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Having Problems with Your Bank or Mortgage? Time to Talk to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
January 9, 2013

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill to look out for the financial interests of ordinary Americans and give consumers clear information about financial products like mortgages, credit cards and credit reports. The CFPB website is a good place to learn about consumer financial products, your rights as a consumer, and to file a complaint about a financial institution or product.

The CFPB began taking consumer complaints about credit cards on July 2011; it began handling [https:/help.consumerfinance.gov/app/mortgage/ask mortgage complaints] on December 2011; and it began accepting complaints about bank products and services, private student loans, and other consumer loans on March 2012. Throughout 2013, the CFPB expects to handle consumer complaints on all products and services under its authority. Other areas in which the agency is expected to act include overdraft fees, which are charges banks levy when more money is withdrawn from an account than it contains; debt collectors, and credit-reporting firms, which the CFPB began supervising January 2013.

Consumer advocates overcame stiff opposition from the financial services industry to require that the Bureau develop a unique public database of consumer complaints. The easy-to-use database allows consumers to document and seek redress for a wide range of complaints regarding financial service providers and allows regulators to spot trends and target abusive industry practices with new regulations.

TO FILE A COMPLAINT with the CFPB go here.

TO SEE COMPLAINTS that have been filed go here.

That Bad Ceiling Feeling: Unlike the Fiscal Cliff the Debt Ceiling Is the Real Deal
January 8, 2013

Missing the fiscal cliff? Don't know what to talk about at the dinner table?

Get ready, the Bipartisan Policy Center has predicted that on February 15, 2013, the U.S. Treasury will take in an estimated $9 billion in revenue, but is committed to pay out $52 billion.

Yup, that's right. The debt ceiling is upon us again and Republicans are showing every sign that they will once again attempt to hold the country hostage to force a "grand bargain" they hope will result in major cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Read the rest of this item here.

It Ain't Over Till It's Over: Wall Street Gears Up for Austerity Battles of 2013
January 2, 2013

For better or worse, a bill passed Congress in the wee hours of 2013 averting the much-hyped "fiscal cliff" for now and raising taxes on couples making over $450,000 and extending a lifeline of unemployment benefits to 2 million Americans.

But the vote is not so much an ending as a beginning to the austerity battles of 2013.

Read the rest of this item here.

It's Time For a Robin Hood Tax!
August 17, 2012

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Reckless Wall Street gambling collapsed the global economy, and we are still reeling. Politicians claim America is "broke" to justify layoffs and drastic cuts to critical services. But we're not broke. Robin knows where the money is. A tiny tax on Wall Street will generate billions to help Main Street get back on the road to recovery.