Call Your Senator Now to Pass Financial Reform

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

A year ago no one thought Wall Street would be held accountable for what they did to our economy. But this week, we’re on the verge of passing the biggest overhaul of our financial laws since the Great Depression – and we need your help to finish it.

Just dial the toll-free number below to be directly connected with your Senators’ offices. (You have two Senators, so if you can make two calls – great!). The message is simple:

1 (800) 944-6762

Vote YES on the financial reform bill. Put consumers before the banks, and get our economy back on track!

Not every reform that everyone wanted got in the final bill, but analysts are saying if these reforms were in place two years ago, our economy would not have suffered as it did. Here are just some of the major provisions in the financial reform bill:

New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: This watchdog would oversee the financial products we all deal with – mortgages, credit cards, checking accounts, payday loans. It’s the first time consumers will have a single advocate on our side, with the power to make and enforce rules to prevent scams and rip-offs. States can go even farther in protecting residents if they desire.

Improved auto-dealer regulation: Car dealers got themselves exempted from the new consumer watchdog despite consumers’ best efforts. But, the bill gives the Federal Trade Commission more authority to stop unfair practices by car dealers in auto financing. We’ll keep working to make sure consumers get a fair deal if they finance their cars through a dealer.

No taxpayer bailouts: Troubled financial firms that could damage our economy would have to be broken up and liquidated, rather than be bailed out or propped up by taxpayers. Firms would have to pay fees to cover any government cost of winding them down.

Bank and lender accountability: Banks can only make a small investment (3% or less of their capital) in hedge or private-equity funds. Banks would have to spin-off their riskiest derivative trading operations. Those banks that package mortgage loans would have to keep 5% of the risk – keeping their skin in the game.

Better mortgage regulation: Lenders have to ensure borrowers can afford the mortgages they make by requiring proof of income, job status and credit history. And consumers can’t be hit with penalties for paying off their mortgages early, as they are now.

More insurance of our deposits: Increases level of federal deposit insurance required for banks, thrifts and credit unions to $250,000 for each customer deposit (previous limit was $100,000 deposit).

Call your Senators now:

1 (800) 944-6762

Vote YES on the financial reform bill. Put consumers before the banks, and get our economy back on track!

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