After Wall Street practices brought down the entire U.S. and parts of the world economies, Congress finally stepped up in July 2010 and enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The centerpiece of this landmark legislation is the creation of the Student PIRG-backed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new agency that will act as a counterbalance to the banks and ensure that the credit cards, mortgages, and student loans that consumers use are safe and easy to understand. As of July 21, 2010, when you have a complaint about a bank or credit card company, you can call on the new CFPB, which is already online at www.ConsumerFinance.gov.
Rising health care costs are choking America’s job-creating small businesses just when we need them the most. It’s long past time for comprehensive health care reform. For the report we surveyed small businesses in Tallahassee, Miami and in communities across the country, collecting hundreds of surveys along with a number of personal stories.
Our nation faces unprecedented fiscal challenges, as the commitments we’ve made now and into the future far outpace our fiscal capacity. Congress, the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and citizens across the country must grapple with very difficult decisions about how we can put our fiscal house in order.
A survey of more than 350 bank branches reveals that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers, while one in four provided no fee information at all. The report also includes a shopping guide, which will compare banking options, direct consumers to free and low-cost checking choices, and provide a list of fees that consumers should look out for when picking a bank.
The 2011 Trouble in Toyland report is our 26th annual survey of toy safety. In this report, we provide safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for young children and provide examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.
Today Facebook settled a privacy complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC says Facebook "deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public." Read the FTC's full statement here.
We've joined two other leading consumer groups-- the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union (the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports magazine) -- in a letter to Congress in opposition to the so-called Stop Online Privacy Act, HR 3261 (SOPA).
The 2010 Trouble in Toyland report is the 25th annual Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.