Consumer protection (61 - 70 of 177 items)
Feasibility of Requiring Financial Assurances for the Recall or Destruction of Unsafe Consumer Products
GAO-09-512R: Published: Apr 22, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2009.
In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it had obtained the voluntary recall of 563 unsafe or potentially unsafe products by the companies that manufactured, imported, distributed, or sold the products--the largest number for the agency in the past 10 years. In the prior year, CPSC announced 472 recalls--which was also an increase from the previous year and included s...
Food Labeling: FDA Needs to Better Leverage Resources, Improve Oversight, and Effectively Use Available Data to Help Consumers Select Healthy Foods
GAO-08-597: Published: Sep 9, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 2008.
Two thirds of U.S. adults are overweight, and childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise. To reverse these health problems, experts are urging Americans to eat healthier. Food labels contain information to help consumers who want to make healthy food choices. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees federal labeling rules for 80 percent of foods. GAO was asked to examine (1) FDA's effor...
Telecommunications: FCC Has Made Some Progress in the Management of Its Enforcement Program but Faces Limitations, and Additional Actions Are Needed
GAO-08-125: Published: Feb 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2008.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) annually receives about 100,000 complaints from individuals and companies. FCC has the authority to investigate these complaints and take enforcement action if it finds a violation of the telecommunications laws and rules, which are designed to ensure, for example, that individuals have access to 911 services and a wider affordable range of communication...
Bank Fees: Federal Banking Regulators Could Better Ensure That Consumers Have Required Disclosure Documents Prior to Opening Checking or Savings Accounts
GAO-08-281: Published: Jan 31, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2008.
In 2006, consumers paid over $36 billion in fees associated with checking and savings accounts, raising questions about consumers' awareness of their accounts' terms and conditions. GAO was asked to review (1) trends in the types and amounts of checking and deposit account fees since 2000, (2) how federal banking regulators address such fees in their oversight of depository institutions, and (3) t...
Consumer Protection: Some Improvements in Federal Oversight of Household Goods Moving Industry Since 2001, but More Action Needed to Better Protect Individual Consumers
GAO-07-586: Published: May 16, 2007. Publicly Released: May 16, 2007.
The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for protecting consumers involved in interstate household goods moves by issuing regulations and conducting oversight and enforcement actions. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act--A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), enacted in 2005, included provisions to enhanc...
Bankruptcy Reform: Value of Credit Counseling Requirements Is Not Clear
GAO-07-778T: Published: May 1, 2007. Publicly Released: May 1, 2007.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires individuals to receive credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy and to take a debtor education course before having debts discharged. Concerns were raised that the new requirements could expose consumers to abusive practices by credit counseling agencies or become barriers to filing for bankruptcy. This testimony is...
Title Insurance: Actions Needed to Improve Oversight of the Title Industry and Better Protect Consumers
GAO-07-401: Published: Apr 13, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 2007.
In a previous report and testimony, GAO identified issues related to title insurance markets, including questions about the extent to which premium rates reflect underlying costs, oversight of title agent practices, and the implications of recent state and federal investigations. This report addresses those issues by examining (1) the characteristics of title insurance markets across states, (2) f...
Credit Cards: Increased Complexity in Rates and Fees Heightens Need for More Effective Disclosures to Consumers
GAO-06-929: Published: Sep 12, 2006. Publicly Released: Oct 11, 2006.
With credit card penalty rates and fees now common, the Federal Reserve has begun efforts to revise disclosures to better inform consumers of these costs. Questions have also been raised about the relationship among penalty charges, consumer bankruptcies, and issuer profits. GAO examined (1) how card fees and other practices have evolved and how cardholders have been affected, (2) how effectively...
OCC Preemption Rules: OCC Should Further Clarify the Applicability of State Consumer Protection Laws to National Banks
GAO-06-387: Published: Apr 28, 2006. Publicly Released: May 30, 2006.
In January 2004, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)--the federal supervisor of federally chartered or "national" banks--issued two final rules referred to jointly as the preemption rules. The "bank activities" rule addressed the applicability of state laws to national banking activities, while the "visitorial powers" rule set forth OCC's view of its authority to inspect, examine,...
Title Insurance: Preliminary Views and Issues for Further Study
GAO-06-569T: Published: Apr 26, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2006.
Title insurance is a required element of almost all real estate purchases and is not an insignificant cost for consumers. However, consumers generally do not have the knowledge needed to "shop around" for title insurance and usually rely on professionals involved in real estate--such as lenders, real estate agents, and attorneys--for advice in selecting a title insurer. Recent state and federal in...