The shutdown is over (for now), but the pain it is STILL creating for workers is very real. It caused many federal workers and employees of federal contractors to miss payments on their car loans, credit cards, or mortgages. That’s why we are urging the credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to proactively remove any negative information that appears during the shutdown period from consumer credit reports for workers affected by the shutdown.
“This isn’t the first drastic turnaround for the CFPB under Mulvaney. Last month, the agency canned rules that made it harder for payday lenders to make high-interest loans — and automatically pull funds — from borrowers. ‘Mick Mulvaney wants to let Equifax off the hook for its reckless abuse and negligence that may have a lasting impact on millions of Americans,’ [said] Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.”
American for Financial Reform, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumer Law Center, U.S. PIRG, and other nonprofit advocacy groups wrote a letter to the CEOs of all three companies asking for detailed information on how the data breach might be leading to higher revenues in credit freeze fees and credit monitoring services.
American consumers deserve to know how much money the big three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — will make due to the devastating data breach at Equifax.
“A person dressed as the Monopoly Man (aka ‘Uncle Pennybags’) landed some prime real estate at a Senate banking committee hearing, seated behind Equifax CEO Richard Smith in a live-action photobombing… Amanda Werner [of Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen] walked into the committee hearing with a giant ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card for Equifax and Wells Fargo, with the statement ‘forced arbitration lets financial institutions escape accountability for wrongdoing.’”
“Monopoly Man became the Internet crush of the day on Wednesday, after upstaging former Equifax CEO Richard Smith at a Senate hearing on the company’s massive data breach. The board game character, whose name is Rich Uncle Pennybags, was brought to life by Amanda Werner, an arbitration campaign manager for Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform, groups that advocate for consumer rights and protections.”
Joint Letter: AFR and 16 groups urge “firm and assertive” action to guard consumers against credit-bureau abuses
“We write to express our grave concerns over [Equifax’s] slow response to the
breach and then its shifting, maddening, and ultimately inadequate response to consumers including
our members, clients and other constituencies. We write with several recommendations for what
Congress should and should not do in response.”
AFR in the News: Under cover of Graham-Cassidy, Senate GOP moving to gut major CFPB rule (Intercept)
“[E]xecutives for both Wells Fargo and Equifax… will testify in Senate committees next week. Both companies have used arbitration clauses in an attempt to deny consumers access to the courts… ‘This rush toward a vote in the Senate is a cynical attempt to roll back an important consumer protection before anyone gets straight answers from Equifax and Wells Fargo about the damage they’ve done to the financial lives of millions of Americans,’ said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.”
AFR in the News: Before its massive data breach, Equifax fought to kill a rule allowing victims to sue (LA Times)
“The regulation, issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 10 and scheduled to go into effect in mid-January, came under attack by Republicans in Congress ‘before the ink was even dry,’ says Amanda Werner of Americans for Financial Reform, which is fighting to retain the rule… Consumer privacy advocates hope that the Equifax debacle will remind senators of the importance of the rule. ‘We need to look at how consumers are going to be able to hold these firms accountable,’ Werner says.”
AFR in the News: Equifax breach may kill repeal of CFPB mandatory arbitration rule (American Banker)
“At least one Republican has already defected—and Crapo can only afford to lose one more… Amanda Werner, campaign manager at the consumer group Americans for Financial Reform and the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen, said ‘it is pretty appalling that Equifax would exploit consumers need for identify theft protection in the wake of this crisis they created in order to avoid accountability.’”