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Blog Post | Financial Reform

As NY Brings Credit Bureaus To Heel, CFPB Arbitration Study Paves Way Toward New Protections | Ed Mierzwinski

Two big consumer stories so far this week offer hope to consumers victimized by credit bureau errors and, more generally, by an inability to take credit bureaus, credit card companies, banks or payday lenders to court when harmed. On Monday, New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman signed a groundbreaking agreement with the Big Three credit bureaus, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. Then today, the CFPB released a report finding that consumer legal rights are infringed by small-print forced arbitration clauses in credit card and other contracts.  The CFPB will hold a webcast public hearing at 11am Eastern time today (Tuesday) to discuss the report's findings and next steps.

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Media Hit | Financial Reform

Credit Bureaus’ Deal to Improve Accuracy ‘Huge’ for Consumers

(Bloomberg) -- Buying homes, getting jobs and borrowing money will be easier after an agreement by the three biggest U.S. consumer credit reporting services with New York.[...] “It’s a sea change in the way the credit bureaus treat complaints,” said [U.S. PIRG's Ed] Mierzwinski. “The credit bureaus have been run by computers for years now. They’re going to have to hire more people and actually verify that what a creditor said is true.”

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Is Anyone Protecting Your Privacy Or Wallet? Turbotax? Anthem? Apple? The Government? | Ed Mierzwinski

As if recent privacy breaches at the online tax preparer Turbotax and the health insurer Anthem weren't enough, it turns out that low-tech hacks can trick the vaunted Apple Pay system into giving up cash to thieves, too. Meanwhile, while the administration's blueprint for a Privacy Bill of Rights in 2012 was excellent, its new legislative draft from the Department of Commerce could have been written by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There is some good news on privacy, though.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As House Holds Oversight Hearing, 340 Groups Call For Defense of CFPB | Ed Mierzwinski

Today, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray will present the CFPB's sixth semi-annual report to the House Financial Services Committee, whose majority members have been harsh critics of the successful consumer agency. Americans for Financial Reform, joined by the state PIRGs and a total of 340 national, state and local groups, sent Congress a letter explaining why the idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

FCC NET NEUTRALITY ORDER PROTECTS THE OPEN INTERNET

Today the FCC took not one but two critical actions to make sure that the Internet works for everybody. First, it issued a "Net Neutrality" order guaranteeing a free and open Internet. This Internet freedom order will prevent the phone and cable companies from granting fast lanes or other preferences to already powerful firms. The FCC also acted to override state laws that prevented local governments from building out broadband networks to compete with the phone and cable companies.

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Democracy

Statement in Response to Event For Opposition Campaign to Fair Districts Amendments 5 & 6

It is no surprise that politicians are leading the charge in the campaign to defeat Amendments 5 and 6. They are twisting the truth just so they can continue making political deals in order to hold on to their power.

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Food

Egg Recalls Reveal Scrambled Food Safety System

Last month’s nationwide recall of half a billion eggs was just one of more than 85 recalls involving 153 food companies since July 2009.  During this time, the U.S. Senate has failed to pass needed protections, according to “Recipe for Disaster”, a Study released today by Florida PIRG, Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Health Care

Statement in Response to Today’s Court Decision to Strike Amendment #9

We are extremely pleased with Judge Shelfer’s decision to strike this politically motivated and confusing amendment from the ballot. The courts appear to be doing an excellent job of protecting the interest of voters this election season

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Health Care

New Report: The Next Stage of Health Care Reform

The new federal health care reform law puts state leaders in the driver’s seat, according to a new report by consumer advocacy group Florida PIRG (The Florida Public Interest Research Group).

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Consumer Protection

USDA's New Performance Standards Should Bring Safer Poultry to Market

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new performance standards (PDF) for Salmonella and Campylobacter—the most common disease hazards in the meat and poultry supply. USDA has cut the target levels for Salmonella in poultry by over 60 percent, and set the first-ever performance standard for Campylobacter.

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Report | Florida PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

A Public Interest Internet Agenda

Broadband access is crucial to economic, educational and democratic participation in Florida and it’s critical that government make consumer friendly choices that empower communities while bringing access to every corner of the state. Without consumer protective policies to guide them, the handful of corporations that sell broadband have done so at runaway rates, with poor service and have even avoided serving broadband to many of our most vulnerable communities.

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Report | Florida PIRG | Health Care

Healthcare Reform: The $3 Trillion Dollar Question

By aligning incentives within the health care system in favor of quality treatment, by investing in health information technology, and by conducting better research on which treatments work for which kinds of patients, we can make health care both more affordable and higher quality. 

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Report | Florida PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

The Small Business Dilemma

One crucial test of any health reform proposal is whether it offers a better deal to American small businesses. But the key Washington lobbies who claim to represent small businesses have been historically aligned with the political interests most opposed to reform. To more accurately reflect the diversity of views of small businesses on health care, the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund has let small business owners to speak for themselves.

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Report | Florida PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

The Facts About Comparative Effectiveness Research

As Congressional and public debate over health care reform grows more intense, comparative effectiveness research (CER) has emerged as an unlikely flashpoint of controversy.

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Report | U.S. PIRG | Health Care

Putting America Back to Work

The Florida Public Interest Research Group Brief, entitled Health Reform and the Economy, finds that proposals to tame health care costs could allow the creation of 113,660 Florida jobs over a five year period without inflationary effects, and yield stronger economic growth over the long term.

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Priority Action

We're teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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