The CFPB

This is the type of thing that made so many Republicans want to get rid of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

In December, the agency ordered refunds by major companies for misleading business practices: American Express, more than $59 million; GE Capital Retail Bank, up to $34 million. A joint settlement with Ocwen Financial totaled about $2 billion. The list goes on.

And on Friday, new mortgage rules and consumer protections went into effect that were part of the financial overhaul bill that created the agency, which opened its doors just over two years ago.

And now they will be looking at things like forced arbitration:

Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the United States Public Interest Research Group, said this might be the single most important issue on the agency’s agenda. “The biggest thing we are hoping for in 2014 is to finish or at least make major progress with the arbitration rule and ban forced arbitration in consumer contracts,” he said. “In many of these cases you are ripped off for $10 or $100 each. But millions of consumers are ripped off. That’s why we think it’s a very big deal.”

They will also be looking at student loans, overdraft fees:

The consumer agency issued a report earlier this year that found that 61 percent of bank fees from consumer accounts were for overdrafts

debt collection, credit reports:

They are also looking to the bureau to generate rules that would help consumers whose credit files are mixed with less creditworthy individuals — the stuff of nightmares for the consumers who cannot get the bureaus to permanently untangle their reports. The reason files become mixed to begin with can be traced back to the computer formula the bureaus use to match credit data to a specific person’s credit report. For instance, the credit bureaus’ system might add a delinquent credit card account to a credit report even if the Social Security number is off by two digits, but enough of the other identifying information matches.

and pre-paid cards.

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