Financial Reform

Senate Commerce to vote to restore FTC power to compensate victims of corporate wrongdoers

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last year, the Supreme Court eliminated the FTC's key authority to disgorge ill-gotten gains from corporate wrongdoers and use the money to compensate their victims. It was an unfortunate decision that benefited a convicted payday lender who fleeced thousands of victims and will allow brand name Big Pharma firms that block lower-cost generic competitors and other wrongdoers to escape billions of dollars in restitution. The Senate Commerce Committee is voting tomorrow on a bill to restore FTC powers.

-- Cover graphic of FTC Building via Flickr, by Boston Public Library, Some rights reserved.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Banks, Credit Unions and Consumer Groups Call for Passage of Bipartisan Solution to Close ILC Loophole

U.S. PIRG joined leading consumer and bank trade groups to urge Congress to enact the bi-partisan HR5912, to close the Industrial Loan Company (ILC) loophole that threatens the banking system.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

STATEMENT: U.S. PIRG applauds SEC’s climate disclosure rule

Our statement on the Securities and Exchange Commission's newly proposed rule that would require publicly traded companies to improve and standardize the information they disclose about their greenhouse gas emissions.

Will buy now, pay later mean pain later?

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In a new report, we question whether “Buy Now Pay Later” plans make “no fees or interest!” claims that may not be true. We find that you might be billed for canceled or backordered items, but neither the merchant nor the BNPL provider may take responsibility. You can file a comment in the CFPB’s BNPL inquiry until March 25th. Get our BNPL tips.

Cover image: Courtesy iStock by B4LL, used under license

CFPB focuses on consumer pain points

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Yesterday’s announcement of a new report finding stupefying amounts of medical debt on consumer credit reports continues the Biden CFPB’s focus on identifying and responding to consumer pain points caused by a financial marketplace that doesn’t always work for consumers. The CFPB has your back!

Photo courtesy Americans for Financial Reform, All rights reserved.

Crypto has gone mainstream. But where are the watchdogs?

By | Adrian Pforzheimer
Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

Matt Damon strides past images of humankind’s boldest explorers: ocean voyagers, early aeronauts, mountaineers in a new cryptocurrency ad. If this were an ad for a new drug, or a regulated financial product, you’d expect the images of boldness and bravery to be accompanied by a lengthy disclaimer. You don't. Find out more.

Image credit Kanchanara via Unsplash

Whacked by bank or credit card junk fees? The CFPB wants to know.

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

If you’ve been whacked by unexpected or unfair penalty or other junk fees by a bank, mortgage company, or credit card company, the CFPB wants to hear from you. You can send the CFPB a comment on its new “initiative to save households billions of dollars a year by reducing exploitative junk fees.” Find out more here. 

Cover photo "Fees Key" by Gotcredit.com via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

CFPB Slams Big 3 Credit Bureaus for Excuses, “Deficiencies” and Failures

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

A major new CFPB report assails the Big 3 credit bureaus for a series of excuses, “deficiencies” and failures. CFPB found that “Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion routinely failed to fully respond to consumers with errors.” Wow.

Cover graphic “Epic Fail” by Dunk via Flickr, some rights reserved.

Broadband is the "new electricity"

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The House should pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill on the House floor this week. Among other provisions, it allocates $65 billion to make fast broadband more available -- especially in rural and tribal areas -- and more affordable. That total includes about $14 billion to subsidize access and about $42 billion to deploy broadband. Also, broadband providers would be required to use a new pricing label based on the easy-to-read FDA nutrition labels.

Photo of "Rural Broadband Buildout Project" by Maryland GovPics, via Flickr, some rights reserved.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Consumer Advocates Urge Court to Block Use of Findings of Unlawful Trump-Era CFPB Taskforce

Democracy Forward, the attorneys for U.S. PIRG, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and Professor Kathleen Engel, filed a motion for summary judgement Friday in U.S. Court in our lawsuit against the Trump-era CFPB's so-called Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law.

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