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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Time To Defend CFPB as Senate Banking Committee Aims Sights at It | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED 12 April: The Senate Banking Committee held a stacked hearing on "Assessing Consumer Regulations" yesterday (5 April), although our one pro-consumer witness and pro-CFPB Senators defended consumer protection ably as three industry-backed witnesses and their supporters on the committee had a great deal of trouble proving their case that the CFPB should be dismantled. Tomorrow morning, (7 April) CFPB Director Richard Cordray will present the statutory "Semi-Annual Report of the CFPB" to the committee. We submitted a statement to be entered into the hearing record, as did other Americans for Financial Reform coalition members.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

The Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule for Investment Advice

U.S. PIRG federal legislative director Jerry Slominski on The Release of the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule for Investment Advice

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

What is payday lending? | Kathryn Lee

We are a leading member of Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition that was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by Congress in 2010. The CFPB is currently working on a rule to reign in the payday lending industry. We, along with AFR, are working to make sure the rule is a strong one. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Lowering your APR might be easier than you think | Kathryn Lee

Many Americans are walking around with a balance on their credit card because of high interest rates, or annual percentage rate (APR) charges for unpaid balances. It's best to pay off your balance in full but if you don't or can't, a higher APR makes your debit grow faster. What most people don’t realize is this APR can be negotiated to a lower rate.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Flint Pediatrician Gave a Voice to the Voiceless in Flint, Michigan | Anna Low-Beer

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is the Flint pediatrician who led the charge in proving that Flint water was tainted by lead and was poisoning the community. Without her drive and dedication to the children of Flint, it is hard to say how long government officials might have left the public in the dark about the mounting crisis. In honor of Women’s History Month we’re recognizing Dr. Hanna-Attisha -- a doctor, mother, and activist -- who has relentlessly fought for the public interest. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

Majority of State Legislators Support GMO Food Labeling

Today, a coalition of consumer, community, farming and public health organizations working to pass a GMO food labeling law announced that a strong majority of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have signed on as co-sponsors of GMO food labeling legislation.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Court Sides with MASSPIRG, AG Healey, and Others in Rejecting Anti-Consumer Merger

Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders rejected a settlement agreement which would have allowed Partners Healthcare, the largest and most expensive health system in the state, to acquire three more community hospitals and add hundreds of additional doctors to its network.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Consumer Group Calls on McDonald's: Help Save Antibiotics

In a new phase of the campaign to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms, MASSPIRG Education Fund is urging the world's largest hamburger chain, McDonald's, to stop serving meat raised with antibiotics. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG Applauds Appointment of Stephanie Pollack, Secretary of Transportation

On January 13, Governor Baker named Stephanie Pollack as Secretary of Transportation. We have worked closely with Pollack, and we applaud Governor Baker’s choice.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Study Shows Big Donors Dominated Competitive 2014 Congressional Races

A new report documenting the dominance of big money in the November 2014 Congressional elections was released today by a host of public interest organizations calling for reform.

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Toxic Pollution And Health

Industries across the United States pump billions of pounds of toxic chemicals into our air, land, and water each year, many of which can cause cancer and other severe health effects. The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program provides Americans with the best information about toxic chemicals released in their communities.

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Report | Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation | Consumer Protection

The Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Study Group

The Commissioner of Insurance should examine alternatives to move towards competitive rating using flex-bands while maintaining affordability for all drivers, minimizing disruption to the market and maintaining consumer protections.

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Report | Democracy

Honest Enforcement

Some argue that last year's scandals, which led to the conviction of two congressmen and several top aides, are evidence that ethics enforcement in Congress works. The actual facts leading up to the convictions, however, are more an indictment of the current process than a testament to its success.

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Exposing the Textbook Industry

Today's college students are under enormous financial pressure. The gap between tuition and fees and financial aid leaves many students working long hours through college, struggling to make ends meet, and graduating with large debts. The high cost of textbooks is yet another financial burden. The cost of textbooks is not just a drop in the bucket of tuition and fees; the average student spends about $900 per year on textbooks, which is nearly 20% of tuition and fees at a four year public institution. Moreover, textbook prices are rising at about four times the rate of inflation.

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Report | Democracy

2005-2006 Legislative Report

This report indicates how senators and representatives stand on some important public interest bills. All three issues will be among MASSPIRG’s top priorities for the 2007-08 session.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

The CFPB is now taking your credit bureau complaints | Deirdre Cummings

Excellent news! The CFPB is now taking your complaints about credit bureaus and credit reports.

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Blog Post | Budget, Financial Reform, Tax

You're Invited to "We're not Broke" | Deirdre Cummings

MASSPIRG Invites you to a special screening of the new movie We're Not Broke
Thursday, Oct. 18  -  6:30 PM - Harvard Kennedy School
Wiener Auditorium
, Ground Floor of the Taubman Building, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

CFPB says 1 in 5 credit scores sold to consumers have "meaningful" differences from scores lenders useDeirdre CummingsEd Mierzwinski

The CFPB has confirmed what consumer advocates have been saying all along. Credit scores heavily marketed to consumers aren't the same as those used by lenders; at least 1 in 5 consumer scores have "meaningful" differences and that "score discrepancies may generate consumer harm." That's why we call them FAKO scores.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

It happened 4 years ago this weekend, and Congress has already forgottenDeirdre CummingsEd Mierzwinski

Four years ago, on September 14-15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers investment bank declared bankruptcy while Bank of America acquired another foundering investment bank, Merrill Lynch -- major events that froze the financial markets and led in a few days to a $700 billion bailout of the financial system. Just four years later, some in the Congress have forgotten that real people and the economy are still suffering from the financial collapse, as it steps up Wall Street-backed efforts to prevent regulators from protecting the public.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Consumers Seeing Benefits of Credit CARD Act Protections | Deirdre Cummings

The MASSPIRG-backed Credit CARD Act improved consumer disclosures, protected college students and young people from unfair marketing and also banned the worst tricks used by credit card companies. In particular, it made it much harder to trick or force consumers into paying late fees, and so, as the story explains:
"Customers are also happier when it comes to both annual fees and penalty fees charged by credit card companies. When it comes to penalty fees, “One of the reasons the score is getting better is because fewer customers are having their late fees increased,” says Jim Miller, senior director of J.D. Power’s banking practice."

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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