CFAnews Update – June 14, 2019

SEC Votes to Adopt Anti-Investor Advice Standards The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3-1 last week to adopt a package of rules and regulatory interpretations that will make it easier for broker-dealers and investment advisers to mislead investors into expecting “best interest” advice without requiring them to actually recommend the investments that are best … Continued

CFA Opposes Proposed Cutbacks in HMDA Reporting

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) has provided invaluable information on credit flows in US communities since 1975, and a proposed rulemaking issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) would unnecessarily reduce the scope of its coverage and is ill-advised and should not be adopted. The proposed rule would reduce the scope of HMDA … Continued

New Mortgage Funding Platform Should Be A Public Asset

On June 3 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac carried out the most momentous change in mortgage finance since the emergence of mortgage backed securities in the 1980s and shifted their bond production into a single security, the so-called Uniform MBS (UMBS).  If you weren’t paying attention, this passed without notice, which is a remarkable and … Continued

CAP and CFA Alert Members of Congress to Weaknesses in SEC Advice Standards

CFA and Center for American Progress sent a memorandum to Members of Congress alerting them to severe shortcomings in the standard of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisers due to be voted on by the Securities and Exchange Commission June 5th.  “After years of study and deliberation, and amid mounting evidence that investors lose tens … Continued

CFAnews Update – May 29, 2019

Consumer Groups Support H.R. 946, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act CFA joined with the National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Action, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates in urging Congress to act swiftly to enact H.R. 946, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, in testimony presented on behalf of the groups by NCLC Senior Counsel Margot … Continued

CFAnews Update – May 17, 2019

Advocates Head to the Hill for Stronger Consumer Financial Protections Over 120 consumer advocates from 29 states headed to Capitol Hill last week as part of the third annual Consumer Lobby Day to meet with their members of Congress and urge them to support strong consumer financial protections for all Americans. The effort focused on … Continued

CFAnews Update – April 26, 2019

Lawsuit Challenges FCC’s Misallocation of Telecom Costs CFA Research Director Mark Cooper joined a lawsuit earlier this month challenging the recent decision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend for another six years allocation of costs between federal and state jurisdictions, originally adopted in 2000, that has allowed billions of dollars in illegal costs … Continued

All Eyes are on California

Last year, California enacted the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA), the most sweeping state privacy legislation in the country. Even though the law doesn’t go into effect until 2020, there are several bills in the California legislature this year that would either strengthen or weaken it. Why does that matter to those of us outside … Continued

CFAnews Update – April 3, 2019

Without Fixes SEC Advice Standard Will Harm Investors, CFA Warns Unless the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) adopts extensive changes to its proposed “best interest” standard for broker-dealers, Regulation Best Interest will end up depriving investors of protections they currently receive and misleading them into expecting protections the rule does not deliver, CFA Director of Investor … Continued

White House Wades into Mortgage Finance Debate

President Trump issued a memorandum on March 27 directing the Treasury, HUD, VA and USDA to develop a comprehensive plan for reform of the mortgage finance system, including both administrative and legislative actions as necessary.  The memorandum specifically tasks Treasury with developing a plan to end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “upon … Continued

Fannie, Freddie Should Use Updated Credit Scoring, CFA and other Consumer and Civil Rights Groups Urge FHFA

CFA joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and Woodstock Institute in urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to support more rapid Adoption Of Alternative Credit Scoring Approaches For Mortgage Lending to make the mortgage lending process accessible to the broadest possible number of consumers. The … Continued

CFAnews Update – March 20, 2019

CFA Joins in Lawsuit Against Fuel Economy Standards Roll-Back In response to the Trump Administration’s effort to roll back reasonable fuel economy standards, CFA filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Circuit last month in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s  (EPA) action to withdraw the Final Determination on the mid-term review of the … Continued

Consumers are in the Dark About Dark Web Monitoring Services

A new survey we commissioned revealed that 36 percent of consumers who have seen ads for “dark web monitoring” incorrectly believe that identity theft services can remove their personal information from the dark web. An equal number (37%) mistakenly believe that these services can prevent people who buy their personal information on the dark web … Continued

CFAnews Update – March 1, 2019

CFPB Moves to Protect Predatory Payday Lenders With new leadership in place, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) moved quickly last month to repeal payday loan rules that are designed to protect consumers from triple-digit interest loan traps. “While not perfect, the CFPB’s final payday lending rule was a giant step toward helping struggling families … Continued

Can America Keep Up with Changing Housing Needs?

CFA’s 2018 Financial Services Conference featured a Nov 30 plenary panel discussion titled “Can America Keep Up with Rising Housing Needs?”  Our guest blogger Alanna McCargo, Vice President of the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center, moderated the panel and prepared this summary.  Copies of the panel presenters’ slides can be found here.  One of the … Continued

False Trade-Offs for Privacy

The article originally appeared in The Hill. A recent survey from the Center for Data Innovation, a DC think tank, purportedly shows that Americans’ strong support for reducing the amount of personal information that is collected about them online drops significantly when they’re asked to consider certain trade-offs. We’ve seen these claims before, and it’s … Continued

CFAnews Update – January 17, 2019

Rollback of Fuel Economy Standards Will Ravage Low-Income Consumer Budgets As the Trump Administration continues to consider a rollback of federal fuel economy standards, CFA released an analysis last month showing that a rollback would hurt low-income consumers the most, forcing them to pay more for gas and leaving less for family and household essentials. … Continued

Free Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Members

Under a law that Congress passed last year, members of the military who are on active duty have the right to ask credit reporting agencies for free electronic credit monitoring services. A popular feature of many fee-based identity theft services, credit monitoring alerts people when there are changes to their credit reports such as new … Continued

Fintech Innovation: Dreams Come True, or New Nightmares, for Financial Consumers?

Could fintech innovation be the best thing that ever happened for financial consumers? Or will it make their lives worse? Or maybe… some of both? These were the questions we dug into at CFA’s Financial Services Conference in Washington on November 30. I was delighted to moderate a panel with Lauren Saunders, Associate Director of … Continued

Retailers Step Up Game Against Scammers

This past holiday season, millions of consumers bought gift cards for friends and family. They’re the perfect presents – no need to worry about whether they’ll fit or if they’re the right thing because, just as with cash, the recipients can use them to buy exactly what they want. But just as with cash, once … Continued

CFAnews Update – December 19, 2018

OCC Appears Poised to Weaken CRA Compliance Test Changes to Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations suggested by a recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) from the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) could reduce effective community investment by regulated lenders, CFA wrote in a comment letter last month. CFA is among a number … Continued

CFAnews Update – December 10, 2018

CFPB Allows Predatory Lenders to Target the Nation’s Military Personnel The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, announced last month that it plans to end supervisory examinations for violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA), which is designed to protect military service members and their families from predatory lending. The CFPB … Continued

Tracking Every Step You Take

This week seven European consumer organizations filed complaints with their national Data Protection Authorities against Google, asking them to investigate whether the company’s Android smartphones are tracking users’ locations in violation of the new privacy law that took effect in Europe last May. Based on a research report, Every Step You Take, by the Norwegian … Continued

OCC Must Take a Multi-Faceted Approach to Community Reinvestment Act Enforcement

The Community Reinvestment Act has served since 1977 as a critical part of a broad national policy to promote the participation of private capital in serving America’s communities and consumers.  The Act was prompted in large part by widespread evidence of private lender discrimination in lending patterns.  Following the first Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) … Continued