Why We Need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Prof. Elizabeth Warren has been the leading advocate for creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The proposed new agency is part of the financial reform bill currently being debated in a Senate House conference committee.. Writing on Politico.com, she points out that when lobbyists for the banks announced last year that they would kill the consumer financial protection agency, observers predicted they would succeed given their money and lobbying. But the dire predictions were wrong and the agency is part of the versions of the bill passed by both houses. Of course, the lobbyists have not given up. They...

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Senate Takes Up Prof Warren’s proposed Financial Product Safety Commission

Law Professor Elizabeth Warren proposes that Congress create a Financial Product Safety Commission to help protect consumers from predatory and deceptive financial products. To illustrate the need for such a commission, Prof. Warren points out that if a consumer goes into an appliance store looking for a toaster that has a 1 in 5 chance of exploding, you won’t find one. But if you go to a mortgage broker, you can buy a loan that has a 1 in 5 chance of ending up being foreclosed with you losing your house in the process. Introduced by Senators Schumer and Durbin,...

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Prof. Elizabeth Warren Talks About Credit Reporting on NPR’s Fresh Air

Last week, Prof. Elizabeth Warren talked about credit reporting on the NPR program Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Ms. Gross’ husband had to hire an attorney to convince the credit bureaus that someone else’s bad debts listed on his reports did not belong to him. In response to Ms. Gross’ questions how the inaccuracies occur and why it is so hard to correct them, Prof. Warren said the credit system is “noisy” with, for example, data associated with social security numbers one digit off being attributed to the wrong person. She said the problem is the credit industry has no...

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