Federal Regulators Provide New Insights into Economic and Consumer Rights

February 12, 2024
By JustUs Coordinating Council

Already in 2024, and since our last post on these trends, several regulatory developments have highlighted the ongoing need for more protections for consumers who are directly impacted . 

January 17, 2024 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rulemaking period to provide additional guardrails against one-size-fits all amounts of overdraft fees. Approximately 23 million households (including a disproportionate number of directly impacted communities) pay overdraft fees in any given year. The CFPB estimates that this rule may save consumers $3.5 billion or more in fees per year. Profiting off of financial insecurity is the opposite of creating economic mobility. The CFPB has proposed benchmarks of $3, $6, $7, or $14 and is seeking comment on the appropriate amount. Please review and submit your comments on the proposed rule here.

January 23, 2024 – The CFPB issued an advisory opinion that addresses accuracy issues in background check reports, which are used by most employers and landlords to screen applicants. This new guidance will help employment and housing candidates hold background checking companies accountable for outdated or flat out wrong information – including past information that has been sealed, expunged or dismissed. When applying for a job or home, it is vital to ensure a copy of the background check is always requested by the applicant to allow for accuracy and, in its absence, accountability. To learn more see: Employer Background Checks: Your Rights

January 24, 2024 – A third type of CFPB-led economic relief could soon be felt at the ATM and with debit cards – the end of non-sufficient fund fees. “Over the years, large banks and their consultants have concocted new junk fees for fake services that cost almost nothing to deliver,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Banks should be competing to provide better products at lower costs, not innovating to impose extra fees for no value.” To read more about these changes and to submit your comments on how non-sufficient fees have impacted your economic mobility, please visit this link.

As advocates for financial reform and consumer protections push back against the voices of big banks and continue to weigh the potential for unintended consequences (ex: tougher policies to open accounts), the JCC will continue to bring to these spaces the voice of consumers who are directly impacted – both by the criminal legal system and consumer traps that perpetuate economic insecurity.