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

Senate should reject Kraninger for CFPB Director
Eighty civil rights and consumers groups wrote to Congress, urging a “no” vote on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Kraninger has no record of protecting consumers or standing up to powerful Wall Street special interests—key traits we all want in America’s chief consumer advocate. Americans deserve a consumer champion at the CFPB, not someone will continue Mick Mulvaney’s anti-consumer agenda.

It’s buyer beware with the SEC’s latest best interest proposal
Coalition advocates called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to clarify its proposed “best interest” standard, and asked that it make the required disclosures much easier to understand for consumers. They also asked the SEC make the standard no less stringent than the Advisers Act fiduciary standard. Otherwise, unsuspecting investors may not be aware that their advisers are selling them products they don’t need in order to turn a profit.

Payday alternative loans shouldn’t permit cycle of high-cost debt
In a letter to the National Credit Union Administration, more than 100 coalition advocates oppose changes that would permit credit unions to charge an unlimited number of fees on short-term loans, resembling payday loan debt.

Health insurance tax would hit seniors hard
An approximate $22 billion health insurance tax (HIT) is scheduled to impact 20 million seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2020. In a letter, coalition advocates urged Congress to delay the HIT for 2020, otherwise millions of American seniors and others with health insurance coverage could face a major premium increase, including $500 in additional annual premiums for the typical Medicare Advantage couple.

FCC's Lifeline program critical to victims of domestic violence
The support the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Lifeline program provides is vital, especially for survivors of domestic violence. Yet, the FCC is proposing to cut the program—a decision that could impact 70 percent of Lifeline subscribers. This proposal would raise the costs of service and put affordable, essential communications out of the reach of the most vulnerable members of society, including victims and survivors of domestic violence whose access to affordable communications can be a matter of life and death.

The CFPB's consumer education programs must be protected
In open comments to the agency, advocates urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to keep its education programs, just one component in its set of consumer protection tools. Other Bureau responsibilities, including its enforcement and rulemaking authority, should also be utilized to fully protect consumers in accordance with the CFPB’s mission.

Protecting Pell Grants in 2019 spending bill is critical for strong, diverse economy
As Congress works to finalize the education spending bill, advocates call on appropriators to support a robust Pell Grant fund. At a time when a postsecondary credential or degree is an increasingly necessary gateway to a meaningful career, a strong Pell Grant is critical to ensuring that students from all financial backgrounds are able to participate and grow a strong, diverse economy.

Keep for-profit school dollars out of the VA
An ethics law that prohibits Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees from receiving money or owning a stake in for-profit colleges that rake in millions in G.I. Bill tuition has "illogical and unintended consequences," according to VA, which is pushing to suspend the 50-year-old statute for some of its employees. Consumer Action joined the coalition in urging the VA to abandon this plan. Suspending the law would make it easier for the for-profit education industry to exploit its biggest cash cow: veterans.

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).

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