Consumer Federation of America (CFA)
- Homepage: http://www.consumerfed.org/
June 2002: "Since 1968, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has provided consumers a well-reasoned and articulate voice in decisions that affect their lives. Day in and out, CFA's professional staff gathers facts, analyzes issues, and disseminates information to the public, legislators, and regulators.
The size and diversity of its membership -- more than 285 organizations from throughout the nation with a combined membership exceeding 50 million people -- enables CFA to speak for virtually all consumers. In particular, CFA looks out for those who have the greatest needs, especially the least affluent. CFA is first and foremost an advocacy organization.... CFA is also an educational organization..." http://www.consumerfed.org/backpage/about.html
November 2012: '“The insurance companies hand them a manual, and they may not really understand the manual,” said J. Robert Hunter, the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, who has worked for insurance companies and once ran the federal flood insurance program. “It’s a crash course at that point.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/your-money/home-insurance/after-the-storm-managing-your-homeowners-claim.html
January 2012: "Many low-income families cannot afford car insurance, at least in part because insurers price their policies in ways that cost them more, according to a new report from the Consumer Federation of America."http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/lower-income-families-may-pay-more-for-auto-insurance
July 2011: "Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety at the Consumer Federation of America, said the new crib rules were a major victory for consumers."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/16/business/with-new-safety-rules-for-cribs-makers-scramble-and-retailers-fume.html
December 2010: '“We will spend the next several years prodding, pushing and nagging F.D.A. to embrace the new program enthusiastically,” said Carol L. Tucker-Foreman, a food policy expert at the Consumer Federation of America.'http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/business/22food.html
November 2010: 'I called the association for clarification. Apparently, I had gotten it wrong. It wasn’t going to “hurt” investors, an executive told me, it was just going to cost those investors more money. What was even more curious, however, were some of the issues that the association chose to study. As Barbara Roper, an advocate at the Consumer Federation of America, put it, “They chose to analyze a mythical situation that will never occur.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/20/your-money/20money.html
June 2010: '“We know what the consequences of inaction are,” Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America, said during a conference call. “If we wait to study again an issue that the S.E.C. has been studying for years, unsophisticated investors will continue to be duped into believing they are in a relationship of trust by brokers who masquerade as financial advisers but refuse to acknowledge any obligation to act in their customers’ best interests.”'http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/negotiators-in-congress-to-discuss-rule-for-brokers
June 2009: 'But it can get even trickier than terminology—many of those seeking to provide you with financial advice are actually trying to sell you something. Bank-employed pitchmen are often called “personal financial consultants,” for example, while insurance salesmen may present themselves as “financial advisers.” Indeed, “The bulk of people who market themselves as financial advisers are salespeople,” says the Consumer Federation of America’s director of investor protection, Barbara Roper.'http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/basics/10-things-your-financial-planner-wont-tell-you
April 2009: 'Some cable companies offer basic digital packages, for about $15 to $20 per month, which provide only the major broadcast networks in HD. Premium movie channels in high-definition can run the bill up by as much as $100 a month. Still, selection is limited: “Stations were slow to roll out HD content, cable operators have resisted carrying content, and now there’s this complete mishmash of analog and HD,” says Cooper, of the Consumer Federation of America. “Not everything is available in HD, and the consumer can’t count on or find out what is or isn’t. It’s a complete mess.”'http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/technology/10-things-cable-companies-will-not-tell-you
May 2009: 'some insurers use illegal underwriting guidelines to “red line”—the industry term for “discriminate against”—certain groups or locations. For example, agents say they often get memos identifying undesirable ZIP codes or reminding them to stay away from couples who are having problems in their marriage. Bob Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), describes his “favorite” memo from a company advising its agents...”'http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/insurance/10-things-your-home-insurer-wont-tell-you
November 2007: "“I could understand it if the insurance companies were cutting back on coverage, lowering their costs and passing on some of the savings to homeowners,” said J. Robert Hunter, the director of Insurance at the Consumer Federation of America. “But they’ve hollowed out their policies and they’re keeping the benefits for themselves.”"http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/23/business/23insure.html
October 2007: "Consumer advocates warn that insurance firms could take a hard line with their policyholders in the wake of the wildfire disaster, by skimping on claim payments or going so far as to refuse to write new policies altogether. 'It's possible,' said Robert Hunter, the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America."http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/23/news/companies/california_fires/index.htm
October 2007: Robert J. Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, said the extent of the retreat by major insurers “will depend a lot on what happens this year, hurricane-wise.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/16/nyregion/16insurance.html
January 2006: 1. 'When I say this is a good policy, I mean it's good for me.' Recently, broker commissions have landed the commercial insurance industry in hot water with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. But auto policyholders may be surprised to learn that some of the same issues afflict the car insurance industry. While agents can help you navigate auto policies, some may not have your best interest at heart: In 2005 the Consumer Federation of America found that 14 of the 20 largest auto and home insurers used 'contingent commissions' to compensate agents who sold their policies.http://www.smartmoney.com/10things/index.cfm?story=february2006
December 2004: Loans given in advance of tax returns cost low-income taxpayers about $1.7 billion in loan fees and other charges, according to a report early this year from the National Consumer Law Center and the Consumer Federation of America. The groups said about 1 in 10 American taxpayers took out such loans in 2002, more than half of them low-wage workers. That came to 12.7 million refund loans in 2002.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23721-2004Dec23.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Stephen Brobeck Person Jan 30, 2012 Organization Executive (past or present) Allen J. Fishbein Esq. Person Dec 9, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) Jean Ann Fox Person Oct 16, 2006 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Jack Gillis Person Jun 15, 2004 Organization Executive (past or present) J. Robert Hunter Person Feb 7, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) Gene Kimmelman Person Apr 11, 2004 Organization Executive (past or present) Travis Plunkett Person Oct 18, 2005 Organization Executive (past or present) Barbara Roper Person Aug 29, 2006 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Carol L. Tucker-Foreman Person Dec 22, 2010 Organization Executive (past or present) Rachel Weintraub Person Aug 2, 2011
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Nov 09, 2012 After the Storm: Your Homeowner’s Claim (Your Money)
QUOTE: Many victims of Hurricane Sandy are novices when it comes to catastrophic insurance claims. So to see what sort of resistance they should expect shortly, I turned to the lawyers and adjusters-for-hire who do nothing but negotiate with insurance companies all day long.
New York Times Jan 30, 2012 Lower-Income Families May Pay More for Auto Insurance
QUOTE: Many low-income families cannot afford car insurance, at least in part because insurers price their policies in ways that cost them more...
New York Times Jul 15, 2011 After Long Battle, Safer Cribs
QUOTE: The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued new regulations for cribs that the authorities say are the toughest in the world....some manufacturers had not had all of their cribs certified by testing laboratories, frustrating some retailers who have been stuck with cribs that they are not permitted to sell.
New York Times Dec 21, 2010 House Passes Overhaul of Food Laws
QUOTE: food manufacturers will be required to examine their processing systems to identify possible ways that food products can become contaminated and to develop detailed plans to keep that from happening. Companies must share those plans with the F.D.A., and provide the agency with records, including product test results, showing how effectively they carry them out. The agency, which has sometimes been criticized for its failure to check up on risky food producers, will be required to conduct more frequent inspections in the United States and abroad.
New York Times Nov 19, 2010 Dear S.E.C., Please Make Brokers Accountable to Customers
QUOTE: Many of these consumers don’t even realize that their brokers — who often call themselves financial advisers — aren’t held to the same standards as investment advisers, who are required to put their customers’ interests first. Sure, brokers must recommend “suitable” investments, but we all know that it’s a much weaker standard and leaves too much room for potential abuse — one that can line the pocket of the broker at the expense of the investor.
New York Times Jun 16, 2010 Negotiators in Congress to Discuss Rule for Brokers
QUOTE: On the surface, both the brokerage and the financial planning industries appear to agree that advisers of all stripes should be subject to a consistent fiduciary standard. But behind the scenes, the groups are divided on how exactly it will work, while the insurance industry has been opposed to the standard.
New York Times Jun 16, 2009 10 Things Financial Planners Won't Tell You
QUOTE: “I’m a jack-of-all-trades and master of none....Am I ‘fee-only’ or ‘fee-based’? Um, let’s not split hairs....Good luck busting me for malpractice.”
Smart Money May 26, 2009 10 Things Your Home Insurer Won't Tell You
QUOTE: 1. “We have our own caste system"....3. “One wrong move and we’ll drop you".... 4. . . . especially now that Big Brother is watching"....6. “You’re paying too much for your policy.”
Smart Money Apr 16, 2009 10 Things Cable Companies Won't Tell You
QUOTE: 2. “raise prices recklessly... Bundling your services can end up costing you more.”
Smart Money May 28, 2008 Realtors Agree to Stop Blocking Web Listings
QUOTE: The deal frees Internet brokers and other real-estate agents offering heavily discounted commissions to operate on a level playing field with traditional brokers by using the multiple listing services that are the lifeblood of the industry, government officials said.
New York Times Nov 23, 2007 Insurers Shift Cost Burdens to Homeowners
QUOTE: Yet some industry experts and consumer advocates say that efforts by the insurers to increase profits, after years of taking losses on home insurance, are shifting more of the burden of repairs and reconstruction to homeowners. The cutbacks in coverage, consumer advocates say, have contributed to the slow recovery of the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina and will most likely hamper recovery from the recent wildfires in California.
New York Times Oct 23, 2007 The next battle for wildfire victims: Insurance: Consumers could get stiffed on reimbursement for razed homes, and even get dropped by their insurance companies, consumer advocates warn.
QUOTE: Consumer advocates warn that insurance firms could take a hard line with their policyholders in the wake of the wildfire disaster, by skimping on claim payments or going so far as to refuse to write new policies altogether.
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 16, 2007 Home Insurers Canceling in East
QUOTE: In the last three years, more than three million homeowners have received letters like the Grays’ as insurance companies, determined to avoid another $40 billion Katrina bill, have essentially begun to redraw the outline of the eastern United States somewhere west of the Appalachian Trail.
New York Times Sep 03, 2007 Insurers Bear Brunt of Anger in New Orleans
QUOTE: Insurance companies may have paid out $11 billion to Louisianians in the two years since Hurricane Katrina, but they have also become a new villain in the tales people tell about the slow recovery here. Every neighborhood is full of horror stories about companies that reneged on their promises, offered only pennies on the dollar in settlements, dribbled out payments, deliberately underestimated the costs of repairs, dropped longtime customers and sharply increased the price of coverage.
New York Times Jun 30, 2007 Many Feeling Effects Of High-Interest Loans
QUOTE: about 80 homes in [Prince George County] received notices of pending foreclosures from January through May…"It is a national phenomenon, and it was pretty much expected based on the kinds of loans and refinances people got into in the last few years," said Tommie Thompson, director of the county's department of housing and community development.
Washington Post Jun 29, 2007 High Court Overturns Century-Old Antitrust Rule: Manufacturers Gain Say on Retail Prices
QUOTE: The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday overturned a nearly century-old ruling that prohibited manufacturers from dictating the minimum prices retailers must charge for their goods, saying such agreements could spark competition rather than stifle it.
Washington Post Jun 04, 2007 Congress nips at heels of credit-card companies: Both the Senate and the House have held hearings this year on what consumer advocates regard as greedy practices by credit-card firms.
QUOTE: Today, credit-card companies often charge interest rates to consumers that many would regard as usurious, that is, excessively high....Both the Senate and the House have held hearings this year on what consumer advocates regard as greedy practices by credit-card firms.
Christian Science Monitor May 24, 2007 Fed Plans to Revise Credit Card Rules
QUOTE: Credit card companies would have to disclose interest rates and fees in clearer, easier-to-understand language under proposed new consumer-protection rules that could take effect by year-end.
Washington Post May 10, 2007 SEC Is Urged To Pursue Banks In Enron Fraud
QUOTE: Activists and former shareholders in the Houston energy trading company implored the Securities and Exchange Commission to file court briefs supporting their legal position in an effort to revive a case against such banks as Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse First Boston and Barclays.
Washington Post May 10, 2007 Minorities, the Auto Loan Losers
QUOTE: An analysis of the most recent Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances data, completed on behalf of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), found that in 2004, African American car buyers paid much higher loan rates on new and used autos than white Americans.
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