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.
Protecting homebuyers from misleading mortgage cost disclosures
Coalition advocates wrote to the House of Representatives asking them to oppose H.R. 2213. The bill, which suspends liability to individuals for the first five months after the new mortgage disclosure rules take effect, lets lenders off the hook even where a homeowner has been harmed. This means that homeowners who receive misleading mortgage cost disclosures during that period would have no recourse. Moreover, the legislation sets a dangerous precedent by suspending liability where legal rules apply.
Lawmakers siding with predatory payday lenders over troops
Consumer Action and coalition advocates wrote to the House Committee on Rules asking members to oppose Amendment #268 of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The unnecessary database certification requirement will delay the Department of Defense’s regulatory efforts meant to make it more difficult for payday lenders to target troops with predatory offers. The amendment would put servicemembers at risk of financial harm in order to protect abusive lenders.
Help for Corinthian students who were mislead
After Corinthian Colleges announced that it’s closing its twenty-eight campuses and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in asking the U.S. Department of Education to provide the students who were enrolled at the time with the information and resources they need to make an informed decision about transferring their credits or filing for a closed school discharge.
Operation Choke Point protects consumers from fraud
In letters addressed to the House and the Senate, Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in urging legislators to uphold the Department of Justice’s Operation Choke Point and to oppose any legislation that tries to restrict its authority. Choke Point is focused on regulating banks that help scammers and other illegal activity. Weakening the Operation would only make consumers more susceptible to data breaches, terrorism threats and internet fraud.
Time to improve an outdated education data collection system
Consumer Action joined PostsecData coalition advocates in answering Senator Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) call for input on the Higher Education Act reauthorization with resounding support for a federal student unit record system. The coalition's recommendations would help Congress improve its current federal student data collection system by collecting the data metrics legislators and advocates need to improve postsecondary opportunities for students in their communities, shrink opportunity and achievement gaps and improve college financial aid programs.
Holding for-profit schools accountable
The purpose of new gainful employment rules that are taking effect later this year is to ensure for-profit schools demonstrate that their programs are actually training graduates to earn a living. However, the Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act seeks to repeal gainful employment protections and provide for-profit institutions access to billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded student aid.
Another attempt to undermine the consumer watchdog
Republicans in Congress are at it again: threatening the power, autonomy and budget of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in favor of de-regulating banks and businesses (the same industries that were responsible for the Great Recession and the national economic meltdown). By passing H.R. 1195, Republican leadership attempts to reverse the agency’s power by making it more accountable to Congress than any other federal regulator.
Deciding what’s “fair” when reforming tax laws
As the Senate Finance Committee considers reform policies to the nation’s tax code, including ways to lower the corporate tax rate of 35%, coalition advocates, including Consumer Action, remind legislators of the implications taxes have on retirement savers, the middle-class and low-wage earners who cannot afford to pay more.
Financial advisor conflict-of-interest rule a win for consumers
The Department of Labor released its conflict of interest proposed rule this week, which will be used to revamp the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's (ERISA) conflict of interest rules. The regulation would require advisors to put their clients' interests first and aims to protect unknowing customers from being put into high-cost, poorly performing investments that primarily benefit brokers and other financial advisors.
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.