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Wall Street Ramps Up Attacks on Wall Street Reform | Ed Mierzwinski

On Friday, the House overwhelmingly approved a Wall Street-driven proposal to weaken oversight of private equity firms, taking a chunk out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. But wait, there's so much more: On Tuesday the House Financial Services Committee takes up the so-called "Financial Choice Act," which eviscerates most of Dodd-Frank's key reforms, from stripping powers of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to repealing the Volcker Rule, which reins in risky betting practices that use depositors' money. As for the CFPB (which just this week issued its biggest fine to date, $100 million against Wells Fargo Bank for opening hundreds of thousands of fake and secret consumer accounts to meet sales goals), the proposal would defund and defang it and delay or stop its efforts to rein in unfair practices of payday lenders, debt collectors and banks. Many of the Financial Choice Act's provisions also pose threats as budget bill "riders."

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

CFPB Issues Record $100 Million Fine on Wells Fargo For "Beyond Outrageous" Sales Practices

On September 8 the CFPB announced a record $100 million civil penalty plus consumer restitution against Wells Fargo, among the  nation’s largest banks, for a series of unfair and abusive sales practices by “thousands” of employees that included opening “secret” accounts for “hundreds of thousands” of existing customers, solely to meet sales goals to receive financial incentives. The CFPB action was joined by simultaneous orders announced by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ($35 million civil penalty) and the City of Los Angeles ($50 million civil penalty). Our statement follows.

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

Report: Analysis of Payday Complaints Reveals Need for Stronger Federal Protections

Consumer complaints about payday loans to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) show a critical need for strengthening the agency’s proposed rule to rein in payday loans and other high-cost lending, according to a report released today by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

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Report | RIPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Predatory Loans & Predatory Loan Complaints

This is the seventh in a series of reports that review complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In this report, we explore consumer complaints about predatory loans, categorized in the database as payday loans, installment loans, and auto title loans.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Good news! CFPB Adding Consumer Ratings of Company Responses to Complaint Database | Ed Mierzwinski

The CFPB is making a good public consumer complaint database better. In 2015, the CFPB added optional consumer narratives, or stories, to its public consumer complaint database, giving other consumers, researchers and even other firms a new way to help study complaint patterns. Now, it will give consumers a chance to “rate the company’s handling of his or her complaint on a one-to-five scale and provide a narrative description in support of the rating.”

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News Release | RIPIRG | Consumer Protection

Another Toy Recall

Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Family Dollar Stores recalled the Gordy FUN N SAFE Magnetic Dart Board set due to aspiration and intestinal hazards. The toy is similar to the Gordy/Family Dollar Fun N Games Magnetic Dart Board, identified in RIPIRGs November 2007 Trouble In Toyland report as a toy that posed the same hazards.

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News Release | RIPIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement at Sears Stove Tip-Over Lawsuit Settlement News Teleconference

Statement of Ed Mierzwinski, U.S.PIRG Consumer Program Director, at the Sears Stove Tip-Over Lawsuit Settlement News Teleconference

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News Release | RIPIRG | Consumer Protection

Chemical Security Legislation Must Include Safer Technologies

Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Liz Hitchcock: A subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee marked up the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008 today. 

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News Release | RIPIRG | Health Care

Congress Passes Prescription Drug Safety Reforms

By overwhelming margins, the House and Senate passed this week significant reforms to the Food and Drug Administration’s drug safety review system. The centerpiece of the bill includes strong consumer protections.  President Bush has sent mixed signals on whether or not he will sign the bill, which passed the House 405 to 7 and passed the Senate unanimously.

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News Release | RIPIRG | Health Care

House Passes Prescription Drug Safety Reforms; Senate to Follow

The House today passed significant reforms to the Food and Drug Administration's drug safety review system. Part of a comprehensive FDA bill, the bill was a compromise between Senate and House legislation that passed overwhelmingly earlier this year.

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