Consumer Protection

Last fall, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit wrongly concluded that the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau violates the Constitution. U.S. PIRG Education Fund, along with many others, urged the full D.C. Circuit to rehear the case and correct the obvious errors in the panel’s decision. We were pleased when the D.C. Circuit agreed with our position and decided to rehear the case.

Some Tips To Protect Internet Privacy

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director

You may have heard that Congress just voted to take away many of your online broadband privacy protections. After a little background, we will give you some tips on how to protect what’s left.

U.S. PIRG Joins Legal Brief Defending CFPB Constitutionality

Attached is a brief, co-written by PIRG Litigation Director Mike Landis, filed today in the DC Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, filed on behalf of U.S. PIRG Education Fund and other leading groups in support of the CFPB's constitutionality. The full circuit will hear the case en banc on May 24th, after it vacated its own 2-1 panel decision holding the CFPB's structure is unconstitutional. We filed an amicus also at the panel level. We, along with several other consumer and civil rights groups, several members of Congress and several state Attorneys General, had unsuccessfully requested party-intervenor status in the case at the panel and en banc levels.

Congress Votes Against Consumers and Internet Privacy

By | Kara Cook-Schultz
Toxics Program Director

Yesterday, the House voted to gut online consumer protections, and if the president signs the legislation, internet service providers will be able to use and sell consumers’ personal information without their permission.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Guilty Plea By Volkswagen is an Important Step, Jail Time Should Come Next

Statement by Mike Litt, Consumer Program Advocate at U.S. PIRG Education Fund, on today’s guilty plea by Volkswagen in its criminal court case for emission violations.

Big Data and Fintech Resources

On 6 December 2016 we convened 45 consumer, civil rights, small business and other leaders to discuss recent Fintech developments, including the implications of a proposal by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to allow fintech firms to organize under a special charter under the National Bank Act that would provide them with many of the powers of national banks to evade state law consumer protections even though they aren't banks and aren't subject to the same responsibilities of banks. Here is our Digital Data and Consumer Protection Home Page with more information.

We joined Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray and Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine for release of new CFPB data on debt collector abuses. Fully 1 in 4 consumers feel "threatened" by abusive, possibly illegal, debt collector tactics. The release also included an emphasis on problems with the "debt buyer" industry, comprised of firms that buy older, uncollected debt for as little as less than a penny on the dollar.

Credit cards are convenient. But using them is expensive. The problem is that most consumers don’t know just how expensive it is. That might change in some states after the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on a case currently pending before it.

Though the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds itself under constant attack. The most recent is from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. U.S. PIRG Education Fund—along with nine other consumer and civil rights organizations—filed an amicus brief in support of the CFPB’s request for a rehearing before the entire D.C. Circuit. The Department of Justice also filed a brief in support of the CFPB’s request. It is important that the October ruling is corrected so that the CFPB remains a strong and independent agency that looks out for consumers.

This New Year, Celebrate the CFPB

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director

This month, we published our 8th report based on analyzing consumer complaints collected in the CFPB's Public Consumer Complaint Database. The release of "Big Banks, Big Overdraft Fees" provides a good year-end opportunity to summarize a few of the reasons to be thankful for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which took over in July 2011 as the first federal regulator with just one job: protecting consumers from unfair financial practices. The idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.

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