Blog Posts 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.

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

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.

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.

The CFPB is looking at the impact of Big Tech's entry into the payments space. It asked Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Paypal (owner of Venmo) and Square (owner of Cash App) for answers. PIRG and the Center for Digital Democracy have filed a comment on the threats Big Tech entry poses to consumers, competitors and the banking system. This blog also links to comments by other colleagues.

Cover image Fintech by CafeCredit.com via Flickr, some rights reserved.

Last week U.S. district court judge Colleen McMahon disrupted a bankruptcy judge’s approval of a Sackler plan to hide most of the family’s billions as part of the corporate bankruptcy of opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, a firm controlled by the family. We support the draft Sackler Act, which would expressly prohibit such a scheme by non-debtors.

Cover graphic above by Mike Licht via Flickr; Some rights reserved.

The CFPB has asked BigTech giants including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Square to answer questions about their payment system practices. The CFPB has also asked consumers, small businesses and others for comments (including complaints), which are due on December 6. Learn more.

Graphic from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine's first crawl of the new CFPB's new website, February 8, 2011.

Exploding airbag that sends shrapnel into passengers? Pickup truck that catches fire for no reason? These are just a few of the safety recalls that could endanger you or your family if unrepaired. Under federal law, you can’t buy a new car with an unrepaired or “open” safety recall, but thanks to FTC consent orders with GM and some mega-car dealers, you can buy a used car with open safety recalls. So we sued the FTC in 2017. We're still in court. Learn more.

Photo credit: Shutterstock photo by Anastasiya Aleksandrenko. 

Today, the Task Force on Financial Technology of the House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing titled “Buy Now, Pay More Later? Investigating Risks and Benefits of BNPL and Other Emerging Fintech Cash Flow Products.” Learn more.

Image of hand and smartphone "Sezzle" courtesy The Focal Project via Flickr, some rights reserved.

In testimony this morning before the House and tomorrow morning before the Senate, newly-confirmed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Rohit Chopra will lay out his vision for the federal financial agency with just one job, protecting consumers.