Financial Reform

In the movie “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), Paul Newman’s character gets put into solitary confinement on a prison farm in a tiny room called “the box”. You can’t lie down, or sit down in this box, it is that small. It is hot, very hot. It is no wonder, then, that car dealers have nicknamed the room where consumers meet with the finance director (who is called “the closer”) to sign final car purchase paperwork “The Box.” We write about in our new report on how CFPB Auto Loan Complaints are rising during the pandemic. 

PIRGs, Allies Urge CFPB Director Not To Weaken Its Enforcement Arm

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

During a pandemic that has also harmed family finances, should the CFPB director weaken its enforcement arm? No. More on why the state PIRGs joined 83 consumer and civil rights groups in a letter urging Kathy Kraninger to "abandon" her "October Surprise" proposed reorganization that even industry lawyers call its "single most effective" effort to "weaken its own enforcement arm."

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

CFPB Approves Modified Final Debt Collection Rule

On Friday, the CFPB released a modified final version of its Debt Collection Rule, although it delayed action until December on one of its most controversial provisions, allowing collection of  time-barred zombie debt. A statement by Consumer Program Associate Lucy Baker follows.

Voters support strong CFPB, strong protections against Wall Street, payday lenders

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Polls show voters, across party lines, want both a strong CFPB and strong Wall Street, payday lender and debt collector oversight. Will the next Congress listen to them and undo this Administration's myriad rollbacks of consumer and investor financial protections?

News Release | U.S.PIRG | Financial Reform

CFPB Director: Stop Letting Industry Violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act

We've joined the National Consumer Law Center in a news release describing a letter from 21 consumer and faith groups urging her to revoke permission to the credit reporting industry to violate consumer protections. 

Resource | Financial Reform

Letter from 21 Consumer and Faith Groups To CFPB Director

A coalition of 21 consumer, faith, and advocacy groups sent this downloadable letter today to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger urging her to revoke the permission that the Bureau granted the credit reporting industry to violate the 30-day deadline imposed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for investigating disputes. In an April 1, 2020 guidance, the CFPB had permitted credit and consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) — and the banks, lenders and debt collectors that report information to the CRAs — to exceed the 30 days due to “reductions in staff, difficulty intaking disputes, or lack of access to necessary information.”

Will Congress fix credit report problem CFPB won't?

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Our latest report, last week, found July set yet a fifth consecutive month of record consumer complaints to the CFPB. Complaints about credit report mistakes, always among the leaders, have surged dramatically during the pandemic. The CFPB hasn't done anything about it, but Congress has an opportunity in its next relief package to ban negative credit reporting.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Led by massive surge in credit reporting grievances, CFPB complaints set another record in July

For the fifth consecutive month, in July, a record number of consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to an analysis by U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group. Complaints since the national onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-July 2020) are up 50 percent over the same five-month period in 2019.

Report | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Analysis: CFPB Complaints Surge During Pandemic, Led By Credit Report Complaints

For the fifth consecutive month, consumer complaints to the CFPB set a new monthly complaint volume record in July, according to an analysis by U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group. This snapshot focuses on spikes in complaints about credit reporting. While credit reporting complaints have always been among the leading complaint categories, during the pandemic the total number of credit reporting complaints has surged by 86 percent. As a percentage of overall complaints, they accounted for 65 percent in July, compared to 54 percent in February.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

CFPB green-lights predatory payday loans amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule Tuesday that guts critical payday lending protections. These protections, including the requirement that lenders check if a customer can repay the high interest rates of payday loans before borrowing, were set to go into effect last year. But the Bureau’s new leadership delayed implementation of the protections and pursued rollbacks of their core provisions.

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