Financial Reform

Stop Payday Loan Sharks: Submit Your Comment Here

By | Peter Skopec
State Director

This opportunity doesn’t come around very often: we have a chance to stop the payday loan debt trap. Submit a public comment in favor of a strong payday loan rule here.

Payday Loan Expansion Stopped

In July 2015, after WISPIRG convened a coalition of 30 groups to call for action, Gov. Scott Walker vetoed budget provisions that would have dramatically expanded payday lenders’ authority to sell predatory financial products to Wisconsin consumers. Payday loans trap consumers in a spiral of growing debt with detrimental impacts, particularly for low-income borrowers.

Payday Loan Expansion Stopped

In July 2015, after WISPIRG convened a coalition of 30 groups to call for action, Gov. Scott Walker vetoed budget provisions that would have dramatically expanded payday lenders’ authority to sell predatory financial products to Wisconsin consumers. Payday loans trap consumers in a spiral of growing debt with detrimental impacts, particularly for low-income borrowers.

Half of CFPB Complaints in 2019 About Credit Reports As House Brings Reforms To Floor

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

On Wednesday, the full U.S. House is expected to vote on a credit reporting reform package, HR 3621, the Comprehensive CREDIT Act. Meanwhile, a PIRG analysis finds that half of all complaints to the CFPB in 2019 concerned credit reporting and the most-complained about companies, in the entire database, were the so-called  Big 3 credit bureaus.

U.S. PIRG and Leading Groups Support Findings of Norwegian Privacy Report

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In support of a report by colleagues from the Norwegian Consumer Council on whether the data sharing and privacy practices of a number of dating and other smartphone apps were in compliance with European privacy rules (GDPR) or the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), U.S. PIRG and other leading groups sent joint letters to key policymakers, including the California, Oregon and TexaS Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Commission and all members of the U.S. House and Senate. 

CFPB Appoints Task "Farce" On Consumer Law

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last week, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger appointed four lawyers and professors to a "Taskforce on Federal Consumer Law." To my knowledge, none have worked for consumer protection organizations yet all have worked as industry consultants or been aligned with industry views, although all have previous government experience. I am aware of several distinguished professors with CFPB experience who were rejected. Incredibly, the announcement of this better-described "Task Farce" claimed inspiration from a distinguished bi-partisan commission established by the Consumer Credit Protection Act in 1968." 

News Release | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman leads fight to rein in payday lending

MADISON - Wisconsin’s U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R, Fond du Lac) introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress today to rein in predatory, high-interest consumer loans. Payday loans come with average annual interest rates of 486 percent in Wisconsin and, together with car title and installment loans, trap thousands of Wisconsinites in hard-to-escape debt each year.

The credit reporting system is backwards. Congress can pass one law to fix two things about it.

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last week, Sens. Jack Reed (RI) and Chris Van Hollen (MD) introduced legislation to finally give consumers real control over our own credit reports. The Consumer Credit Control Act would change what Sen. Reed appropriately calls our “backwards” credit reporting system by helping to solve two problems. The Consumer Credit Control Act is a win-win for consumers. It improves their privacy and saves them money.

Questions Congress Should Ask CFPB Director Next Week

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger will deliver the statutory “Semi-Annual Report of the CFPB” to the House Financial Services (10/16) and Senate Banking (10/17) Committees next week. Here are some helpful questions for committee members to ask.

Data Privacy Can't Be Assured Without States and Consumers

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Recently, the CEOs who make up the Business Roundtable renewed their demand that Congress pass a federal privacy “standard” that preempts stronger state laws. That's the wrong way to go because Congress only does a good job protecting consumers either after a disaster (e.g., Wall Street's collapse of the economy) or after states lead the way. We shouldn't have to wait for a disaster. Learn more.

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