By Sandra Guy
June 18, 2009
What do groups that help people avoid money
messes want to see from President Obama’s Consumer Protection Agency?

The Woodstock Institute, the Chicago-based cruncher of metro area
foreclosure numbers, would like the agency to:

• • Address all financial
companies, including banks, mortgage companies and payday lenders.

• •
Identify and stop harmful practices before they become widespread.

• •
Be independent — not funded solely by levies on financial institutions that the
agency will regulate.

The Consumer Federation of America, based in
Washington, D.C., wants the agency to:

• • Cap interest rates and fees
— 18 percent would be ideal but 36 percent would be a vast improvement.

• • Eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in all financial consumer
instruments because they prevent consumers from going to court if they have a
dispute and protect corporate wrongdoers from being held accountable.

• Ban clauses in consumer loan documents that say, "We can change terms of your
contract any time for any reason."

• • Prohibit penalties for consumers
who pay off their loans early.


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