Coalition EffortsConsumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see "More Information" at the end of each article.
Consumer advocates come out against forced arbitration clauses
Following a report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) showing that tens of millions of Americans have clauses in their credit card, checking account, student loan and wireless phone contracts that take away their rights to sue those companies in a court of law, Consumer Action joined over 100 advocates in urging the CFPB to address the use of forced arbitration clauses by prohibiting their use in consumer-held contracts.
The CFPB crack-down on prepaid cards is a win for consumers
The prepaid card market is exploding and can be found in popular national retailers like Walmart and Target. These cards are often marketed as a more affordable alternative to bank accounts and debit cards, especially for low income consumers. What consumers may not know is companies known for their predatory financial services have been quick to jump into the industry, largely due to the lack of regulations and standardization requirements. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is trying to stop them.
Attempts to roll back the CFPB's authority to protect consumers
Here we go again—those who have opposed increasing consumer protections and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), are at it once more.
Many companies leave limited-English-speaking consumers in the dark
Families with limited-English-proficiency (LEP) are continually targeted for business, but abandoned when they run into trouble. Whether or not consumers speak English should not strip them of their consumer rights.
In favor of expanding the CFPB's reach in the auto industry
In light of its recent supervision report detailing auto-lending discrimination uncovered at banks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing to oversee larger nonbank auto finance companies for the first time at the federal level.
Fixing the predatory lending industry for good
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is currently developing new rules to regulate high cost ‘quick fix’ loans - like payday loans. Consumer Action has joined nearly 500 other organizations from around the country in a letter urging the CFPB to write regulations that are strong enough to effectively end the ‘debt trap’.
Mortgage Choice Act of 2014 protects lenders - leaves homebuyers out in the cold
The Mortgage Choice Act of 2014 (H.R. 3211) contains certain provisions that would both increase fees for homebuyers and provide additional legal protections for lenders who make riskier loans. The passage of this bill may deter consumers seeking to purchase a home or refinance their current mortgage. As the housing market continues to recover, Consumer Action joins consumer advocates in urging Congress to oppose H.R. 3211 in order to protect basic, existing, consumer safeguards.
CFPB's complaint database - more can be done to help student loan borrowers
Consumer Action joined student loan advocates in supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)'s public consumer complaint database. While the database provides consumers with empowering details regarding financial institutions, more can be done to improve and expand the database so it better captures student loan complaints. With student loan servicing complaints rising, student borrowers have a lot to gain by sharing public details of issues they've encountered. These improvements will help students and their families successfully manage and repay their student loans and strengthen the CFPB’s and other regulators’ ability to monitor the student loan industry and enforce the law.
Details of consumers' complaints regarding the financial industry should be public
Consumer advocates wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in favor of publishing consumers' complaint narratives regarding the banking, credit and loan industries. Public complaint details empower consumers to make better financial decisions, prevents problems and improves the functioning, transparency, and efficiency of markets. However, leaders from the financial industry do not agree and fear their reputations will be hurt if complaint details are made publicly available.
The Dept. of Labor has the chance to protect Americans hoping to retire one day
Millions of hardworking Americans who have spent years saving for retirement are receiving financial guidance from professional advisers who are not obligated to act in the best interest of their clients, (called a fiduciary duty), resulting in a huge drain on retirement savings for many workers and retirees. Those advisers are often permitted to recommend investments that come with high fees, poor returns, and even substantial risks because they have no fiduciary duty to their clients. This behavior will continue unless the U.S. Department of Labor completes its work updating the 40-year old fiduciary duty rule that regulates those who advise retirement plans and plan participants.