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Consumers Get a Lucky Day with Stimulus Check Protection
News on Student Borrowers, Car Insurance
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking steps to protect stimulus checks from debt collectors as today marks the day that many Americans will receive their payments from the American Rescue Plan:
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is squarely focused on addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economically vulnerable consumers and is looking carefully at the stimulus payments that millions are now receiving through the American Rescue Plan. The Bureau is concerned that some of those desperately needed funds will not reach consumers, and will instead be intercepted by financial institutions or debt collectors to cover overdraft fees, past-due debts, or other liabilities.
The CFPB is also working to protect student borrowers from predatory practices:
“Student Loan Pro preyed on thousands of borrowers, charging illegal upfront fees in clear violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule,” said CFPB Acting Director David Uejio. “The CFPB will use all the tools at its disposal, including litigation, to protect struggling borrowers and put an end to unlawful debt-relief schemes.”
Meanwhile, California is taking steps to protect consumers and end windfalls for car insurance companies resulting from the pandemic:
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Center for Economic Justice (CEJ) praised California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s action to require insurers to give back COVID windfall profits by sending additional auto insurance premium refunds to California customers. The California Department of Insurance is also requiring ongoing refunds for consumers as long as the pandemic keeps driving and accident rates low.
Finally, in Oregon, efforts are underway to protect home buyers:
OSPIRG and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) are filing an amicus brief in the Oregon District Court supporting a lawsuit challenging an Oregon law that prohibits real estate agents from offering rebates to home buyers.
“The Oregon law restricts price competition and harms consumers,” said Charlie Fisher, OSPIRG State Director. “Real estate agents representing buyers should have the ability to rebate a portion of their 2.5–3.0 percent commission to their clients,” he added.