A Message from Consumer Action

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Coalition Efforts

Consumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see “More Information” at the end of each article.

 

Postings

SEC should end greenwashing by investment funds and require greater transparency
Nearly a hundred advocacy organizations signed on to a letter calling on the SEC to end greenwashing and increase transparency for funds classified as environmental, social and governance (ESG).

Groups push for reforms that make Community Reinvestment Act race- and climate-conscious
In a letter to the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve System board of governors and the FDIC assistant executive secretary, Consumer Action and 25 other organizations urged key changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) under a proposed update. Among other things, the organizations want the CRA to adopt a race-conscious approach, strengthen CRA exams, increase community engagement, and address climate change and housing displacement.

Addressing abusive overdraft fees would greatly benefit the most vulnerable consumers
Nearly a hundred state and local organizations, in a letter to the House Financial Services Committee, voiced their support for the Overdraft Protection Act of 2021 (HR 4277). The legislation would address the most abusive provisions of typical overdraft coverage—bank practices that have a particularly devastating effect on lower-income consumers and communities of color.

The system is still broken: It’s time for income-driven repayment reform
Today, a group of 116 diverse advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Biden administration calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to reform dysfunctional income-driven repayment (IDR) programs and fulfil the promise of IDR. While student loan cancellation under IDR has been possible since 2016, just 32 borrowers have ever successfully had their loans cancelled. At the same time, over 4.4 million borrowers have been in repayment for 20 years or longer, despite theoretically being able to access forgiveness via IDR after 20 years.

Protect the rights of 45 million contact lens consumers
In a letter to Congress, advocates urged legislators to oppose the so-called Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act (S 1784 and HR 3353). The bills aim to undo almost two decades of protections for contact lens consumers, would drive up prices, and would reduce choices for contact lens consumers.

“Buy Now, Pay Later” is not always the best deal for consumers
Consumer Action joined public interest organizations in submitting a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) concerning Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) credit products. The groups are alarmed by the lack of regulation of this credit product, which is exploding in use, and they urged the CFPB to view BNPL products as credit cards (which are covered by the Truth in Lending Act [TILA]), to start supervision of this market, and to look out for practices that harm consumers.

Protect retirees and savers from conflicted investment advice
A broad coalition of leading worker, consumer and investor advocates has urged the Department of Labor (DOL) to quickly update and strengthen the rules governing retirement investment advice to help protect workers and retirees from harmful conflicts of interest. Conflicted retirement investment advice costs retirement savers tens of billions of dollars every year.

Stronger CRA rules still needed to ensure equal access to credit
With a new proposal imminent from federal bank regulators, community, civil rights and consumer advocacy groups stress the urgency of updating the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA is a civil rights era law meant to end and reverse the impact of 20th century redlining by requiring banks to lend in all communities where they are chartered to do business. Critical changes to both the process and metrics of CRA exams that evaluate lender performance, as well as updates to how digital banks are assessed, are needed to ensure that communities of color have equal access to credit to buy homes or build and grow businesses.

Addressing credit issues that arise after transgender and nonbinary consumers change their name
Consumer Action joined over 140 organizations in sending a letter to the “Big Three” credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) urging them to take needed actions to correct credit report problems for transgender and nonbinary consumers. After a legal name change, many transgender and nonbinary consumers end up with multiple credit files in different names and suffer a loss of credit history and score as a result. Additionally, credit reports “out” trans and nonbinary people to landlords, employers and lenders when they apply for loans, jobs and housing because the report still includes their deadname.

It’s time to stand up for patients and to stop Big Pharma from ripping us off
As the Senate considered the terms of a reconfigured reconciliation package, 91 organizations representing patients, consumers, seniors, unions, small businesses, large employers, and physicians and disease advocacy groups sent a letter to all 50 Senate Democrats urging them to take immediate action to advance a reconciliation package that includes the reforms to lower prescription drug prices in the Build Back Better Act (BBB). These drug pricing reforms are not controversial for the people of America; they are the most popular element of BBB. Over 80% of Americans support them—Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike.

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