Blog Posts By:

Ed Mierzwinski,
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The NYTimes reports that "When Customers Say Their Money Was Stolen on Zelle, Banks Often Refuse to Pay." We did a report last year on consumer complaints about Zelle and similar apps.

CFPB director Rohit Chopra today announced a request for information about your experiences with your bank. “Customers of large banks should not have to run through an obstacle course to get a straight answer about their account. We are taking steps to ensure the legally enshrined right to obtain basic customer service.”

Cover image via Flickr by Stevan Sheets, WWC Fall Family Fest, Some rights reserved.

Apple is joining the parade of competitors in the more and more crowded "Buy Now, Pay Later" space, with its version of "pay in four," called Apple Pay Later.

Wow. The FTC's consumer chief gave a powerful speech this week that essentially said "privacy notice and choice" are not enough in a surveillance-based economy. "When we’re expecting consumers to have to choose between participating in the digital economy and protecting their privacy, we’re not giving them a choice at all – what we’re really describing is coercion."

Cover image by g4||4is "Privacy. The "i" is a lock" via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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.

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.

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.