Let’s Meet at Consumer Assembly Next Year

My agency is a longtime member of Consumer Federation of America (CFA), but for the first time I attended its annual conference, Consumer Assembly, on May 10th and 11th this year in Washington, DC. It sure made an impression on me and I’d like to share my takeaways. If you’re not familiar with CFA, it’s … Continued

We Need Sound Policy to Quell the Data Arms Race, Protect Users

What do the Equifax breach, Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook users’ data for political campaign purposes and Grindr’s sharing of users’ HIV status have in common? All three incidents illustrate why Americans need to have meaningful control of their personal information and why the companies that hold it should be strictly accountable for its use … Continued

CFAnews Update – June 20, 2018

FCC Targets Unlawful Robocalls Consumer groups submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last month to offer strong support for the creation of a reassigned number database. When a consumer no longer uses a phone number, it is assigned to someone else who requests a number. The reassigned number database would enable robocallers to … Continued

CFAnews Update – June 1, 2018

Congress Rolls Back Post-Crisis Bank Regulations Last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act,” a bill that repeals or weakens a number of provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act and other critical laws designed to ensure consumers, investors, and honest market participants are appropriately protected … Continued

Let’s Celebrate EU Privacy Protections by Adopting Them Here

People who live in the countries that are members of the European Union (EU) are celebrating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that takes effect today. It clarifies and strengthens European’s privacy rights – rights that for the most part we lack in the United States (US). The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) has created … Continued

A Credit Reporting Agency You Probably Never Heard Of

If you have placed freezes on your credit files at Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, no one can fraudulently open a new account pretending to be you, right? Not exactly. Freezing your files at the “big three” credit reporting agencies goes a long way to protecting you from identity fraud, since most major retailers and lenders … Continued

CFAnews Update – April 23, 2018

EPA Rolls Back Money-Saving MPG Standards The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed its intention earlier this month to roll back highly-popular, cost-saving vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. The EPA’s decision came just a few days after a coalition of national and state-based consumer groups from across the country delivered a letter to EPA leadership … Continued

Giving With One Hand, Taking Away With the Other

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act which recently passed the Senate is mostly about eliminating important protections that were put in place after the financial crisis of 2007-2008 to avoid similar meltdowns and keep our financial system safe and sound. There’s very little for consumers in the bill, and in some cases … Continued

CFAnews Update – March 29, 2018

Senate Approves Anti-Consumer Bank Deregulation Bill The Senate voted 67-31 to approve a bipartisan bill – S. 2155, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” – which rolls back important consumer protections and repeals or weakens a number of achievements in the Dodd-Frank Act. CFA sent a letter urging Senators to oppose the … Continued

Senate Banking Deregulation Bill Would Hide Impact of Mortgage Lending Disparities

One of the most controversial provisions in S. 2155 would exempt a large number of creditors from new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting requirements mandated by Dodd Frank and executed in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulations last year. According to an analysis of 2015 and 2016 HMDA data by an industry publication, Inside … Continued

Senate Banking Deregulation Bill Leaves Scraps for Student Loan Borrowers

This month, the Senate passed a bill rolling back reforms enacted after the financial crisis. Despite calls for an open and transparent process, the bill was passed without debating a single amendment. The result was a bill that does little for consumers, and the Consumer Federation of America issued an analysis along with its opposition … Continued

Identity Theft, Fraud Statistics Give Consumers No Cause to Celebrate

Last week was National Consumer Protection Week, but when it comes to fraud and identity theft, consumers don’t have much to celebrate. Statistics recently released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a private consulting company, Javelin Strategy & Research, are truly alarming. Consumers are losing lots of money – money that they could be … Continued

Senate Draft’s Cross Subsidy Approach Misses the Mark

A wholesale reconstruction of the country’s mortgage finance system is a rare opportunity to take all of the federal government’s direct and indirect supports for home finance and use them to create a sensible system that protects taxpayers, assures full access to credit, and supports liquidity for the long term, fixed rate mortgages that consumers … Continued

CFAnews Update – February 21, 2018

Court Orders Four Energy Efficiency Rules, that Will Save Consumers Billions, to Go Into Effect A U.S. district court handed down a ruling last week that will save consumers approximately $8.5 billion over 30 years, according to CFA’s analysis, by ending the U.S. Department of Energy’s delay of four energy efficiency rules. CFA and the … Continued

Go Cordless: Keep Your Children Safe from Window Blind Cords

Parents know that a big part of being a kid is playing. Letting your imagination run wild, exploring your environment, this is how children learn about the world. But parents also understand that what children see as innocent play can sometimes be hazardous to their health. Such is the case with window blind cords, which … Continued

CFAnews Update – January 25, 2018

CFPB Reverses Course on High-Cost Lending Rules The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced earlier this month that it is planning to reconsider rules adopted by the agency last October to protect consumers from abusive payday loans and certain other types of high-cost installment loans. Under the rule, creditors offering payday loans and some similar … Continued

Give Us Stronger Security, Not a Weak National Data Breach Law

On January 2, 2018 security company McAfee released the results of a survey revealing that consumers are worried about protecting their personal information. Of course they are! Not a week goes by without news about another data breach or an Internet-connected device that that’s been spying on unsuspecting consumers. Forty-three percent of those surveyed feel … Continued

CFAnews Update – December 14, 2017

Corday Departure from CFPB Triggers Dispute over Agency Leadership When Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), stepped down from his position in mid-November, it triggered a dispute over who would lead the agency until the President names and the Senate confirms a permanent replacement. Cordray named Leandra English as Acting Director, … Continued

Make it Harder for Fraudsters to Use Your Personal Information

It seems as though data breaches affecting millions of Americans are constantly in the news these days. If this makes you anxious about the safety of your personal information, that’s understandable. You can protect your data by using secure internet connections rather than public Wi-Fi when you’re providing sensitive information such as financial account numbers … Continued

Analysis: House Bill Attacks State Protections for Student Loan Borrowers

Earlier this year, an analysis by the Consumer Federation of America found that 1.1 million Americans defaulted on a federal student loan in 2016. That’s one every 28 seconds. Like the breakdowns in the mortgage servicing industry seen during the foreclosure crisis that devastated the economy, we have seen similar problems in the student loan … Continued

Barry Zigas Discusses Proposed Reforms to the Mortgage Interest Deduction

In an opinion piece featured on HousingWire, CFA Director of Housing Policy Barry Zigas and former Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary for Housing Carol Galante suggest that Republican proposals to reform the mortgage interest deduction provide a “rare opportunity to realign federal tax support for housing to help all taxpayers, renters and owners, in … Continued

The Latest Uber Breach and What Should Be Done to Protect Us

The revelation that ride-hailing company Uber experienced a major data breach in October 2016 and not only kept it secret from the customers and drivers who were affected but even paid the hackers to hush it up is another example of why we need better security for our personal information. While we already have state … Continued

Are Credit Reporting Companies Profiting Off of the Equifax Data Breach?

Just two months after Equifax fessed up to its massive breach impacting over 143 million Americans, advocates are questioning the CEOs of Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax to obtain information on whether they are actually profiting off of the massive data breach. The Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumer Law Center, Americans for Financial Reform, … Continued

CFAnews Update – November 9, 2017

Senate Votes To Protect Financial Firms from Class Action Lawsuits In a devastating blow to consumers, the Senate voted late last month to repeal a common sense consumer protection which would have allowed consumers to join together in class action lawsuits against bad actors in the financial services industry. President Trump signed the measure into … Continued