Latest in Consumer News


CFPB May Let You Sue Your Bank Instead Of Going To Arbitration

“Consumers should not be asked to sign away their legal rights when they open a bank account or credit card,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “Companies are using the arbitration clause as a free pass to sidestep the courts … ” In a first step toward potential new rules, the CFPB is publishing an outline of proposals under consideration in preparation for forming a small business review panel to gather feedback from industry stakeholders. … [New rules would apply to] credit cards, checking and deposit accounts, prepaid cards, money transfer services and several types of loans.


California Now Allows Firms To Tell Consumers A ‘Made In USA’ Lie

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, SB 633, this month that allows California companies to say “made in America” as long as their products are mostly made in America — 90% American-made, to be precise. … Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California, said manufacturers never had trouble in the past meeting the state’s made-in-America rule. Loosening the state’s 100% standard, he said, puts “those businesses who go the extra mile to keep jobs and manufacturing in the USA at a disadvantage” and “gives an advantage to companies that cut corners.”

ill of mortgage lender and family

Oakland Sues Wells Fargo For Predatory Lending Against City’s Black, Hispanic Residents

City Attorney Barbara Parker said the bank targeted minority borrowers — including churches — for predatory mortgage loans in violation of the Fair Housing Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. … Parker on Tuesday said no bankers were held personally responsible for the foreclosure crisis, which in part forced Oakland to lay off 80 Oakland officers in 2010 and make drastic cuts to other departments.

Uber logo

Uber Loses Bid To Force Arbitration On California Driver

Uber is appealing the San Francisco federal court decision in a case that might force the startup to change its business model and erode its $50 billion valuation. … “I’m not going to fly in the face of a stark inconsistency in order to massage this into arbitrability,” [Judge Ernest Goldsmith] told lawyers during a hearing Monday. … “I can’t imagine that they’re going to continue with a contract like this,” Goldsmith said, referring to Uber. “It’s not a close case. It starts with the clearest contradictory language and just goes on and on and on.”

car on fire

Volkswagen Test Rigging Follows A Long Auto Industry Pattern

The universe of automotive scandals has been a broad and often tragic one, including Ford’s 1978 recalls of 1.5 million Pintos after evidence emerged that its gas tanks were prone to catch fire during impacts. The Chrysler Corporation was indicted in 1987 on charges of disconnecting the odometers of 60,000 cars used by executives and then selling them as new. The Ford-Firestone scandal that started in the late 1990s was linked to 271 deaths. And more than 23 million cars have been recalled by 11 automakers over airbags made by Takata that could violently rupture in an accident.