Buyer Beware: Purchasing a Scooter or Electric Wheelchair

Purchasing an electric scooter or wheelchair can improve the quality of your life, but making an informed decision may mean the difference between increased mobility and getting stuck with an expensive product you can’t use. Here are some things to consider before making a purchase: Make sure you’re purchasing directly from a trusted source, like … Continued

CFAnews Update – August 6, 2019

Congress Urged To Suspend DHS Use of Face Recognition Technology In a joint letter to the House Committee on Homeland Security, several dozen consumer, privacy and civil rights groups, including CFA, urged Congress to suspend the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) use of facial recognition technology on the general public. According to the groups, the … Continued

How Do You Know if It’s Really “Green”?

Consumer demand for environmentally sound products has recently grown.  As a result, many companies in various industries have attempted to capitalize on this trend.  However, do the claims of “caring about the environment” or putting a green leaf on a product really mean the products are environmentally sound? The practice of conveying a false impression … Continued

Things to Consider with Solar Power

We all need electrical power to run our modern homes, appliances and internet gadgets. However, how we get power to our homes has been evolving with technology changes. Many consumers are becoming more eco-conscious with their choices and some are demanding a smaller carbon footprint. Another attraction of solar power is the potential to save … Continued

CFA And Consumer Action Urged The Federal Communications Commission To Hold Off On Making Changes To The Lifeline Program That Could Make Mobile Broadband Service Less Affordable For Low-Income Consumers

Consumer Action and Consumer Federation of America respectfully submit these comments asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pause both the scheduled update to the minimum service standard for Lifeline-supported mobile broadband service and the scheduled reduction in the support amount for Lifeline-supported mobile voice service, both of which would otherwise take effect on December … Continued

Five Key Takeaways from the 2018 CFA Consumer Complaint Survey Report

So many interesting issues emerged from this year’s survey of state and local consumer protection agencies that it’s impossible to list them all. Here are some of my key takeaways based on information from the survey report. Payment methods in fraud continue to evolve. This year we heard about crooks asking people to send them … Continued

Off Highway Vehicles: Nearly 100 Recalls Since CFA Began Tracking

An Analysis of OHV Recalls: Increasing Number of OHVs Pulled from Market due to Safety Concerns A Consumer Federation of America (CFA) analysis of off highway vehicle (OHV) recalls found that over the past nine years, there have been 97 OHV recalls, and the number of recalls has increased from two recalls in 2010 to … Continued

CFAnews Update – July 16, 2019

CFA Warns: July 4th Is the Most Dangerous Day for Adults and Children on OHVs On the eve of the July 4th holiday, CFA issued an alert to off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders to operate their vehicles with caution and not to allow children 16 or younger to operate the vehicles. The annual release was tied … Continued

Safe Food Coalition Supports Disclosure of Meat and Poultry Inspection Data

Washington D.C. – CFA joined other members of the Safe Food Coalition in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). In the comments, the groups commend FSIS for committing to post additional information about microbiological sampling results, including the serotype, genetic profile, and antibiotic resistance profile of pathogens … Continued

CFAnews Update – July 8, 2019

Bipartisan Bill To Stop Bad Robocalls Advances in the House The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee gave voice vote approval earlier this week to legislation (H.R. 3375, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act) designed to “end the robocalls epidemic.” In advance of the vote, CFA and other privacy organizations sent a letter in support of legislation … Continued

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