Directly Impacted Consumer Rights and New Federal Efforts
by Zach Ruppel
November 3, 2023
While the fight continues for the restoration of key rights for those impacted by the criminal legal system, an often overlooked right does exist and yet is often not exercised among directly impacted citizens: their right as a consumer. Overdraft fees and junk fees with large financial institutions and administrative fees related to banking and paycheck advances in entry level employment settings each bring with them destabilizing amounts of cost to directly impacted consumers trying to re-establish and secure their own economic mobility.
“Increasing economic mobility also means increasing the knowledge of consumer rights in the process of reentry and reintegration.”
Additionally, many auto-finance companies are not being held accountable to their lack of compliance with fees, transparency, and other essential credit protection measures. In particular, the common trap of the “buy here/pay here” model all too often ensnares directly impacted citizens as they are working to establish mobility for economic and other purposes. Even just today, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) called on federal advocates to assist in providing data and encouraged the filing of complaints, as advocates interact with citizens who have been taken advantage of through deceptive measures. And yet, due to the systematic removal of rights that directly impacted citizens know all too well, increasing economic mobility also means increasing the knowledge of consumer rights in the process of reentry and reintegration. The solution is multi-faceted but two certain steps forward include additional protections for consumers and building awareness of tools like the CFPB’s complaint tool.
Additionally, the JustUS Coordinating Council continues to monitor and respond strategically to legislative efforts to both enshrine faulty protections for lenders from the Truth in Lending Act, as well as support the work of the CFPB and regulatory entities that work for the benefit of ALL citizens.
(Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash.)