Financial Reform

News Release | NJPIRG Law & Policy Center | Financial Reform

Common-Sense Refinancing Options Could Help 402,431 New Jerseyans and Stabilize Housing Market

Data released today by NJPIRG and the Center for Responsible Lending finds that making it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages could give consumers more options, save money, and stabilize New Jersey's housing market. In NJ alone, 402,431 families would qualify, saving them $1.67 billion.

Report | NJPIRG Law & Policy Center | Financial Reform

Remove Barriers to Low Interest Rates

 

Congress has a rare bipartisan opportunity to put more money in Americans’ pockets, strengthen the housing market and boost the entire economy. By making it easier to refinance into today’s low interest rates, Congress could expand the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) so it helps up to 13 million Americans nationwide save $35 billion.* In our state alone,  more than 402,000 families would qualify, saving them about $1.67 billion in lower mortgage payments.

 

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. 

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