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

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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News Release | MASSPIRG | Financial Reform

Remove Barriers to Low Interest Rates

Congress has a rare bipartisan opportunity to put more money in Americans’ pockets, strengthen the housing market and boost the entire economy.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

CFPB to announces overdraft fee investigation, unveiling "penalty box" disclosure, possibly ending $39 lattes.Ed MierzwinskiElizabeth Weyant

At a news conference in NYC today, Director Richard Cordray of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will announce a major investigation of bank overdraft fee practices and propose a model "penalty box" disclosure to appear on bank statements. The investigation could end the $39 latte-- $4 bucks for the coffee, $35 for the debit card overdraft fee.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Financial Reform

Victory for the American Public, first step to making Big banks accountable

 

Banks will make $25 billion downpayement on penalties owed to the American people in a robo-signing lawsuit settelement, and they can still be held accountable for other violations. MASSPIRG Attorney comments on this victory for the American public.

 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

President Gives Consumer Watchdog the Teeth it Needs

MASSPIRG Applauds Bold and Important Recess Appointment of Richard Cordray to Head New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

House Stands With Consumers Against Big Banks

The House of Representatives passed historic financial reform legislation on Friday. This reform is an important step towards protecting consumers and taxpayers from reckless financial practices.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

House Votes on Historic Wall Street Reforms

Boston, MA – MASSPIRG urged all members of the House of Representatives to oppose bank-backed efforts that would gut the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the centerpiece of Wall Street reform efforts proposed by Congressman Barney Frank, which are expected for a vote on the House Floor tomorrow.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Congress Saved Wall Street a Year Ago; Time to Save the Rest of Us

One year ago this week, in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Bush administration and Congress began massive taxpayer-backed efforts to save Wall Street.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Senate passes the Credit CARD Act

MASSPIRG commends the Senate on overwhelming passage of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, S 414, as introduced by Senator Chris Dodd, Chair of the Senate Banking Committee.

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U.S. House Passes Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) bowled a 300 game today, as the House approved her bi-partisan Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights, HR 5244 by an overwhelming 312-112 vote, with all of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation voting in favor of it.

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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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