CFAnews Update – November 30, 2022

CPSC Unanimously Finalizes Two Lifesaving Window Covering Rules Consumer Groups Obtain Commitment to Issue Rulemakings on Mandatory Alcohol Labeling Let’s Curtail Surveillance Advertising CFA Urges SEC Chair to Prioritize Restoring Health of Public Securities Markets Junk Fee Blog Series Part 2: The Federal Trade Commission’s Attack on Junk Fees CPSC Unanimously Finalizes Two Lifesaving Window … Continued

Junk Fee Blog Series
Part 2: The Federal Trade Commission’s Attack on Junk Fees

Junk fees are everywhere. Auto dealers charge consumers thousands of dollars for add-on products that have little or no value. Hotels charged consumers over $2 billion in “resort fees” in 2015 alone. Rental car companies can tack on numerous separate fees, in addition to the actual rental cost, and often do so after the car … Continued

Crypto: Risks Abound

The market for cryptocurrencies and crypto-related assets has experienced explosive growth in recent years. While investor interest in these assets seems to increase as the prices of crypto assets grow and shrink as the prices of crypto assets fall, the interest isn’t likely to be going away anytime soon. Accordingly, financial professionals are increasingly being … Continued

Insurance Companies Fail to Quash Investigation of Possible Racial Discrimination Against Washington Drivers

Corporations wield immense power in the marketplace and over consumers, but too often this power remains hidden, allowing them to get away with bad behavior. Last week consumers got a glimpse of this hidden power. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that two insurance companies tried to stop his investigation of potential race discrimination … Continued

Junk Fee Blog Series
Part 1: The Biden Administration Crackdown

Have you ever shopped for a concert ticket and discovered that the $50 ticket turned into $75 at check out?  Have you ever faced unexpected, hefty fees when booking a hotel room, renting a car, or buying a plane ticket? These surprise fees appear in almost every consumer-facing industry, from credit reporting and banking services … Continued

What Could the Fifth Circuit Decision Mean for the Future of the CFPB?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was born out of a lesson learned the hard way.  A lack of regulatory safeguards led to the 2008 financial crisis, which left 21 million Americans without work and more than nine million families without homes due to foreclosure or short sales. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, … Continued

CFAnews Update – October 28, 2022

Overview: CFA’s 45th National Food Policy Conference The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) held its 45th National Food Policy Conference on October 12, exploring timely issues impacting consumers, the food industry, and government. For 45 years, the National Food Policy Conference has been a key national gathering for those interested in food, agriculture, and nutrition … Continued

Meet the Robinsons: Progressive’s Ideal Insurance Customers—And Woe to All Others

Auto insurance companies like to present themselves as consumers’ friends. The mascots used in commercials, ranging from GEICO’s gecko and Aflac’s duck to Progressive’s Flo, are intended to put you at ease and get you to lower your guard. But Progressive’s recent second quarter earnings report offers a rare look at how it really views … Continued

Why You Should Consider a Heat Pump Sooner Than Later and 10 Ways to Save Energy and Money Today!

Today, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is giving a big shout-out for Energy Efficiency Day calling on Americans to be proactive by taking positive steps to be more energy efficient. Consider joining CFA and the hundreds of other organizations, cities, businesses, and individuals in the nationwide effort to become more energy independent, improve the … Continued

CFAnews Update – September 30, 2022

CFA’s Financial Services Manager Testifies to Senate Banking Committee On September 13, Rachel Gittleman, CFA’s Financial Services Outreach Manager presented testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on New Consumer Financial Products and The Impact to Workers. In her testimony, Gittleman urged the Committee to meaningfully address the potential risks … Continued

A House Committee Examined Diversity and Inclusion at America’s Largest Insurers. The Results Were Not Pretty.

Over the past few years America’s largest insurance companies have stressed their commitment to racial justice, diversity, and inclusion. The industry has over $5.8 trillion in assets and often makes long-term investments in important sectors of the economy. However, numerous consumer advocates have pointed out that insurance has a long history of unfair discrimination, bias, … Continued

Opinion: Stop Subsidizing Wall Street Buying Up Homes

No serious observer of today’s economy doubts that it is harder and harder for everyday folks to buy a home. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers across the country, in exurbs, Sunbelt suburbs, and neighborhoods in cities large and small. This escalating unaffordability affects the long-term opportunities of virtually everyone who doesn’t own a … Continued

CFAnews Update – August 31, 2022

Pandemic Related Issues Continue to Impact 2021’s Top Ten Consumer Complaints, Auto Sales and Repairs Rank No. 1 for Sixth Year in a Row Earlier this month CFA released its annual Top Ten Consumer Complaints Survey Report, with auto sales and repairs ranking number one in the category of complaints made to local and state … Continued

The FTC’S Proposed Auto Dealer Rule (Part 4): Monthly Payments 

For the first time in over a decade, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a rule directly addressing deceptive financing practices by auto dealers. The proposal contains a host of prohibited misrepresentations, required disclosures, and specific requirements pertaining to the sale of add-ons. The FTC explains at length the problems that consumers face when … Continued

The FTC’s Proposed Auto Dealer Rule (Part 3): Advertising and Pricing

For the first time in over a decade, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a rule directly addressing deceptive financing practices by auto dealers. The proposal contains a host of prohibited misrepresentations, required disclosures, and specific requirements pertaining to the sale of add-ons. The FTC explains at length the problems that consumers face when … Continued

The FTC’s Proposed Auto Dealer Rule (Part 2): Add-On Products

For the first time in over a decade, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a rule directly addressing deceptive financing practices by auto dealers. The proposal contains a host of prohibited misrepresentations, required disclosures, and specific requirements pertaining to the sale of add-ons. The FTC explains at length the problems that consumers face when … Continued

Consumers are In the Dark About Reasons for Their Premium Increases, Washington State Is Proposing to Change That

In recent months, insurance companies have been increasing rates for consumers across the country, claiming that current circumstances give them no choice. But in Washington State, insurance regulators are trying to shed some light on these price hikes by issuing a rule requiring insurance companies to give people transparent information about their premiums and the … Continued

CFAnews Update – July 29, 2022

Congress Must Act to Strengthen Airline Consumer Protection Regulations The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) joined a coalition of consumer and passengers’ rights groups urging Congress to expand and strengthen airline consumer protection regulations in the upcoming 2023 Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization process. The airline industry received over $50 billion of relief during the COVID-19 … Continued

The FTC’s Proposed Auto Dealer Rule (Part 1): Yo-Yo Financing

For the first time in over a decade, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a rule directly addressing unfair and deceptive financing practices by auto dealers. The proposal contains a host of prohibited misrepresentations, required disclosures, and specific requirements pertaining to the sale of add-on products. The FTC explains at length the problems that … Continued

CFAnews Update – June 29, 2022

SEC Should Finalize its Proposed Climate Disclosure Rule Without Undue Delay CFA submitted comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in support of its proposal to enhance and standardize climate-related disclosures for investors, urging speedy finalization of the proposed amendments to the SEC’s disclosure rules. The proposed rule is urgently needed because current voluntary … Continued

Digital Wallets – Peer-to-Peer “P2P” Payment Systems

Mobile payment apps and peer-to-peer payment systems have become prolific among American consumers, with 4 in 5 Americans using these apps, which include Venmo, Zelle, CashApp, and Paypal. What started as a way for consumers to send money instantaneously has grown into a method to make online purchases, pay bills, and more. As mobile and … Continued

How Racial Discrimination in Homeowners Insurance Contributes to Systemic Racism and Redlining

Over the last few years, policymakers and advocates have become increasingly aware of the role that housing discrimination plays in systemic racism and unfair discrimination, denying people stable homes and economic opportunity. But one area of housing discrimination has remained extremely understudied: homeowners insurance. While it may not be as flashy as other aspects of … Continued

CFAnews Update – May 26, 2022

The Baby Formula Crisis is a Food Safety Crisis: An In-Depth Look As U.S. military airlifts come in with baby formula from Europe, Thomas Gremillion, CFA’s Director of Food Policy, offered an in-depth look into the causes of the nationwide baby formula shortage and what steps must be taken to avoid the issue in the … Continued