Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system.

Blog: Wall Street Lobby Surfaces New Nonsensical Legal Claim Over CFPB Funding

Last month the Supreme Court delivered a crushing defeat to Wall Street’s challenge to funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Undeterred, Wall Street is now trying to distort the Supreme Court’s decision to conjure up a new and utterly nonsensical argument about the legality of the CFPB’s funding. The trial balloon for this argument was launched in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Hal Scott, a retired Harvard Law professor and longtime industry shill whose specialty is neither consumer nor constitutional issues but international finance. Scott’s notion has already been swatted down by several credentialed legal experts of various political stripes.

News Release: Removal of Medical Debt From Credit Reports Will Curb Abuses

The proposal by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to eliminate medical debt on credit reports would, if fully implemented, curb harmful practices such as distorted credit reports and abusive debt collection. As part of a broader initiative to improve the credit reporting system, the CFPB has proposed a new rule  that would stop credit reporting agencies from including medical debts and collection information on consumer credit reports, and prohibit the information from being  considered in underwriting decisions. The CFPB is now seeking public comment on this consumer protection proposal. 

Blog: CFPB Takes Action on Consumer Protection Violations in the Corporate Fine Print

When consumers purchase many financial products and services they have no say over specific terms and conditions, only the choice of whether to sign or not. Yet, hidden in the fine print in virtually every contract is another grave price consumers unwittingly pay: the removal of many of their legal rights and protections. If consumers want financial services, the fine print — and the proper regulation thereof — is critically important.

News Release: Fifth Circuit’s Wall Street-Friendly Ruling A Broad Threat to SEC Disclosure Rules

By staying the private fund disclosure rule written by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Fifth Circuit has given a victory to extraordinarily wealthy predatory financiers and opened the door to undermining the agency’s basic regulatory tools. Stopping the SEC’s private funds rule, which would increase transparency and accountability in the multi-trillion-dollar private funds market, is a terrible outcome in and of itself. But the impacts of this ruling go much further.

Letters to the Regulators: Letter to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in Support of a Public Reporting Requirement

AFREF and 11 organizations submitted a comment letter to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in support of a proposal to require public accounting firms to publicly report specified firm- and engagement-level metrics. If finalized, these metrics would provide investors, audit committees, and other stakeholders critical information to compare audit firms, make better-informed decisions, and enhance auditor accountability.

News Release: Report Exposes How Real Estate Industry Maintains Housing Crisis

An intricate network of housing industry groups, often backed by corporate landlords, are actively blocking solutions that would alleviate the worst aspects of the current housing crisis and improve affordability, according to a new report. The report, from Capital Strategies for the Common Good, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, Bargaining for the Common Good, and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, sheds light on the money behind the political influence that has distorted the politics of housing in favor of wealthy interests. 

Report: Who is Behind the Curtain? Breaking Down Trade Associations that Fight Tenants and Hurt Housing Affordability

AFREF, in partnership with Capital Strategies for the Common Good, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, and Bargaining for the Common Good, have produced a report highlighting how, in recent decades, housing has become increasingly commodified and financialized, while tenants in communities across the country are being crushed under unsustainable rent burdens and a shortage of affordable housing.

In The News: Court Loss Leaves SEC With Tough Choices in Private-Equity Reform Push (WSJ)

“The Fifth Circuit has once again sided with Wall Street and its private-equity billionaires to block reasonable protections for both the public interest and workers saving for retirement,” said Andrew Park, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, which advocates for tighter controls in the financial sector. “The Supreme Court needs to reverse this outrageous decision.”