Message to Congress: The CFPB Has Our Back!
April 11, 2016 – 4:21 pm | Comments Off on Message to Congress: The CFPB Has Our Back!

What made the latest congressional hearings on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau different from other hearings? A delegation of consumer advocates from around the country wearing lime-green t-shirts that said “Stand Up for the CFPB” and “The CFPB Has My Back.” They were there to remind lawmakers that the great majority of Americans, across party lines, don’t just like the idea of such an agency; they also support the major steps it has taken to bring a sense of fair play to the financial marketplace.

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Joint Letter: AFR, 163 Groups Call for Strong CFPB Action Against Forced Arbitration
April 28, 2016 – 8:57 am

“Yesterday, 164 organizations that advocate on behalf of consumers, students, civil rights, labor, small business, and more, sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), urging the agency to use its Congressional authority to restrict forced arbitration – the abusive practice in which corporations bury “ripoff clauses” in the fine print of take-it-or-leave-it contracts to block consumers from challenging hidden fees, fraud, and other illegal behavior in court.”

Letter to Regulators: AFR Joins Consumer Organizations in Commenting to the CFPB on Rural Creditors Rule
April 27, 2016 – 6:18 pm

“…the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) published an interim final rule that redefines the small creditors serving rural and underserved areas who are exempt from certain consumer protections in Regulation Z. The interim final rule dramatically increases the number of lenders who qualify for this exemption. “

AFR in the News: Are we repeating history by letting our financial sector get too big? (Washington Post)
April 22, 2016 – 7:06 am

“Financialization has been the elephant in the room of economic policy debate — a huge contributing factor to the skyrocketing incomes of a few and the nonliving wages of many, and a force that helps explain our neglected infrastructure, underfunded schools, outlandishly expensive colleges and the phenomenon of graduates impoverished by the high-interest loans that banks thrive on these days.”

AFR in the News: Wall St. Regulators Propose Stricter Pay Rules for Bankers (NY Times)
April 21, 2016 – 5:01 pm

““This is pretty clearly an improvement of the 2011 rule, but the 2011 rule was very weak,” said Marcus Stanley, the policy director at the advocacy organization Americans for Financial Reform. Mr. Stanley said he had hoped that banks would have to hold back pay for more than four years because big losses on bank investments can often take longer than that to materialize.”

Letter to Regulators: AFR, 9 Orgs Urge Treasury, IRS to Disclose Carried Interest Payments
April 20, 2016 – 4:28 pm

AFR sent a letter today to the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service to require alternative asset managers to disclose the amount of carried interest they received in their annual tax filings.
The letter states …

AFR Statement: Online and Storefront Payday Lenders are More Alike than Different, CFPB Report Shows
April 20, 2016 – 2:38 pm

“About half of all online payday loan customers end up paying fees ($185 is the average amount) triggered by failed debit attempts. Some lenders keep on trying to collect in even when there is likely to be no effect other than to increase the cost to the borrower. Some companies will even break a payment into multiple smaller amounts, submitting three $100 requests, for example, instead of one $300 request. A third of the customers hit with such penalties end up having their bank accounts closed involuntarily.”

AFR Statement: AFR Statement on FHFA Announcement on Distressed Mortgages
April 15, 2016 – 4:15 pm

“AFR welcomes FHFA’s announcement that it will take additional steps to limit the negative effects of underwater mortgages on homeowners and their communities. Principal reduction on underwater mortgages has been a priority for AFR and many of our members, and we have long urged FHFA to adopt this position. “

Letter to Congress: AFR Urges Senate Committee on Agriculture to Oppose “Commodity End User Relief Act”
April 13, 2016 – 6:09 pm

“On behalf of Americans for Financial Reform, we are writing to urge you to vote against the “Commodity End User Relief Act”, a bill that reauthorizes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and makes other statutory changes. This legislation makes no progress at all on the key issue facing the CFTC, the severe level of underfunding that prevents the agency from fully and properly implementing its new responsibilities under the Dodd Frank Act. “