CFAnews Update – January 10, 2019

House Passes Bill to Protect Infants and Toddlers from Dangerous Sleep Products Congress took an important step toward improving infant and toddler safety last month when the House gave voice vote approval to the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2019 (H.R. 3172), which would ban infant inclined sleep products and padded crib bumper pads, … Continued

CFAnews Update – December 19, 2019

Insurance Regulators Consider Anti-Consumer Annuity Sales Rule Amid reports that state insurance regulators are poised to move forward with a new industry-friendly, anti-consumer model rule, CFA and the Center for Economic Justice wrote to members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) earlier this month urging them to reject the current draft and continue … Continued

Privacy is a Human Right – It Can’t Be Bought or Sold

One of the arguments that some people make about privacy legislation is that individuals’ personal information should be treated as their property. At first blush, this may seem like an appealing idea. Why shouldn’t we be paid when companies use our data? But that’s the wrong approach to privacy. Privacy is a human right. This … Continued

CFAnews Update – November 21, 2019

Trump’s Proposed Decision to Freeze Light Bulb Standards Will Cost Consumers almost $173 Billion Following a recent U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) decision to roll back efficiency standards for certain categories of lighting products, CFA submitted comments on the agency’s notice of proposed determination that no lighting standards are needed calling into question the analysis … Continued

CFAnews Update – October 31, 2019

SEC Urged to Halt Damaging Expansion of Private Securities Markets Pro-investor and public interest groups have called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to halt any further expansion of private offering exemptions from the securities laws at least until it can conduct a careful analysis of the impact the proliferation and expansion of these … Continued

90 Years After the Crash of ’29, Markets are Once Again at Risk

On October 29, 1929, the U.S. stock market capped a week of jitters by plunging another 12 percent in market value, panicking investors and ushering in a period of economic devastation unmatched in the United States before or since. Ninety years later, the very agency that was created to police the securities markets and prevent … Continued

CFAnews Update – October 17, 2019

States Continue to Push Stronger Fuel Economy Standards Despite Administration Rollback Even as the Trump Administration revoked the right of states to adopt auto emissions standards, two more states — Minnesota and New Mexico — took the first steps towards joining 14 other states in adopting low- and zero-emission vehicle standards that are more stringent … Continued

Why The Case Of “The Irregulators V. The FCC” Is So Important To Consumers

In a major analysis published almost three years ago, CFA showed that consumers are being overcharged over $70 billion a year for their broadband, wireless and television services. Today the Irregulators filled their reply brief in the legal challenges to the FCC’s decision to continue its fraudulent accounting rules that allocate two-thirds of the costs … Continued

CFAnews Update – September 30, 2019

House Passes Three Critical Product Safety Bills Last week, the House gave voice vote approval to three important consumer product safety bills strongly supported by CFA and consumer organizations. “We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to put children and consumer safety first. Children will be safer because the STURDY Act will require … Continued

Never Rely on Verbal Promises at an Auto Dealership

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a car. When you see one that you like at a dealership, you may be willing to accept anything a salesperson tells you. And in your excitement you may end up paying more than you can afford, getting extras you don’t really need, and … Continued

Home Inspector Blog

Your home is your biggest investment. Therefore, it is critical to take all necessary precautions when you are buying a home to ensure you are making the right financial decision. One is hiring a home inspector. A home inspection can give you information that is useful in negotiating repairs into the purchase contract, obtaining a … Continued

Making the Move to a Retirement Community or Assisted Living Facility

The “Real World Stories” in our latest Consumer Complaint Survey Report include examples of problems with retirement communities and assisted living facilities. As the Baby Boomers age, we may see more of these kinds of complaints in the future. In one case, a Massachusetts woman paid $470,000 to move into an assisted living facility. When … Continued

Kidnapping Scams and How to Spot Them!

An Ohio mom drops her son off at a sleep-over camp in Pennsylvania. The next day, she answers her cell and hears a weeping child say, “Mom, Mom, you have to help me.” Between sobs, he tells her that he’s been beaten up and has been taken to a warehouse. Then a man gets on … Continued

How to Stay Safe when Shopping Online

Online shopping: we all do it. It’s easy, convenient and often more affordable. It’s also just as easy and convenient for fraudsters to steal your hard-earned money or information on the web. No matter what site you’re using to shop, there is always a risk of your information being compromised or buying from an untrustworthy … Continued

Exercising Your Rights: Gym Membership Cancellation

It’s January and you’re looking to start the year off right with a tried and true New Year’s resolution: Go to the gym. By March, you may not be as dedicated to keeping that resolution or going to the gym at all. So, after much alarm-snoozing and rationalization, it’s time to cancel your gym membership. … Continued

GSE Reform Shuffles to the Exits

More than a decade after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship at the height of the financial crisis, the Trump Administration’s Treasury Department on September 5 released its long-awaited report on mortgage finance reform.  Importantly, the report endorses a government role in supporting long term fixed rate mortgages and a federal guarantee … Continued

Review Bots: False Advertising or Opinion Spam?

Bots are computer programs that account for roughly 48% of all traffic to thousands of websites. Whether consumers are faced with good bots (e.g., indexing sites for Google) or bad bots (e.g., SPAM bots) matters greatly to consumer choice and purchasing behavior. According to a Nielsen study, two-thirds of consumers say they trust user reviews … Continued

CFAnews Update – September 5, 2019

Foodborne Illness Investigation Exposes Weakness in Meat and Poultry Inspection System A recent outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella Newport has drawn attention to fatal flaws in the nation’s meat and poultry inspection system. The outbreak has resulted in at least 60 hospitalizations and two deaths so far. Weak regulations hamper authorities’ ability to identify and … Continued

Is Leasing A Car Right For You?

Leasing a car simply means that you have the right to use it for an agreed number of months and miles. Leasing is not buying! One of the attractions of leasing a car is that the amounts of your down payment and monthly payments are typically lower than if you borrow to purchase a similar … Continued

Timeshare Scams and How to Avoid Them

You want to sell your timeshare, but have been unsuccessful. The reality is that the market is flooded and any potential sale may come at a financial loss. Naturally, an offer from a “timeshare reseller” who promises an immediate, lucrative sale is hard to resist – and scammers know it. Learn how to spot and … Continued

Checklist for Preparing To Buy a Used Car

When you are buying a used car, getting the answers to these questions before you commit can save you money and aggravation down the road. Am I choosing a reputable dealer? Research consumer complaints with your state’s Attorney General’s Office (found through www.naag.org) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), and through internet searches. Is the … Continued

Avoiding the Car Repair Blues

We’ve all been there before. You get in your car and turn the ignition, but it will not start. Not today! Any day but today. With a little luck the car finally starts. But now where should you take the car for a mechanic to do a diagnostic? With a little planning you can be … Continued

CFA Submitted Comments to State Insurance Commissioners on the III/CAS Report “Insurance Rating Variables: What Are They and Why They Matter”

CFA issues a letter responding to the  Insurance Information Institute (III) and the Casualty Actuarial Society’s (CAS) recently issued a paper on auto insurance rating factors, which was  triggered by the “recently generated discussion within the United States” on “the use of some rating factors.” The paper, Insurance Rating Variables: What Are They and Why … Continued

Gift Cards: Risks and Protections When a Business Closes

Imagine this: You’re on your way to your favorite store with a gift card you plan to use, but when you arrive, the doors are locked, the lights are off, and a big “CLOSED FOR BUSINESS” sign is in the window. Now what? Gift cards are convenient and make for great gifts, but you can … Continued