CFAnews Update – April 1, 2020

As CARES Act Passes, Important Consumer Protection Measures Unaddressed Congress passed sweeping legislation last week, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), to address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. While necessary to provide desperately needed funding to the health care system, to provide unemployment insurance to displaced workers, and to … Continued

Protect Your Wallet and Your Personal Information from Coronavirus Scams

Scammers always take advantage of disasters and other alarming situations. With the CORVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t long before we began to hear about people selling face masks online that they never deliver and false claims for products that can supposedly treat or even prevent the virus. We’ve also seen emails that look like they’re from … Continued

Public Policy Changes Needed During the COVID-19 Crisis

Check out CFA’s Brochure 1. Take Steps To Reduce The Spread Of The Disease Halting the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority, which must be front and center in any agenda to address the crisis. Create a comprehensive national paid sick leave policy. Lack of paid sick leave encourages tens of millions of workers, … Continued

CFAnews Update – March 17, 2020

Advocates Urge Federal Government to Address Auto Insurance Unaffordability The market for auto insurance is not fair for low- and moderate-income Americans and drivers in communities of color, even if they have an unblemished driving history, CFA Insurance Expert Douglas Heller said in testimony before the U.S. House Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, … Continued

Flawed Data-Privacy Bill Does Not Protect Consumers or Hold Companies Accountable

Hardly a week goes by without disturbing news about another invasion of our privacy. In the past six months alone consider: Facebook settling a $550 million lawsuit alleging that it collected facial recognition data of users without consent; location data companies tracking the precise movements of more than 12 million Americans via our cellphones; dating apps like Grindr and … Continued

CFAnews Update – February 25, 2020

CFPB Weakens Deterrence Against Abusive Financial Practices The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a policy statement late last month that attempts to narrow the scope of federal laws that prohibit abusive financial acts and practices by banks, debt collectors, payday lenders, and other consumer finance companies. CFA director of Financial Services and Senior Fellow, … Continued

CFAnews Update – January 29, 2020

Popular Dating and Health Apps Violate Privacy Several popular dating and health apps are collecting and sharing user data with third-party advertisers without user consent or knowledge, according to a new report from the Norwegian Consumer Council. Citing the report’s findings, consumer groups in the U.S. have called on state and federal officials to investigate … Continued

CFAnews Update – January 10, 2020

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

PCAOB Guidance Would Undermine Auditor Independence, Deceive the Public

Washington, D.C. – Leading national investor groups, including CFA, wrote to the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to voice concerns about PCAOB staff guidance, issued last year, that they said would both undermine auditor independence and deceive the investing public. The groups expressed particular concern that the staff guidance would permit firms … 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