Defend the Consumer Bureau

For more than 20 years, Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski has helped us stand up against big banks and credit card companies.

A CONSUMER COP ON THE FINANCIAL BEAT

You work hard to earn your money. You should be able to save, invest and manage your money without fear of being trapped, tricked or ripped off by the institutions you are trusting with your financial future.

That’s why we need strong consumer protections on Wall Street. And from the 2008 economic collapse, we know how big of an impact those institutions can have on our economy when they play fast and loose with our money. It made it clear: Americans need a watchdog agency on Wall Street, devoted to creating and enforcing fair, clear and transparent rules to protect consumers.

So in 2010, we helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to be our consumer cop on the financial beat.

THE CFPB GETS THE JOB DONE

Despite the fact that the CFPB is not widely known, they’ve been hugely successful at working for consumers, returning nearly $12 billion to more than 29 million people who were ripped off by companies that broke the law … in just six years.

The Consumer Bureau holds big banks, debt collectors and lenders accountable. Here are a few examples of some of the cases the CFPB has taken on to protect consumers:

When American Honda Finance used discriminatory pricing to rip off African-American, Hispanic and Asia/Pacific Island borrowers who paid too much for car loans, the CFPB returned $24 million to these consumers.

The Department of Justice and 47 states joined the CFPB in a $216 million action against JP Morgan Chase Bank for illegal debt collection practices affecting over half a million Americans.

When it was discovered that Wells Fargo employees were opening unauthorized debit and credit accounts using their customer's information, the CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million for fraud.

The CFPB fined Equifax and TransUnion — two of the three largest credit reporting agencies — $5 million for selling inflated credit scores to consumers that were different from ones actually used by lenders and returned $17 million to those harmed by the deception.

In addition, the Consumer Bureau has helped level the financial playing field, educating veterans, senior citizens, new homeowners, college students and low-income consumers on how to keep their finances secure.

The Consumer Bureau's success should be earning it applause in Washington. Yet instead of cheering on the agency, the Trump administration and many members of Congress are pushing to weaken or even get rid of it.

Even with the Consumer Bureau on the job, many Americans are still at risk of reckless financial practices that threaten their homes, their retirement savings and their overall well-being. That’s why we don’t simply need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to exist: We need to make it even better, by strengthening commonsense consumer protections.

Issue updates

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

SRP IS RUSHING A NEARLY $1 BILLION DECISION

Salt River Project (SRP) is rushing a decision to spend nearly $1 billion in customer money for 16 new gas units. However, SRP has not disclosed how much this will cost the average ratepayer nor have they adequately requested or evaluated options to meet electricity demands or reviewed options to spend less money. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Deere in the Headlights II

According to a new Arizona PIRG Education Fund report, software repair locks tie farmers to dealers, putting equipment uptime—and sometimes crops—at risk. Farmers and ranchers rely on equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters to produce America’s food supply. Over the years, that equipment has gotten bigger, more expensive and more digital. The software integrated in modern tractors, ostensibly created to make farm operations more efficient, is being used by manufacturers to lock farmers out of fixing their own equipment. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

‘Hog-tied’ and fed up: New report shows dealership consolidation makes farmers’ lives harder

According to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, many farm equipment manufacturers prevent farmers from accessing the software tools they need to fix their modern tractors. The organization states that this “forces farmers to turn to corporate-authorized dealers for many problems, which can lead to high repair bills and delays that can put their crops—and their livelihoods—at risk”. While farmers have always relied on local dealerships for help, more and more those dealerships have been bought up by large chain networks, further reducing competition and exacerbating the problems farmers already face due to repair restrictions.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Best Buy urged to protect consumer health with gas stoves labeling

The typical gas stove, when not properly vented, can produce air pollution levels indoors that exceed outdoor air standards. Yet millions across the country rely on gas stoves for cooking. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund has joined with other State PIRG Education Funds to launch a new campaign calling on Best Buy to take a leadership role in the industry, and better educate consumers shopping for new stoves. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Se Insta a Best Buy a proteger la salud del consumidor colocando etiquetas de advertencia en las estufas de gas

Cuando una estufa de gas típica no se ventila adecuadamente, puede producir niveles de contaminación del aire en interiores que exceden los estándares del aire exterior. Sin embargo, millones de personas en todo el país dependen de las estufas de gas para cocinar. Los estudios muestran que muchos hogares no cuentan con campanas de escape o no las usan regularmente, lo que significa que sus estufas no se ventilan adecuadamente. Según la organización Arizona PIRG Education Fund, parte del problema es que los comerciantes no proporcionan advertencias adecuadas para informar a los consumidores de los peligros o la necesidad de ventilación.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

‘Hog-tied’ and fed up: New report shows dealership consolidation makes farmers’ lives harder

According to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, many farm equipment manufacturers prevent farmers from accessing the software tools they need to fix their modern tractors. The organization states that this “forces farmers to turn to corporate-authorized dealers for many problems, which can lead to high repair bills and delays that can put their crops—and their livelihoods—at risk”. While farmers have always relied on local dealerships for help, more and more those dealerships have been bought up by large chain networks, further reducing competition and exacerbating the problems farmers already face due to repair restrictions.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Best Buy urged to protect consumer health with gas stoves labeling

The typical gas stove, when not properly vented, can produce air pollution levels indoors that exceed outdoor air standards. Yet millions across the country rely on gas stoves for cooking. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund has joined with other State PIRG Education Funds to launch a new campaign calling on Best Buy to take a leadership role in the industry, and better educate consumers shopping for new stoves. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Se Insta a Best Buy a proteger la salud del consumidor colocando etiquetas de advertencia en las estufas de gas

Cuando una estufa de gas típica no se ventila adecuadamente, puede producir niveles de contaminación del aire en interiores que exceden los estándares del aire exterior. Sin embargo, millones de personas en todo el país dependen de las estufas de gas para cocinar. Los estudios muestran que muchos hogares no cuentan con campanas de escape o no las usan regularmente, lo que significa que sus estufas no se ventilan adecuadamente. Según la organización Arizona PIRG Education Fund, parte del problema es que los comerciantes no proporcionan advertencias adecuadas para informar a los consumidores de los peligros o la necesidad de ventilación.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Arizona Corporation Commission Rejects Energy Rules; Puts an End to Crucial Consumer Protections to Eliminate Waste, Save Billions

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and Arizona PIRG Education Fund denounced today’s action by the Arizona Corporation Commission to put an end to Energy Rules that would have ramped up energy-saving measures and saved Arizonans billions of dollars on their utility bills.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Holiday cooking safety guide offers tips on avoiding indoor air pollution from gas stoves

The holiday season often entails spending a lot of hours in the kitchen cooking. As millions of Americans prepare holiday meals to share with their families, a guide by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund offers tips on how to minimize unhealthy air pollution from cooking with gas in your home. Without proper precautions, too much exposure to a gas stove can lead to an unnecessary and invisible health risk, since gas stoves can cause elevated levels of indoor pollution that would exceed legal limits for outdoor air.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

SRP IS RUSHING A NEARLY $1 BILLION DECISION

Salt River Project (SRP) is rushing a decision to spend nearly $1 billion in customer money for 16 new gas units. However, SRP has not disclosed how much this will cost the average ratepayer nor have they adequately requested or evaluated options to meet electricity demands or reviewed options to spend less money. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Deere in the Headlights II

According to a new Arizona PIRG Education Fund report, software repair locks tie farmers to dealers, putting equipment uptime—and sometimes crops—at risk. Farmers and ranchers rely on equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters to produce America’s food supply. Over the years, that equipment has gotten bigger, more expensive and more digital. The software integrated in modern tractors, ostensibly created to make farm operations more efficient, is being used by manufacturers to lock farmers out of fixing their own equipment. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Healthier Holiday: Minimizing the health risks of cooking with gas

Many of our holiday traditions revolve around food. Whatever the tradition, there’s nothing like sharing a meal with family and friends over the holidays. But in millions of homes, there’s a hidden danger lurking in the kitchen. Common across the country, gas stoves can produce levels of indoor air pollution that would be illegal outdoors.

> Keep Reading
Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Not First Class: Flyer complaints soar as airlines cancel flights, deny refunds, ruin plans

Not First Class: Flyer complaints soar as airlines cancel flights, deny refunds, ruin plans, a new report released by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, analyzed more than 200,000 DOT complaints going back to 2016 and found the airline industry is failing its customers.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I got my finances in order | Mike Litt

Even with the knowledge I’ve gained working as a consumer advocate for several years, getting my finances in order has been a work in progress. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I started my estate and end-of-life planning | Mike Litt

Until recently, I did not have estate and end-of-life planning in mind, but it was the natural next step in my quest to be a responsible adult, with a nudge from the existential threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Resources I used to prepare my advance directive | Mike Litt

Advance directives are legal instructions that include a living will (different from a regular will) and a health care proxy. In them, you state what treatments you do or don’t want at the end of your life and who you want making health care decisions for you if you can’t. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

What I decided to do after shopping for long-term care insurance | Mike Litt

Before listening to In Case You Get Hit By a Bus, I didn’t know about insurance that covers the costs of long-term care, such as home health care or nursing home care, for people who need assistance with daily living activities. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I’m supercharging my savings with socially responsible investing (SRI) | Mike Litt

Getting my finances in order has been a work in progress over several years, starting with tackling credit card debt, paying off my car loan and then building an emergency fund. 

After clearing those hurdles, I set more defined financial goals and plans in motion this year, including automatic deposits into new investment accounts.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

Salt River Project (SRP) is rushing a decision to spend nearly $1 billion in customer money for 16 new gas units. However, SRP has not disclosed how much this will cost the average ratepayer nor have they adequately requested or evaluated options to meet electricity demands or reviewed options to spend less money. 

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

According to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, many farm equipment manufacturers prevent farmers from accessing the software tools they need to fix their modern tractors. The organization states that this “forces farmers to turn to corporate-authorized dealers for many problems, which can lead to high repair bills and delays that can put their crops—and their livelihoods—at risk”. While farmers have always relied on local dealerships for help, more and more those dealerships have been bought up by large chain networks, further reducing competition and exacerbating the problems farmers already face due to repair restrictions.

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

According to a new Arizona PIRG Education Fund report, software repair locks tie farmers to dealers, putting equipment uptime—and sometimes crops—at risk. Farmers and ranchers rely on equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters to produce America’s food supply. Over the years, that equipment has gotten bigger, more expensive and more digital. The software integrated in modern tractors, ostensibly created to make farm operations more efficient, is being used by manufacturers to lock farmers out of fixing their own equipment. 

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

Cuando una estufa de gas típica no se ventila adecuadamente, puede producir niveles de contaminación del aire en interiores que exceden los estándares del aire exterior. Sin embargo, millones de personas en todo el país dependen de las estufas de gas para cocinar. Los estudios muestran que muchos hogares no cuentan con campanas de escape o no las usan regularmente, lo que significa que sus estufas no se ventilan adecuadamente. Según la organización Arizona PIRG Education Fund, parte del problema es que los comerciantes no proporcionan advertencias adecuadas para informar a los consumidores de los peligros o la necesidad de ventilación.

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and Arizona PIRG Education Fund denounced today’s action by the Arizona Corporation Commission to put an end to Energy Rules that would have ramped up energy-saving measures and saved Arizonans billions of dollars on their utility bills.

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