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Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection


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An Independent Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Will Set And Enforce Clear, Consistent Rules For The Financial Marketplace. A single consumer bureau will set clear rules of the road and ensure that financial firms are held to high standards. For example:

 

* For families who want to buy a home: The piles of forms needed for a regular mortgage can be overwhelming, and many brokers have taken advantage of that confusion to give borrowers loans they didn’t need or couldn’t afford. The new consumer financial protection bureau will take steps to consolidate and simplify with plain language two overlapping and sometimes inconsistent federal mortgage forms. The bureau will, for the first time, provide ongoing federal oversight of both nonbank companies and banks in the mortgage market and protect borrowers from unfair, deceptive or other illegal mortgage lending practices.

 

* For families with credit cards: The new consumer financial protection bureau will enforce the new credit card law signed by President Obama that bans rate hikes on existing balances and other unfair practices. For families who have used credit cards to get by when times are tight, the law will give them clarity on the interest rates they are charged.

 

* For families caught by unexpected overdraft fees: Many households have been automatically enrolled in expensive overdraft programs. These programs can hit consumers with costly overdraft fees for even the smallest purchases. For example, the FDIC found that the average overdraft charge for a single purchased item—like a $2 cup of coffee—is $30 at banks with assets more than $1 billion. The new consumer financial protection bureau will enforce new rules that give consumers a real choice as to whether to join expensive overdraft programs so that they are not unknowingly charged unnecessary fees.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to appoint Elizabeth Warren as the first director of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, created under the Wall Street reform legislation passed by Congress.

 

July 19

 

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

At a time when doubts about Wall Street and its practices run very deep, at a time when many Americans believe that we have not acted aggressively and rapidly as we might have in limiting Wall Street recklessness and greed, American consumers need a federal government that is looking after their best interests.

 

A good first step has been the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), which is part of the Wall Street Reform legislation you will sign this week. But the establishment of this agency is not enough.

 

We need a strong Director of BCFP, on who will help convince many millions of Americans who currently do not trust government that we are serious in standing up to Wall Street and providing the consumer protection they need. This will not be a job for the faint-hearted.

 

I would strongly hope that you will appoint Elizabeth Warren to become the first director of the BCFP. She, as you know, was the first to broach the idea of such a commission in an article published in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas in 2007. She has a strong - and very widespread - reputation for looking out for the American people and for American taxpayers. Incredibly, in just the last few weeks tens of thousands of Americans have signed an on-line petition requesting her appointment - a very unusual occurrence for a somewhat obscure job. They know, as I do, that Professor Warren has a proven track-record as a smart and tough consumer advocate. As head of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel she is seen, across the breadth of America, as a champion of open, honest and responsive government. No one in our nation could do a better job as the first Director of the BCFP.

 

I have no doubt that some in the Senate will oppose her confirmation. Good! It will allow for a serious debate as to the role that government should play in protecting the American people against the outrageous behavior we have seen on Wall Street. In my view, those of us supporting Professor Warren, along with massive public support, will win that debate and the confirmation.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bernard Sanders

United States Senator

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Aleis Stokes

Beginning August 22nd, your credit card provider may only charge reasonable penalty fees. Specifically, you cannot be charged:

 

* A late payment fee of more than $25, unless:

o one of your last six payments was late, in which case your fee may be up to $35; or

o the costs incurred as a result of late payments justify a higher fee.

* A late payment fee that is greater than your minimum payment. For example, if your minimum payment is $20, your late payment fee cannot be more than $20.

* More than one fee for a single event or transaction. For example, you cannot be charged more than one fee for a single late payment.

* Inactivity fees, such as fees for not using your card.

 

According to the new rules on rate increases, if your credit card provider raises your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) , it must tell you why. It must re-evaluate that rate increase every six months and it must reduce your rate within 45 days after completing the evaluation, if appropriate.

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