Because the cards are marketed at providers’ offices, information provided by the issuers seems geared toward educating prospective business partners rather than consumers. Essential rate information was buried or missing from the websites of three companies’ cards. All of the surveyed issuers promote alluring 0% introductory offers. Interest accrues each month but is deferred for the promotional period. If the balance is paid in full before the period ends, no interest is due. If not, consumers must pay the accrued interest at rates of up to 28.99%.
Four years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created as a safeguard to ensure the financial industry followed the rules when selling products and services to consumers – and a lot has happened since that time. From returning billions of dollars to consumers who were wrong by financial services to holding for-profit colleges accountable for their deceptions, the work of the CFPB has touched many areas of the financial world and it continues to expand. While the CFPB has provided assistance to millions of consumers in its short time, there is undoubtedly more issues to be addressed.
“When the Legislature looks at the history of this board and we look at your mandated basic duties, we feel that you all have unfortunately had some trouble in the areas of enforcement, consumer protection, et cetera,” Senate committee consultant Le Ondra Clark told the seven-member board at a June 13 meeting. “So though we would like to have control over everything and go on site visits … if you’re not meeting your basic duties, none of that matters.”
Stealing a mobile device is the “easiest, quickest way to get your hands on several hundred bucks,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California. Legislative fixes are meeting resistance from a powerful telecommunications industry that rakes in more than $38 billion selling smartphone-theft insurance and replacement mobile devices. Companies like AT&T and Sprint rake in “several billion dollars a year in phone-theft insurance,” said Holober. “This is an industry that pretty much owns the Legislature.”
The court decision lifting campaign contribution limits for corporations was “wrongly decided and grossly underestimated the corrupting influence of unchecked money on our democratic institutions,” Brown wrote in a message to the Legislature agreeing with their concern. State Sen. Ted Lieu, the author of SB 1272, said, “My measure will give voice to California’s electorate about the influence of money in politics and drive a national debate on campaign-finance reform.”