Financial Reform

House to take key vote to protect consumers today

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, the U.S. House takes a key vote. HR2668, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, would restore the FTC's Section 13(b) authority to hold wrongdoers accountable and compensate consumer-victims harmed by their actions. The Supreme Court had recently ruled that the power, used for over 40 years to recover billions, was not clearly articulated in law.

Cover photo via Flickr by Mr. Blue MauMau, some rights reserved.

House to vote on restoring FTC powers to compensate victims of corporate crime

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Next week, the full House of  Representatives is expected to vote on HR2668, critical legislation to restore Federal Trade Commission authority to disgorge ill-gotten gains from corporate wrongdoers to use to compensate victims of the crime. This spring, the Supreme Court had held that the power was not clearly defined in law, even though courts had upheld the authority for many years, allowing the FTC to return billions of dollars  to consumers.

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

Virtual wallet, payment app complaints skyrocket

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Consumers increasingly are using digital peer-to-peer payment (P2P) apps for convenience. However, that convenience can quickly turn to inconvenience as the result of these apps’ often-confusing design, poor customer service and propensity for being used for scams and fraud. The number of written complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about these apps and other financial tools in the “mobile or digital wallet” category has skyrocketed in recent years, reaching new heights in 2021.

Cover photo by grinvalds via IStock 

Don’t let Sacklers off the hook for role in opioid crisis

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

We’re backing legislation to prevent the billionaire Sackler family from using the corporate bankruptcy of its company Purdue Pharma (makers of Oxycontin and other opioids) to avoid personal liability in ongoing lawsuits by some 24 state Attorneys General attempting to bring some justice to the families of the victims of the opioid crisis. Congress held a hearing Tuesday, June 8 at noon ET.

Credit CARD Act of 2009 didn’t break the world, it fixed a broken marketplace

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Twelve years ago today I was in the Rose Garden for the signing of the Credit CARD Act. It ended many unfair practices by banks intended to gouge consumers.

Congress should confirm Lina Khan to the FTC and give FTC more tools

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Yesterday the Senate Commerce Committee held an oversight hearing on strengthening the FTC's tools to protect consumers. Today it held a confirmation hearing for President Biden's nominee to the FTC, Professor Lina Khan. U.S. PIRG supports both. (Photo of sculptor "Michael Lantz's Man Controlling Trade" (outside the FTC) by Steve Fernie, Some Rights Reserved.)

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

PIRGs Join 300+ Groups To Urge Congress To Rescind "Fake Lender Rule"

The state PIRGs and  U.S. PIRG joined 300+ consumer, faith and civil rights groups urging Congress to rescind a "fake lender" midnight regulation, which would allow predatory lending, even in 18 states and the District of Columbia where usury caps protect over 110 million consumers. 

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Statement: Credit bureaus need to do more than extend free weekly credit reports for another year

Our statement in response to the announcement by the Big Three credit bureaus that they would extend weekly free credit reports for another year in response to the pandemic. They can and  should do much more.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Financial Reform

Study: CFPB complaints shattered records in 2020, exposing how the COVID-19 pandemic battered consumer finances

Consumer complaints about problems with financial companies such as banks, credit bureaus and debt collectors rose by more than 50 percent in 2020 and set new records for each month of the year, according to a new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

Bipartisanship Works in State Attorneys General Lawsuits Against Big Tech’s Google and Facebook

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In late 2020, state and federal consumer cops filed several enforcement actions against the powerful Big Tech platforms Google and Facebook over practices alleged to violate antitrust and competition laws.  What is notable about these efforts is the degree of bipartisanship and collaboration involved. Ideally, Congress will find a way to follow the bipartisan lead of the state consumer cops and make its continued investigations and actions against the Big Tech firms that now dominate the economy more effective.

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