Postings

How the government shutdown puts working families at risk
As the longest federal government shutdown in our nation’s history drags on, advocates raised concern as to how working families could potentially be harmed long after the government reopens its doors. Without a paycheck, federal employees fear losing their homes, consider risky financial loans in lieu of income, tax credits, and returns, and worry about the lasting implications that missing bill payments will have on their credit.

The 116th Congress should put students at the top of their agenda
Consumer Action joined 49 advocate groups in urging Members of Congress to work toward a Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill. The HEA bill should broaden opportunities for students, including low-income students and students of color, and increases accountability to protect students, families and taxpayers from low-quality and unscrupulous colleges.

Department of Education urged to extend loan discharge period for scammed students
In the wake of sudden closures of both Education Corporation of America (ECA) and Vatterott Education Holdings, advocates wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to express concern that over 25,000 students are being given incomplete, incorrect, and harmful information about their options for closed school discharge and information on transfer options. Advocates recommend important steps the Department can take so that students can immediately explore their options and understand what resources might be available to them in the wake of their school’s closure, including extending the window to discharge their student loans.

Kathy Kraninger is shockingly unqualified to lead the CFPB
Despite the nominee having no related experience or qualifications, the Senate voted in a lame duck session to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Advocates urged the Senate to oppose Kraninger for lack of finance, banking regulation, or consumer protection experience, as well as for her central role in administering the inhumane and un-American policy of separating thousands of children from their parents along the southwest border. Kraninger was later approved by Senate in a partisan 50-49 vote, with all Democrats opposing her nomination.

National comparison data for colleges erased
In reaction to the Education Department’s latest update to the college comparison tool, College Scorecard, consumer, higher education, and student advocates wrote to Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to reinstate key outcome metrics that provide critical statistics for would-be students, and transparent accountability measures for the individual schools.

Hands off the Medicare donut hole deal
Consumer Action joined a coalition of over 40 advocates in calling on Congress to reject any measures that would increase prescription drug costs for consumers, including rolling back the provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that make brand-name prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare—specifically the 70% discount required from pharmaceutical companies in the donut hole.

A major victory for cheated students on borrower defense regulations
A federal judge sided with consumer advocates and ruled that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' delay of a key student borrower protection rule was improper and unlawful. Judge Moss also rejected a request to postpone enforcement of the Borrower Defense Rule by an association of for-profit colleges. This meant the 2016 Obama-era regulation aimed at providing relief for scammed student-loan borrowers took effect immediately, despite efforts by the Department of Education and the for-profit college industry to delay it.

Consumer advocates oppose loosening rules for FinTech providers
Consumer Action joined a coalition of 50 public interest groups in sharply criticizing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposal to gut important consumer protection rules, especially for FinTech companies, arguing the agency does not have the authority to create potentially unlimited exemptions from the very regulations that the CFPB is obligated to enforce.

Trump’s anti-discrimination official uses hate speech as recent as 2016
Controversial blog posts written by senior Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) official, Eric Blankenstein, have caused outrage from advocates and CFPB staffers who are calling on interim director, Mick Mulvaney, to fire the official. Blankenstein is in charge of enforcing fair-lending laws that are intended to prevent discrimination and is facing criticism for a series of racially provocative comments spanning the last 14 years.

ED’s latest regulatory rollback favors scam schools over students and taxpayers
Consumer Action joined more than 60 organizations and advocates in submitting joint comments on the U.S. Department of Education's proposal to eliminate the gainful employment rule that protects students and taxpayers from spending money on career education programs that do not prepare students for gainful employment as required under federal law. The coalition urged the Department to abandon their proposal to eliminate the existing rule and instead start properly enforcing the current rule.

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