Crowdfunding 101

Online crowdfunding platforms help bring to life creative projects, get new ventures and businesses off the ground, and allow individuals and communities to come together to support charitable causes. They are an engaging avenue through which individuals can have an impact on the world around them, making it even more important for consumers to know … Continued

How to Safeguard Your Wallet on the Road

Though summer vacations are coming to an end, holiday travel will be ramping up before you know it. And while traveling can be an incredibly rewarding experience — it can leave you broke if you’re not careful! For this blog post, I’m going to assume you know how to budget, as that is the most … Continued

Duggan Insurance Proposal Ignores Bad Practices

What would happen to your car insurance premium if the insurance company could only look at your accident, ticket and claim history? Are you a model of safe driving who has never cost the company a dime, or do you re-enact “The Fast and the Furious” any time you can get out of first gear? Either … Continued

Choosing the Right Contractor

Choosing the right contractor to make repairs to your home is an important decision.  A flashy website or nice work truck doesn’t necessarily mean a contractor does quality work or has the experience to do the job.  Take the proper steps to protect yourself and think through your decisions.  Avoid becoming a victim of home … Continued

CFAnews Update – July 18, 2018

Federal Judge Rules CFPB Unconstitutional Contrary to precedent established by the D.C. Circuit and other jurisdictions, a senior status federal district court judge in New York City struck down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as unconstitutional last month. Noting that “every other jurisdiction in the country has held that the structure of the CFPB … Continued

Ride Safe This Summer: Follow These ATV Safety Tips

Summers are a time for family fun, but for some activities, summer is a time when the most tragedies occur. Being aware of the risks of summertime activities and practicing safety is a way to protect the ones we love. Riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), also known as 4-wheelers, is a popular summertime activity for amateurs … Continued

Trump GSE Reform Plan — More Guarantors, No Affordable Housing Requirements

Tucked inside the 135-page Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century:  Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations released by the Trump Administration on June 21, 2018 are three pages of recommendations for reforming the mortgage finance system.  The good news is that they support a federal role in supporting US mortgage markets through a full guarantee of qualified mortgage backed securities, access to … 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 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

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

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 – 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