Consumer protection (11 - 20 of 177 items)
Consumer Product Safety Oversight: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Coordination and Increase Efficiencies and Effectiveness
GAO-15-52: Published: Nov 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2014.
GAO identified eight agencies that have direct oversight responsibilities for consumer product safety: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,...
Health Care Transparency: Actions Needed to Improve Cost and Quality Information for Consumers
GAO-15-11: Published: Oct 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2014.
Results obtained from two selected private consumer transparency tools GAO reviewed—websites with health cost or quality information comparing different health care providers—show that some providers are paid thousands of dollars more than others for the same service in the same geographic area, regardless of the quality of such services. For example, the cost for maternity care at selected ac...
Financial Audit: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Financial Statements
GAO-15-146R: Published: Nov 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2014.
GAO found (1) the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) financial statements as of and for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2014, and 2013, are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; (2) CFPB's internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of September 30, 2014, because of a material weakness in int...
Consumer Product Safety Commission: Challenges and Options for Responding to New and Emerging Risks
GAO-15-17: Published: Oct 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2014.
According to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) officials, industry representatives, consumer groups, and subject-matter experts GAO interviewed, the timeliness of CPSC's responses may be affected by several factors, including (1) compliance actions that can involve litigation, (2) reliance on voluntary standards, (3) rulemaking procedures, (4) restrictions on sharing information with the p...
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Opportunity Exists to Improve Transparency of Civil Penalty Fund Activities
GAO-14-551: Published: Jun 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014.
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, also known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has developed a process for administering the Consumer Financial Civil Penalty Fund (Civil Penalty Fund). CFPB deposits collected civil money penalties into the fund to compensate eligible victims and may also use the fund for the purpose of consumer education and financial literacy programs...
Consumer Finance: Credit Cards Designed for Medical Services Not Covered by Insurance
GAO-14-570: Published: Jun 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2014.
Multiple entities offer medical credit cards, but according to market participants with whom GAO spoke, CareCredit LLC issues the majority of medical credit cards. In 2013, the company reported 4.4 million cardholders and 177,000 participating providers in its network, the majority of which were dental offices. Several other financial institutions also issue medical credit cards, usually offering...
Virtual Currencies: Emerging Regulatory, Law Enforcement, and Consumer Protection Challenges
GAO-14-496: Published: May 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2014.
Virtual currencies are financial innovations that pose emerging challenges to federal financial regulatory and law enforcement agencies in carrying out their responsibilities, as the following examples illustrate:Virtual currency systems may provide greater anonymity than traditional payment systems and sometimes lack a central intermediary to maintain transaction information. As a result, financi...
Consumers' Location Data: Companies Take Steps to Protect Privacy, but Practices Are Inconsistent, and Risks May Not be Clear to Consumers
GAO-14-649T: Published: Jun 4, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 2014.
Fourteen mobile industry companies and 10 in-car navigation providers that GAO examined in its 2012 and 2013 reports—including mobile carriers and auto manufacturers with the largest market share and popular application developers—collect location data and use or share them to provide consumers with location-based services and improve consumer services. For example, mobile carriers and applica...
Credit Cards: Marketing to College Students Appears to Have Declined
GAO-14-225: Published: Feb 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2014.
Trends associated with college affinity card agreements include fewer agreements and cardholders and declining payments, according to data GAO analyzed from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB). The number of affinity card agreements declined from 1,045 in 2009 to 617 in 2012 (41 percent). More than 70 percent...
Homeowners Insurance: Multiple Challenges Make Expanding Private Coverage Difficult
GAO-14-179: Published: Jan 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 2014.
Homeowners insurance policies typically protect homes, garages and other structures, and personal belongings from damage caused by perils such as fire, hail, lightning, explosion, and theft, among others. The insurance industry considers these perils insurable because they are accidental, predictable, and do not involve catastrophic losses. These policies also typically exclude losses from a numbe...