Coalition Efforts

Consumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see "More Information" at the end of each article.
 
 

Postings

“Choking” banks that don’t respond to the threat of consumer fraud
The Department of Justice (DoJ) responds to the proliferation of financial fraud by cutting off access to banks and payment processing companies that enable wrongdoers to debit victims' bank accounts and move money around. Its Operation Choke Point helps eliminate unlawful activity like senior fraud, payday loan fraud, bogus debt relief services and other mass-marketing fraud schemes that cause tens of billions of dollars of losses each year from millions of individuals and businesses. Consumer Action joins coalition advocates in urging the Senate to support the DoJ's Operation Choke Point and other efforts that protect consumers and taxpayers from fraud.

Protect students and taxpayers from being ripped off
According to the Department of Education (DoE), an astonishing 72 percent of the for-profit college programs subject to the regulation produced graduates who on average earned less than high school dropouts. Of all the federal financial aid recipients enrolled at the lowest performing programs, 98% are at for-profit colleges. The taxpayer abuse and funding of worthless credentials needs to end! Consumer Action and coalition advocates urge the DoE and Congress to strengthen the federal gainful employment law, which requires career education programs — at public, nonprofit, and for-profit colleges — to prepare students for career in a recognized occupation.

In support of the CFPB: standing up in favor of more transparent banking
In response to the 11 proposals and bills that were designed to harass and undermine the authority of the Consumer Protection Bureau (CFPB), coalition advocates urged Congress to stop obstructing reasonable regulation that serves to protect consumers and the financial industry from another financial crisis. While the bills before the committee are an attempt to portray the CFPB as a too-powerful agency that threatens consumer freedom and privacy, it is clear that the CFPB is getting results for consumers and making markets work better.

Privatizing tax collection wastes taxpayer money, and that’s not the only problem
Coalition advocates oppose language in the EXPIRE Act of 2014 that requires the use of private collection companies to collect taxes on a commission basis. The use of private debt collectors harms taxpayers by exposing them to potential abuses that are unfortunately common within the student loan industry. It will also disproportionately impact low-income taxpayers. Paying private collectors is a waste of taxpayer dollars, lining the pockets of private companies at the expense of the U.S. Treasury.

Strengthening mortgage reform protections
Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in supporting Sen. Brown's amendment to the Housing Finance bill (Johnson-Crapo) that would require servicers to disclose any new fees, the loan's default status and whether a loan modification application has been submitted prior to transferring servicing duties to a new mortgage servicer.

SECURE Act helps consumers clear up credit reporting errors
Data that determines consumers' credit worthiness, and the agencies that handle this data, should be obligated to ensure consumers' information is accurate and their inquiries and disputes are being answered. Consumer Action and advocates urge Senate to support the Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting (SECURE) Act, which pushes for more credit reporting transparency and accountability industry-wide.

Proposed Freddie and Fannie reform needs work
Significant changes are needed to improve and strengthen the proposed Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform legislation before it could provide the access to affordable credit guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If this bill became law in its current form, it would be a giant step backward for the working class, people of color, Millennials, and other traditionally under-served communities.

The U.S. should follow EU lead on privacy protections
In light of the recent decision of the European Court of Justice to invalidate the EU Data Retention Directive, (legislation that mandates telephone companies routinely retain data on their telephone customers), privacy advocates ask the White House to review the NSA Telephone Records Collection Program and its study of Big Data and the Future of Privacy.

Debt collection abuse could get worse if lawyers are let off the hook
Lawyers and law firms have been at the forefront of some of the worst debt collection abuses in this nation. Rather than limiting protections, we need to increase them for consumers. The proposed Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) of 2013 (HR 2892) would effectively permit lawyers and law firms engaging in debt collection to evade essential requirements of the FDCPA which prohibit deceitful and unfair practices and prevent consumer harassment. Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in urging Congress to oppose HR 2892.

Housing counseling helps families in crisis and prevents foreclosures
Consumer Action joined hundreds of housing advocates in urging Congress to increase federally funding for housing counseling in 2015. Housing counseling is a proven, cost-effective tool for Americans facing all sorts of housing challenges, including homeowners facing foreclosure, young families looking to purchase their first home, and seniors considering a reverse mortgage.

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