Postings

It’s buyer beware with the SEC’s latest best interest proposal
Coalition advocates called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to clarify its proposed “best interest” standard, and asked that it make the required disclosures much easier to understand for consumers. They also asked the SEC make the standard no less stringent than the Advisers Act fiduciary standard. Otherwise, unsuspecting investors may not be aware that their advisers are selling them products they don’t need in order to turn a profit.

Payday alternative loans shouldn’t permit cycle of high-cost debt
In a letter to the National Credit Union Administration, more than 100 coalition advocates oppose changes that would permit credit unions to charge an unlimited number of fees on short-term loans, resembling payday loan debt.

3M seniors could lose critical benefits if Benchmark Cap remains in Medicare Advantage
Three million American seniors are at risk of being denied critically important benefits like care coordination, vision, dental, hearing, and wellness programs if Congress allows the benchmark cap to stay in place. In a letter to Congress, coalition advocates supported the bipartisan Improving Seniors Access to Quality Benefits Act (HR 4952), which aims to lift the benchmark cap, thus giving beneficiaries higher-quality care.

“License to Kill” bills in New Jersey are as terrifying for consumers as they sound
S 2740 and A 4292, dubbed the “License to Kill” bills, would make regulating auto industries in the state of New Jersey, and protecting the safety of New Jersey consumers, much more difficult. Backed by unscrupulous auto dealers, the bills would drastically weaken the existing laws in the state that protect consumers from being defrauded and purchasing unsafe vehicles.

Health insurance tax would hit seniors hard
An approximate $22 billion health insurance tax (HIT) is scheduled to impact 20 million seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2020. In a letter, coalition advocates urged Congress to delay the HIT for 2020, otherwise millions of American seniors and others with health insurance coverage could face a major premium increase, including $500 in additional annual premiums for the typical Medicare Advantage couple.

The CFPB’s consumer education programs must be protected
In open comments to the agency, advocates urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to keep its education programs, just one component in its set of consumer protection tools. Other Bureau responsibilities, including its enforcement and rulemaking authority, should also be utilized to fully protect consumers in accordance with the CFPB’s mission.

Keep for-profit school dollars out of the VA
An ethics law that prohibits Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees from receiving money or owning a stake in for-profit colleges that rake in millions in G.I. Bill tuition has "illogical and unintended consequences," according to VA, which is pushing to suspend the 50-year-old statute for some of its employees. Consumer Action joined the coalition in urging the VA to abandon this plan. Suspending the law would make it easier for the for-profit education industry to exploit its biggest cash cow: veterans.

Advocates tell Santander: stop racial profiling in auto lending
Advocates called on Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., a Dallas-based auto lender, to end its practice of allowing car dealers to add interest to a vehicle loan unrelated to the borrower’s creditworthiness.

Groups tell temporary CFPB director: Hands off the public database!
71 consumer, civil rights, fair lending, privacy, legal services and community groups called on Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to maintain one of the few tools consumers have to check out a financial services company: the CFPB's consumer complaint database. Mulvaney has threatened to ban public access to the public database.

If companies can protect user data in Europe, they can protect it everywhere
Consumer Action joined 27 groups in calling on some of the world’s largest companies – including Facebook, Google and Amazon, as well as digital advertisers like Nestle, Walmart and JPMorgan Chase – to use Europe’s impending General Data Protection Regulation regime as a baseline standard worldwide for all of their services, including in the U.S.

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