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Articles About Consumer Protection Laws and Agencies

If you want to protect your consumer rights, you need to know a couple of things: 1) what your rights are, and 2) the agencies that can help when your rights have been violated. Below you'll find links to consumer protection laws in their entirety, as well as articles that provide a summary of these laws. Government agencies tasked with protecting your rights include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Bureau of Consumer Protection (a division of the FTC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Find links to their official websites below, as well as articles that provide a detailed breakdown of these protections.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Fair Credit Reporting Act — Read the FCRA in its entirety, a federal law enacted in 1970 to regulate the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information.

Quick Guide to the Fair Credit Reporting Act — Read highlights from the FCRA, including major rights afforded by the FCRA, the responsibility of data furnishers, how the credit dispute process works, and more. Also includes a list of FCRA amendments.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act — Get the facts about this addition to the FCRA, including how it helps prevent identity theft, improves consumer dispute resolution, affects your access to your credit reports, and incorporates the Patriot Act.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act — The FDCPA was enacted in 1978 to establish legal protection from abusive debt collection practices. Learn what your rights are as a consumer and what to do if a debt collector has violated your rights.

FDCPA Violations: A Summary of What Debt Collectors Cannot Do — Get the facts about what debt collectors cannot do when they are trying to locate you, collect a debt from you, take legal action against you, and more.

Consumer Credit Protection (15 U.S. Code Chapter 41)

Truth in Lending Act — The TILA was enacted in 1968 as Title I of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Since that time, numerous amendments have been added to make sure lenders are disclosing all vital information regarding your credit account. Lean more about what lenders are legally required to tell you.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act — Enacted in 1974, the ECOA protects consumers from credit descrimination based on sex, race, religion, marital status, age, or national origin. This act spells out what a creditor can and cannot do so it is imperative you understand your legal rights as a consumer.

Telemarketing Sales Rule

FTC Takes Three Telemarketing Payment Methods Off the Table — Three payment methods that scammers previously used to dupe consumers are now illegal. Get the facts about cash-to-cash wire transfers, cash reload mechanisms, and remotely created payments.

FTC Rules and Regulation for Debt Consolidation Companies — In 2010, the FTC amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule to include debt relief rules. Get the facts about upfront disclosures, upfront fees, savings estimates, and more.

FTC and Bureau of Consumer Protection

Federal Trade Commission Official Website — In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Trade Commission Act, which created the FTC. It's mission? To protect consumers and promote competition. Visit the official FTC website for consumer rights information and how to file a complaint if your rights have been violated.

5 Things You Should Know How to Do Through the FTC — Filing a consumer complaint is just one of many things you can do through the FTC. You can also file an identity theft report, order free publications, and find links for adding your name to the do-not-call registry and ordering credit reports.

Bureau of Consumer Protection Official Website — As a division of the FTC, the Bureau of Consumer Protection collects complaints, investigates, and sues companies for unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices. Learn more about their important work.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Official Website — The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 established the CFPB. This regulatory agency oversees financial products and services, enforcing laws and educating consumers. Visit the CFPB website for all sorts of invaluable information.

How to Submit a Complaint to the CFPB — If you are having a problem with a financial product or service, submit a complaint to the CFPB. Here's how.

How to Use the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database — Before you apply for a loan or credit card, search for the company in the CFPB's consumer complaint database. You can also search for complaints about credit reporting, credit repair, debt collection, and more.

Free Credit Score Initiative — Unlike credit reports, the law does not require that credit scores be provided for free. Thus, the importance of the CFPB's free credit score initiative, encouraging credit card issuers to provide credit scores to their customers.

Financial Education for Children and Adults — Take a look at all the ways the CFPB is improving financial literacy, including its "Know Before You Owe" campaign, training for housing counselors, K-12 curriculum recommendations, and more.

How the CFPB Helps Servicemembers — Men and women serving in our military are particularly vulnerable to violations of their consumer rights. Take a look at the free financial resources the CFPB provides to servicemembers and how they help when their rights are violated.

Products and Services Regulated by the CFPB

Banking Products and Services — The CFPB regulates the banking industry, collaborates with community banks and credit unions, writes new rules and regulations, and accepts consumer banking complaints.

Student Banking and Credit Cards — The CFPB conducts inquiries into on-campus student financial services, educates students about their banking options, maintains a database of school credit card agreements, and accepts student banking complaints.

Payment Cards — The CFPB administers the CARD Act of 2009, designs new and improved credit agreements and disclosures, maintains a database of credit card agreements, accepts credit card complaints, and writes new rules and regulations.

International Money Transfers — The CFPB enforces the Remittance Transfer Rule, accepts money transfer complaints, and writes new rules and regulations.

Loans

Student Loans — The CFPB created the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, as well as a customizable tool for comparing financial aid offers. They also educate students about their loan options, regulate the student loan industry, and accept student loan complaints.

Payday Loans — The CFPB regulates the payday loan industry, conducts studies of the payday loan industry, educates consumers of payday loans, and accepts payday loan complaints.

Mortgages — The CFPB regulates the mortgage industry, proposes and enforces mortgage rules, promotes its "Know Before You Owe" campaign, offers mortgage data tools, provides training for housing counselors, and accepts mortgage complaints.

Auto Loans — The CFPB regulates auto lenders, takes enforcement action, educates consumers of auto loans, and accepts auto loan complaints. 

Debt Collection and Credit Reporting

Debt Collection — The CFPB oversees the debt collection industry, publishes an annual fair debt collection practices report, provides consumers with sample action letters, writes new debt collection rules, and accepts debt collection complaints.

Credit Reporting — The CFPB enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act, supervises credit reporting companies, compiles reports on the credit reporting industry, and accepts credit reporting complaints.

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