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

Media Hit | Financial Reform

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will get seat on Senate Banking Committee

Deirdre Cummings, legislative director for MASSPIRG, a consumer advocacy group, said the appointment will be “good news for consumers.” “She has a demonstrated track record of standing up for the average consumer and working to ensure that they have some financial security, that they have an understanding of the financial products,” Cummings said.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Financial Reform

Warren Already at the Center of a D.C. Battle

“The companies responsible for the 2008 financial collapse — the Wall Street banks, the Chamber of Commerce and others — are trying to keep one of the architects of Wall Street reform off the Senate Banking Committee,” said Ed Mierzwinski, a consumer advocate in the national office of MASSPIRG.

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MassPIRG finds banks refuse to disclose fees

New bank fee survey finds some banks failing to properly disclose their fees.

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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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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Wall Street speculation costs consumers 83 cents a gallon at the gas pump

Excessive Wall Street speculation on oil futures translates to an increase of 83 cents a gallon.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Congress Handcuffing the Consumer Cop

The Credit CARD Act, passed in Congress in 2009, has eliminated numerous credit card tricks and traps without causing skyrocketing interest rates or any of the other horrible side-effects that the banks once warned about. In spite of that success, the banks and their Congressional allies are now seeking to eliminate the CFPB.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Senate Republicans to President Obama re: gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

United States Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, along with Republican leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and all but two of his 44 Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate have told President Obama in a letter that there will be no deal on Elizabeth Warren or anyone else to run the CFPB unless it is weakened substantially as proposed in several bills being considered in Congress.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy, Financial Reform

MASSPIRG Executive Director urging Senator Brown to support the DISCLOSE Act

MASSPIRG is strongly urging Senator Brown to stand up and support the DISCLOSE Act, which will require corporations to disclose their campaign contributions.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Historic Wall Street Reform Passes Senate

Today the Senate passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by a count of 60 to 39. The bill is a response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

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DEFEND THE CFPB

Tell your representative 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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