Consumer Protection

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. 

Oregon Renters’ Handbook

In the United States, you can protect your legal rights only if you know what those rights are.

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.

Report | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Big Banks, Bigger Fees 2012

Over the last six months, state PIRG staff conducted inquiries at 250 bank and 116 credit union branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia and reviewed bank fees online in these and 7 other states. This report also includes consumer tips and a comparison shopping guide for Oregon consumers.

The CFPB is now taking your credit bureau complaints

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director

Excellent news! The CFPB is now taking complaints about credit bureaus and credit reports. And unlike the FTC, the CFPB has been given tools so that it will be able to "help consumers with individual-level complaint assistance on issues with their credit report."

The Dos and Don'ts of Campus Banking

By

Given the confused campus card marketplace, students often have a hard time finding the right card and end up with an account littered with fees and inconveniences. Here is a list of Dos and Don'ts to enable students to navigate the marketplace and be aware of the tricks and traps of these cards.

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.

Discover Card Pays Deceptive Marketing Penalty

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director

Discover Card has paid a $14 million civil penalty to the CFPB and FDIC, plus refunded over $200 million to ripped-off consumers, in the latest case involving useless, junk credit insurance and credit monitoring add-ons that consumers didn't buy-- but paid for.

CFPB launches searchable credit card complaint database today

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director

Joining agencies that regulate cars, toys and other consumer products, medical devices and airline service, today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rolls out a searchable online complaint database. The CFPB's new tool, for credit cards to start,  comes in the nick of time to help consumers who the LA Times warns may be tricked into automatically signing up for an over-priced junky Citibank add-on monitoring service.

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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