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Paul Kiel covers consumer finance for ProPublica.
Recently, his focus has been on debt collection and high-cost lending. His work in 2013 was honored as a finalist for both a Gerald Loeb Award and a Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
His work on the foreclosure crisis was featured in The Best Business Writing 2013. It also won SABEW Best in Business awards in both 2011 and 2012 and a 2011 Scripps Howard Award for business/economics reporting.
He’s produced stories for the Washington Post, USA Today, Slate and American Public Media’s Marketplace, among others.
Dec. 19, 5 a.m.One Missouri hospital has sued thousands of uninsured patients who couldn't pay for their care, then grabbed a hefty portion of their paychecks to cover the bills. "We will be paying them off until we die," one debtor said.
Oct. 7, 1:21 p.m.USA Discounters, promising to change how it pursues military debtors, will now be known as USA Living.
Sep. 26, 2:05 p.m.Acknowledging that a previous law did not go far enough, Defense Department proposes new rules to protect service members from high-cost lenders.
Sep. 16, 4 a.m.Critics say the 1968 federal law that allows collectors to take 25 percent of debtors' wages, or every penny in their bank accounts, is out of date and overly harsh.
Sep. 15, 4 a.m.A new study provides the first-ever tally of how many employees lose up to a quarter of their paychecks over debts like unpaid credit card or medical bills and student loans.
Aug. 15, 8 a.m.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s action addresses one small aspect of the company’s business practices which also includes thousands of lawsuits against service members who fall behind on their payments.
Aug. 6, 10:19 a.m.The Defense Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are urged to see whether service members are able to defend themselves against lawsuits while on active duty.
July 28, 9:54 a.m.The company says ProPublica “inaccurately” portrayed its policies regarding military customers, but cites no errors.
July 25, 10 a.m.Courts are required to appoint attorneys for service members if they are sued and can’t appear. But the law says little about what those lawyers must do. Some companies have taken advantage.
July 25, 10 a.m.With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands.
July 25, 8 a.m.Despite a ban on high-interest car title loans, the nation’s largest title lender has opened 26 Instaloan stores in Florida, offering a refashioned version of the loans that effectively charge the same sky-high rates the law was designed to stop.
June 4, 2:17 p.m.Acknowledging that a previous law did not go far enough, Defense Department said it needs to expand rules to protect service members from high-cost lenders.
March 13, 2:52 p.m.The investigation follows a ProPublica story that detailed the company’s lending practices.
Dec. 13, 2013, 10:46 a.m.High-cost lenders exploit laws tipped in their favor to sue tens of thousands of Americans every year. The result: A $1,000 loan grows to $40,000.
Sep. 3, 2013, 1:09 p.m.TitleMax, one of the fastest growing high-cost lenders in the country, has found a clever way around laws passed by several Texas cities: offer an initial loan at zero percent interest.
Aug. 6, 2013, 8 a.m.Washington State passed a payday loan reform bill that merely limits the number of loans a person can take in a year. Here’s what happened.
Aug. 6, 2013, 8 a.m.In state after state that has tried to ban payday and similar loans, the industry has found ways to continue to peddle them.
Aug. 2, 2013, 8 a.m.Last year, activists in Missouri tried to limit what high-cost lenders can charge. The ensuing fight exposed something that rarely comes into view so vividly: the high-cost lending industry’s ferocious efforts to stay legal and stay in business.
July 25, 2013, 8:59 a.m.Citing our investigation, Sen. Ron Wyden asked a top official from the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau about what can be done to address abuses by installment lenders.
June 14, 2013, 4:44 p.m.Former Bank of America employees gave sworn statements that the bank lied to homeowners, denied loan modifications for bogus reasons and rewarded employees for sending homeowners to foreclosure.
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