Financial Reform

News Release | NJPIRG Law & Policy Center | Financial Reform, Higher Ed

Banks Skim Millions In Fees From Student Aid Using Debit-Card-Linked Student IDs

Over 9 million students are at risk for increased educational debt, due to bank-affiliated student debit cards that come with high fees, insufficient consumer protections, and few options. Financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide, grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students.

Report | NJPIRG Law & Policy Center | Financial Reform, Higher Ed

The Campus Debit Card Trap

Banks and other financial firms are taking advantage of a variety of opportunities to form partnerships with colleges and universities to produce campus student ID cards and to offer student aid disbursements on debit or prepaid cards.

At a news conference in NYC today, Director Richard Cordray of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will announce a major investigation of bank overdraft fee practices and propose a model "penalty box" disclosure to appear on bank statements. The investigation could end the $39 latte-- $4 bucks for the coffee, $35 for the debit card overdraft fee.

News Release | NJPIRG Law and Policy Center | Financial Reform

NJPIRG Applauds CFPB Proposal To Regulate Biggest Credit Bureaus

“Last summer over 10,000 PIRG members submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) urging strict regulation of credit bureaus and credit scoring firms. We applaud the CFPB for its proposal today to subject the nation’s largest credit bureaus and credit scoring firms to full scrutiny as “larger participants” (CFPB pdf) in the financial marketplace."

Nuclear Power and the Threat to Drinking Water

In the United States, 49 million Americans receive their drinking water from surface sources located within 50 miles of an active nuclear power plant.

News Release | NJPIRG | Financial Reform

President’s Recess Appointment Gives Watchdog Teeth It Needs

Kudos to President Obama for standing up for consumers this week by making a recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The President’s action means that the CFPB now has all its powers to protect the public from unfair financial practices, whether by banks or other financial firms, such as payday lenders and credit bureaus. 

News Release | NJPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

’Tis the Season For Prepaid Card Hidden Fees

As consumers flock to retailers during the holiday season and as the use of prepaid cards continues to expand rapidly, NJPIRG joined Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to introduce The Prepaid Card Consumer Protection Act to curb hidden fees associated with many of these cards.

News Release | NJPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

NJPIRG and NJCA React to CFPB Vote

Wall Street won a victory over hard-working consumers today.  By blocking a vote to confirm Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 45 Senators gave in to Wall Street instead of standing up for the public. 

Report | NJPIRG Law and Policy Center | Financial Reform

10 Reasons We Need The CFPB Now

This report outlines predatory financial practices that hurt consumers and helped collapse the economy, costing us eight million jobs, millions of foreclosed homes and trillions of dollars in lost home and retirement values. It explains these and other emerging problems as “10 Reasons We Need The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Now.”

Report | NJPIRG Law and Policy Center | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Big Banks, Bigger Fees

PIRG staff conducted inquiries at 392 bank branches in 21 states and reviewed bank fees online in 12 others. This report, “Big Banks, Bigger Fees: A National Survey of Bank Fees and Fee Disclosure Policies,” examines the following questions: 
- How easy is it for consumers to shop around? 
- Can consumers still find free or low-cost checking accounts or has free checking ended? 
- What can the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) do to help improve transparency in the financial marketplace, an important goal as consumers seek to make ends meet in response to the lingering recession?

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