05/03/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Enough Is Enough: Take Back Your Consumer Rights

At the close of 2009, the House of Representatives passed a bill to create a solid Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) that would defend families against deceptive lending. House members did their part to beat back the reckless practices of big banks and Wall Street. Now it's time for the Senate to show that they care about our financial security too.

This is decision week for the CFPA. Opponents are lobbying to drastically scale it back, and senators are actively negotiating a deal. Readers can help to ensure that strong consumer protections survive these deliberations by contacting their senators today and telling them that this is the year families come out on top. Click here for call-in details or just call toll-free: (866) 544-7573.

Tell senators that a strong CFPA must:

• Operate as an independent agency that families can trust
• Be able to write, investigate, and enforce rules and regulations for all consumer transactions
• Cover auto dealers and mortgage finance companies that have remained unregulated
• Increase access to financial advice for low-income families, a strong movement led by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Latino families have been hit particularly hard by predatory lending, and they still struggle to access credit on fair terms. Readers should contact their senators today and tomorrow (March 3-4). Ask them to crack down on reckless practices and give families the chance to finally navigate an honest financial system.

For more information, see NCLR's banking reform web page.