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Consumer Agency

January 27, 2013 | By Scott J. Wilson
If you have a problem with a product you've purchased - it's damaged or defective, or is never delivered - you have extra legal protection if you bought the item with a credit card. Federal law gives consumers the right to withhold payment on credit card purchases in certain situations. Key things to know: •First, try to resolve the dispute directly with the seller. If you call the seller or visit in person and don't get resolution, also send a letter so that the issue is documented.
September 18, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, appointed Friday to launch the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, likely won't be the agency's first official director, but she will have a major say in who gets the powerful job. Warren also will have a broader portfolio of duties, advising President Obama on "policies and programs that are designed to protect the financial interests of middle-class families," the White House said. Obama on Friday described Warren as "a janitor's daughter who's become one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class" and said she would have direct access to him from her senior White House position.
April 3, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer
MEXICO CITY - In an unusual legal action against the world's richest man, Mexico is suing the telecommunications giant Telmex for charging allegedly illegal fees that were tacked on to what are already some of the highest phone rates among developed countries. The lawsuit, filed in civil court by the federal consumer protection agency, aims to end a set of fees and, in what may be a first in this country, recover money for millions of telephone users. Telmex provides about 80% of fixed telephone lines in Mexico.
February 11, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- About one in 20 consumers had significant errors on their credit reports that could cause them to pay more for auto loans and other financial products, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Monday. The study also found that about 26% of the approximately 200 million people covered by the U.S. credit reporting industry had at least one "potentially material error" on one of their three credit reports. And four out of five people who took steps to fix errors with one of the three major credit reporting companies -- Experian Information Solutions Inc., Equifax Inc. and TransUnion -- got their credit report changed.
February 14, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Your monthly mortgage bill soon could get easier to understand, and it wouldn't change each time your loan is sold to a new servicer. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has developed a proposed standardized mortgage servicer statement designed to provide clear information about the loan on a single page. The prototype released Monday included a breakdown of how much of the monthly payment went to principal, interest and escrow. The form also detailed the outstanding principal, maturity date, prepayment penalty and, for adjustable-rate mortgages, the time when the interest rate could change.
July 16, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Tuesday cleared the way for Richard Cordray to be confirmed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after Democrats and Republicans struck a tentative agreement to avoid a confrontation over the use of filibusters on presidential nominees. Senators voted 71-29 to halt debate on the nomination of Cordray, who already is serving as the bureau's director after a controversial recess appointment. The key procedural move, which required 60 votes, paves the way for Cordray to be confirmed as early as Tuesday with just a simple majority.
September 9, 2011 | David Lazarus
You can almost understand Republican lawmakers standing firm on matters of economic stimulus and debt reduction. Whether or not you agree with their positions, at least it can be argued that they're guided by good-old-fashioned conservative ideology. But when it comes to consumer protection, the Republicans are merely pandering to their deep-pocketed corporate cronies and opposing anything President Obama supports, no matter how reasonable or meritorious it may be. This week's confirmation hearing for Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made clear that the GOP won't help beleaguered consumers until it's ensured that the new watchdog agency is more bark than bite.
April 19, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acknowledged there is a slim chance his controversial recess appointment could be overturned, according to an email obtained by a government watchdog group. "There is a chance (a minor chance in my view, though everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion) that the appointment would be invalidated by a court," Richard Cordray wrote to the agency's staff in a Feb. 6 email titled "Weekly Message. " The email came a little more than a month after President Obama installed Cordray as director with a recess appointment.
July 22, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
President Obama reversed decades of lax oversight of the financial industry Wednesday by signing a landmark overhaul of regulations, but he still faces a major task — appointing a director for the powerful new agency charged with protecting consumers from unscrupulous deals. The law dramatically toughens oversight of the industry, from Wall Street's executive suites to the Main Street storefronts of mortgage brokers and payday lenders. But it is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that will have the most direct effect on average Americans by creating rules to help ensure that bankers and other financial firms treat their customers fairly.
October 26, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
On the fifth floor of an office building near the White House, consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren has begun shaping the centerpiece of the recently enacted Wall Street reform law ? the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Both Warren and the new agency are controversial. Most Republicans and much of the financial industry opposed creation of the agency, which will have broad authority to write and enforce rules covering mortgages, credit cards and other consumer lending products.
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