Reining in Wall Street

STANDING UP FOR CONSUMERS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETPLACE—For more than 20 years, Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski has helped us stand up against big banks and credit card companies.

A Consumer Cop On the Financial Beat

You work hard for your money. You should be able to save, invest and generally manage your money without fear of being trapped, tricked or ripped off by the institutions you are trusting with your financial future. And from the 2008 economic collapse, we know how big of an impact those institutions can have on our economy when they play fast and loose with our money. 

Since 2009, the solution has been clear. We need to have fair, clear, transparent and enforceable rules that protect consumers in the financial marketplace. Now, we know we can get there through the work of an agency that has those principles at the core of its mission — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.   

The CFPB Gets the Job Done

Despite the fact that the CFPB is not widely known, we’ve already seen their financial oversight return nearly $12 billion to consumers … in just five years. The CFPB holds big banks, debt collectors, and lenders accountable. Here are a few examples of some of the cases the CFPB has taken on:


When American Honda Finance used discriminatory pricing to rip off African-American, Hispanic, and Asia/ Pacific Island borrowers who paid too much for car loans, the CFPB returned $24 million to these consumers.


The Department of Justice and 47 states joined the CFPB in a $216 million action against JP Morgan Chase Bank for illegal debt collection practices affecting over half a million Americans.


When it was discovered that Wells Fargo employees were opening unauthorized debit and credit accounts using their customer's information, the CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million for fraud.


The CFPB fined Equifax andTransUnion — two of the three largest credit reporting agencies — $5 million for selling inflated credit scores to consumers that were different from ones actually used by lenders and returned $17 million to those harmed by the deception.

But the CFPB doesn't just help consumers get their money back, it levels the financial playing field. The CFPB has several specialized departments for veterans, senior citizens, new homeowners, college students, and low-income consumers that seek to educate the public on how to stay safe and provide them with the tools they need to keep their finances secure.

Tell Your Senators: Stand Up For Consumers

Almost every day we hear about some new way of tricking, trapping and ripping off consumers. And despite the fact that tricks like these led directly to the 2008 financial collapse, some Wall Street banks are spending upwards of a million dollars every day to roll back the rules and the CFPB — the very agency that was created to keep them in check. Now, many legislators in Washington want to defund or destroy the CFPB.

Effective consumer protections aren't some sort of luxury we can't afford — they're hallmarks of a great country. As founders and leaders of the movement to create and protect the CFPB, we're working to make sure that our success not only sticks, but that we can build upon it.

Issue updates

News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

SENATE CONFIRMS CFPB DIRECTOR CORDRAY

Statement of Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director for MASSPIRG, on the Senate Confirmation of Richard Cordray to Full Term as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director. Senators Warren and Markey vote for consumers.

 

> Keep Reading

Collins, Ayotte stand in way of new consumer protection bureau

KUDOS TO Senator Elizabeth Warren for coming out swinging against the big banks at her first Senate Banking Committee hearing, urging regulators to finally hold the banks accountable and leading the fight to defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

SENATORS HOLD CFPB DIRECTOR HOSTAGE, ROIL MARKETS | Deirdre Cummings

On Friday, most Senate Republicans again sent the President a letter saying they would not confirm Richard Cordray to a full term as CFPB director unless the agency's powers and independence were first gutted. Their intransigence contributes to market uncertainty that ignores at least three things: The CFPB is here to stay; the public wants the CFPB; and, banks lose to payday lenders if the director is not confirmed.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

MASSPIRG Commends President for Renomination of Richard Cordray to Head CFPB

President renominates Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

> Keep Reading

Central Mass Colleges Score Over $150K From Credit Card Agreements

Central Mass colleges and alumni associations received over $150,000 from credit card company agreements in 2011, according to the 2012 annual report and database from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

MASSPIRG outlines agressive credit card marketing practices and provides tips on how to avoid high fees. 

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

MASSPIRG urges Senator Brown to vote for Wall Street Reform

We are here today to urge Congress to pass the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act approved last Friday in Conference Committee.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

AG Coakley Announces Big Bank Foreclosure Suit

The reckless and predatory Wall Street practices collapsed our economy in 2008, causing trillions of dollars in lost savings, jobs and home ownership.  Today, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed suit against five national banks in connection with their roles in pursuing illegal foreclosures on properties in Massachusetts.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Financial Reform

Insurers Barred from Using Credit Scores In Setting Auto Insurance Rates

MASSPIRG is continuing to  push for reforms prohibiting insurers from using other rating  factors not related to consumers’ driving record   including  type of employment,  and home ownership. 

 

 

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Bank of America Cancels Monthly Debit Card Fees As Consumers Vote With Feet

When Bank of America recently announced its $5 monthly debit card fee, MASSPIRG called it excessive. We also reminded consumers that if ever there was a time to find a new local bank or credit union this would be it.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Another Big Bank Charging Big Fees

As their latest entry into the bank fee frenzy, Bank of America (BofA) is rolling out a new $5/month debit card fee.

> Keep Reading

Pages

2006 Congressional Score Card

The 2006 Scorecard looks at the most important public interest votes taken between February 9, 2005 and February 1, 2006 in the U.S. Congress. These votes determined the direction of federal policy on critical issues ranging from environmental preservation to health care to consumer protections.

> Keep Reading

Who's Watching The Watchdogs?

Conflicts of interest and lack of independent funding have doomed both the national and state level accounting oversight systems in the United States. The state accounting boards and the network of overlapping, mostly self-regulatory federal accounting overseers act as classic regulators, serving management instead of serving investors and taxpayers.

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed

Protect the CFPB

The CFPB is under attack, and we need to tell our Senators to stand up and protect our consumer cop.

Support Us

Your donation supports MASSPIRG's work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code