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 Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

New Report Identifies Banks Consumers Complain About

New report highlights banks that generated the most complaints through their various banking services in each state. Thousands of Americans are using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) public Consumer Complaints Database to settle disputes with their banks, according to a new report from the MASSPIRG Education Fund.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Big Banks, Big Complaints

New report by MASSPIRG Education Fund highlights banks that generated the most complaints through their various banking services in each state. Data from new CFPB consumer complaint data base.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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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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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