Thursday P.M. Report

Minnesota debt collector to pay $1.75 million to settle FTC charges: Allied Interstate, one of Minnesota’s largest debt collection agencies, will pay $1.75 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges. It’s the second-largest civil penalty obtained by the FTC in a debt collection case. Allied Interstate allegedly made repeated telephone calls to collect from the wrong person and/or to collect the wrong amount. Between 2006 and at least 2008, Allied Interstate, Inc. continued collection efforts even after consumers told the company they did not owe the debt, without verifying the accuracy of the disputed information, according to the FTC complaint. Read full story

General Mills will hike cereal prices in November: General Mills will charge more for about 25 percent of its cereals because of increased commodity and grain expenses, the company confirmed today. Wheat prices have risen 34 percent per bushel from a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported; corn is up 34 percent a bushel. Read full story

Report says holiday shoppers to spend more on electronics: Consumers will likely spend more on electronics and household appliances this holiday season than they did a year ago, according to a report today. Produced by IBM Corp., the report forecasts November consumer electronics and appliance sales of $10.2 billion, up 4 percent, compared with the same month a year ago. Consumer electronics will account for about $8.7 billion of that total. The report forecasts December sales also will be up about 4 percent. Read full story

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