The FTC’s Innovative Contest to Deal With Annoying Commerical Robocallers — There’s a Cash Prize Involved!

by Brian Wolfman Back in October, the Federal Trade Commission challenged the public to create an innovative solution that will block illegal commercial robocalls on landlines and mobile phones. As part of its ongoing campaign against these illegal, prerecorded telemarketing calls, the agency … launch[ed] the FTC Robocall Challenge, and offer[ed] a $50,000 cash prize […]

Even More on the FTC Report on the Debt Buying Industry (and the Industry’s Effect on Real People)

We've already blogged twice on this subject today (here and here). But there's something else you may want to check out. Jen Lavellee, a senior lawyer at the D.C. Legal Aid Society, posted this piece on a client who experienced some of the serious problems discussed in the FTC Report on the debt buying industry […]

Today’s Recess Appointment News

by Deepak Gupta The Arbitration Wars Meet the Recess Appointment Wars: Since its beginning, this blog has closely covered controversies over mandatory arbitration in consumer and employment contracts. More recently, we've been covering the constitutional controversy over the President's recess appointments to the CFPB and NLRB. On Tuesday, those two worlds officially collided when lawyers […]

More on FTC Study on the Debt Buying Industry and Prospects for Reform

This morning, Allison posted this informative piece on the FTC's new report on the debt buying industry. The Consumerist has done a nice overview of the report, explaining in some detail what it sees as the report's eight key takeaways: (1) Debt-Buyers Only Pay About $.04 Per Dollar On The Accounts They Buy; (2) Debt-Buyers […]

American Banker Slideshow on Financial Institution Spending on Lobbying

Here.  The lead: "Many of the nation's largest financial institutions lowered their spending on lobbying the federal government in 2012, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics." Still, as the slideshow makes clears, many of the largest financial institutions individually spent millions on lobbying last year.  I wonder if all the consumer […]

Are “Out of Network” Medical Charges Unfairly Increasing Health Insurance Costs?

If you have health insurance, you probably know that the charges for "out of network" services are more than services provided by doctors and hospitals that are "in network." This article by Chad Terhune explains just how much the differential can be and whether the system is in need of reform. Here's an excerpt: A […]

“Unemployment and Regulatory Policy”

That's the name of this article by University of Chicago law profs Jonathan Masur and Eric Posner. When a federal regulatory agency proposes a rule–say, a rule seeking to promote product safety or environmental quality–the agency generally does an cost-benefit analysis. It often does a separate analysis of the the rule's effect on employment. In […]

Todd Zywicki on Network Branded Prepaid Cards

Todd J. Zywicki of George Mason has written The Economics and Regulation of Network Branded Prepaid Cards. Here is the abstract: General-purpose reloadable prepaid cards have been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the consumer payments marketplace in recent years. Their importance has accelerated as a consequence of new regulations enacted in the wake of […]

Threatening and Suing Consumers for Criticisms the “Right Way”

by Paul Alan Levy Here at the Consumer Law and Policy blog, we worry about the chilling impact of both lawsuits against consumers’ speech and heavy-handed cease-and-desist letters demanding the cessation of such speech,  on consumers’ ability to use the comment on business.  We regularly discuss these situations, and at Public Citizen we often represent […]