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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Report: In Oregon, Equifax Gets Big Complaints

A new report by OSPIRG Foundation found that the most complained-about credit reporting agency in Oregon is Equifax, and that Oregon ranks 18th nationally in credit report complaints per 100,000 residents.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Big Credit Bureaus, Big Mistakes

This report is the third of several that review complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In this report, we explore the consumer complaints about credit bureaus with the aim of uncovering patterns in the problems consumers are experiencing with credit reporting.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Food

Food Safety Scares 2013

An alarming number of Oregonians continue to fall ill from preventable foodborne illness in 2013, almost 3 years after the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Health Care

Thousand Dollar Ointment (No, it’s not from Sephora) | David Rosenfeld

Lately, it has seemed like everyone I know has a story about an irrational hospital bill. Here’s one from my friend, Dave.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

CFPB GETS RESULTS FOR CONSUMERS, SLAMS CHASE FOR DECEPTIVE CARD ADD-ONS | Ed Mierzwinski

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is getting results for consumers. Today, the CFPB announced that it had imposed a $20 million civil penalty on JP Morgan Chase and ordered it to refund $309 million to over 2 million consumers for deceptively marketing junky credit card add-on products, some of which consumers didn't even receive. 

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News Release | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection

SENATE CONFIRMS CFPB DIRECTOR CORDRAY

The United States Senate's confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for a full term is good news for consumers and for firms that want to play fair in the financial marketplace. 

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News Release | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group’s 27th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection

New Survey Shows Banks Still Hiding Fees from Consumers

A survey of hundreds of banks and credit unions in 24 states and the District of Columbia found that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all. The surveys conducted in Oregon show that just over half of branches complied, while 15% did not provide any fee information at all.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Higher Bank Fees Now the Norm for Consumers

New report confirms what consumers already know – bank fees are increasing and free checking accounts are harder to find.

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Media Hit | Food

Senate Passed Farm Bill Includes Wyden Amendments

Portland-based consumer advocacy group, OSPIRG panned the bill. 

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Report | Food

Apples to Twinkies

America is facing an obesity epidemic – one that’s hitting children especially hard. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last three decades, with one in five kids aged 6 to 11 now obese.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

10 Reasons We Need The CFPB Now

This report outlines predatory financial practices that hurt consumers and helped collapse the economy, and details “10 Reasons We Need The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Now.”

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Report | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

Recipe for Disaster

To assess one cost of not strengthening our food safety system, Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group studied recalls of foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from August 1, 2009, to October 2010. That study found that a wide variety of foods were recalled in the 13-month period due to contamination by Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and other bacteria.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Tricks and Traps

As Oregonians continue to endure the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, OSPIRG set out to discover what consumers are really paying to maintain basic banking services in Oregon, and what sorts of fees and financial institution policies have the biggest effect on consumers' bottom line.

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Report | Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group | Consumer Protection

Oregon Renters' Handbook

OSPIRG's Renter's Handbook is a helpful resource to renters wanting to understand how best to save money and avoid costly problems when renting a place to live.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

You can pick your friends, and even your bank, but you're stuck with the reckless credit bureaus | Ed Mierzwinski

You can pick your friends and even your bank but you are stuck with the credit bureaus.  Over the last twenty years the power of the big credit bureaus to act as gatekeepers to consumer success in life has grown immensely. Credit reports and credit scores generated from them are used to decide whether consumers can get a job, get car insurance, qualify to open a bank account, rent an apartment, use a debit card and, of course, whether they can obtain and how much they will pay for credit. The Columbus (OH) Dispatch has an excellent four-part series explaining that the credit bureaus make mistakes, lots of them, and ruin peoples' lives. There is hope, however, since the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has new tools to rein in the bureaus.

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Blog Post | Food

2.8 billion Twinkies is a lot of Twinkies | David Rosenfeld

We’ve already documented that at least $1 billion in taxpayer dollars directly subsidize the production of junk food ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oils that are the main ingredients in Twinkies, soda and other junk food products. If you spent all that money on Twinkies, it would be enough to buy about 2.8 billion of those golden colored sweets (at the estimated wholesale rate of 36 cents per Twinkie), or about 19 Twinkies per taxpayer. But the fun math doesn’t need to stop there, especially when we’re talking 2.8 billion Twinkies.

 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era | Ed Mierzwinski

I've got a new column at Huffington Post, "50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era." I discuss President Kennedy's visionary "Special Message to the Congress on Protecting the Consumer Interest" announced on March 15, 1962. He declared that consumers have rights and government should protect them. Read the full column after the jump.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

B of A tests new fees, CFPB asks for your checking account complaints | Ed Mierzwinski

Reporters are calling about BofA's proposed new checking account fees, "Ed, what does it mean?" Meanwhile the CFPB says checking accounts can be "complex and confusing" and announced it is now  ready and waiting for your checking account complaints. Find out more.

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TOY SAFETY TIPS ON-THE-GO

From toxic chemicals to choking hazards to dangerous magnets, see what dangerous toys to watch out for while you shop.

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