A Message from Consumer Action

Consumer Action's MoneyWi$e educational materials have moved to our Managing Money Project website. Here you may view, download and order bulk copies of the MoneyWi$e materials. Please make a note of the Managing Money Project address— www.managing-money.org —and add it to your address book.

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

Advocates tell Santander: stop racial profiling in auto lending
Advocates called on Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., a Dallas-based auto lender, to end its practice of allowing car dealers to add interest to a vehicle loan unrelated to the borrower’s creditworthiness.

A terrible agenda for students and taxpayers
86 organizations working on behalf of students, veterans, servicemembers, civil rights, consumers, faculty and staff, and college access, including Consumer Action, wrote to Congress to convey their strong opposition to provisions that roll back or eliminate existing guardrails relating to program integrity and consumer protections in higher education in the PROSPER Act (H.R.4508).

Groups tell temporary CFPB director: Hands off the public database!
71 consumer, civil rights, fair lending, privacy, legal services and community groups called on Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to maintain one of the few tools consumers have to check out a financial services company: the CFPB's consumer complaint database. Mulvaney has threatened to ban public access to the public database.

FHFA announces major upgrades to mortgage application process for LEP borrowers
Consumer Action joined advocates in applauding the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in its efforts to improve its affordable housing goals and to reach underserved communities.

Border wall funding is a waste of taxpayer dollars
Funding for a border wall has faced strong opposition from a diverse coalition of organizations that include Latino, civil rights, consumer, environmental, faith and border community groups. The coalition has spent months advocating against the militarization of the border and the vilification of border and immigrant communities. As Congress moves forward with the FY2019 appropriations process, we urge leadership to reject efforts to continue funding additional border wall construction that draws scarce resources away from urgently needed infrastructure.

Last-ditch effort to prevent auto lending discrimination fails
Consumer Action and its allies wrote to Congress on April 16 to plead that it not interfere with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to prevent auto loan discrimination. The Bureau’s “guidance” to car lenders sought to end a common discriminatory practice to charge some borrowers more in interest and fees, regardless of their creditworthiness (“dealer mark-ups”). Even though these discriminatory violations still occur, the Senate on April 18 moved to eliminate the 2013 guidance document, allowing the practice to continue. These discretionary auto dealer mark-ups result, in some cases, in African Americans and Latinos paying more than similarly situated white borrowers.

10 years after Great Recession, Senate considers Dodd-Frank rollbacks
Crapo (R-ID) introduced a bill that takes aim at Dodd-Frank Act protections for consumers and the ability to monitor big banks to prevent another financial meltdown. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S 2155) would put consumers at greater risk of predatory lending and weaken other important safeguards passed since the last crisis. Consumer Action joined advocates in a March 8 letter asked that the legislation be given full floor consideration as a separate bill and an open amendment process.

PROSPER Act puts for-profit schools' interests ahead of students and taxpayers
In a Feb. 23 letter to Congress, Consumer Action and its allies working for fairness for student borrowers reiterated support for higher-education safeguards, including the gainful employment rule to ensure for-profit schools actually prepare students for real jobs; the borrower defense rule to protect student borrowers when their schools go bust; the 90-10 rule limiting the number of students using the GI Bill at specific schools; and the ban on incentive compensation, commissions for-profit school recruiters who often cross ethical lines when signing up students. These four commonsense regulatory measures—which Consumer Action supports and has written much about—should be present in any bill that targets higher education in the future. However, the groups note in their letter that the PROSPER Act (HR 4508) seeks to weaken or gut these protections, leaving students and taxpayers susceptible to for-profit school fraud.

Bill would block competition and choice in the contact lens market in Kentucky
Consumer Action joined the National Taxpayers Union in a letter to members of the Kentucky State Senate opposing legislation (HB 191) that would restrict the right of state residents to renew contact lens or glasses prescriptions online.

Protect employees by ending forced arbitration in the workplace
Consumer Action joined advocates in calling on the leaders of the tech industry’s biggest companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, to remove forced arbitration provisions in employee contracts and take the first steps toward creating a harassment- and discrimination-free environment. While forced arbitration provisions are now common in many types of consumer contracts, forcing an employee into arbitration is equally harmful because of its ability to silence systemic wrongdoing in the workplace.

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