issue because, now that substantial health care reform has been achieved, perhaps this nation's greatest remaining travesty is that more than 10 million people live among us in a shadow world of fear and hardship. The vast majority of illegal immigrants stay out of trouble and work hard to support their families, yet most endure poverty, hostility and constant anxiety about being torn from their loved ones and deported.
BUSINESS
By Tricia Bishop, Andrea K. Walker and Jamie Smith Hopkins and Baltimore Sun reporters | January 15, 2010
Tens of thousands of lawsuits against Maryland debtors over unpaid bills are being tossed out of court because the law firm pursuing the debt-collection cases has abruptly shut down. The move gives a temporary reprieve to Marylanders in default on a variety of bills, particularly credit card payments, and burdens the already strained District Court system, which now has to sort through the legal morass left behind. It is unclear whether the creditors will refile the lawsuits seeking payment.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2013
State regulators have ordered a South Dakota-based payday lender to stop making consumer loans in Maryland after finding the company used predatory tactics and charged excessive interest rates. Western Sky Financial, located on a reservation in Timber Lake, S.D., has said it was not required to follow Maryland law because of tribal immunity, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The labor department's Division of Financial Regulation said Thursday it has issued a final cease and desist order against Western Sky, its owner Martin Webb and other related parties.
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