Every Oregonian has the right to a fair marketplace, where they can safely do business with others without the worry of predatory business behavior. But decades of business-friendly policies and cultural norms have helped create a marketplace that’s unfair and unsafe for many Oregon consumers: Oregonians who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color; those with disabilities; and elderly, rural, and low-income Oregonians have been historically and systematically targeted–and harmed–by predatory business practices.
From issues with financial servicers, like unfair payday loans, debt collection, or hidden banking and credit fees; to issues with medical debt; housing, insurance, or construction fraud; dishonest auto sales, repairs, or financing; misrepresented medical or travel services; illegal towing; or other frauds or scams, the need for consumer justice is everywhere.
Without easy access to the tools or information that can protect them from bad business practices and empower them to exercise their rights as consumers, issues like these are barriers to many Oregonians’ and their family’s well-being. We believe that Oregonians in every community should have easy access to the tools, resources, information, and community support that will enable them to safely do business without risking their financial stability.
Oregon Consumer Justice is committed to advancing consumer justice, shaping an equitable and inclusive marketplace, and improving Oregonians’ rights as consumers.
We’re working to advance consumer justice for all by pushing for strong public policies that protect consumers, and holding the government accountable to protect consumers (advocacy); performing research and providing other support to Oregon’s legal community, so it’s better positioned to defend consumer rights (legal); educating and empowering Oregonians on their rights as consumers (consumer); and partnering with organizations around the state that are actively supporting Oregon consumers (community).
Learn more about OCJ’s advocacy, legal, community, and consumer work.
How OCJ Was Formed
Until recently, no group in Oregon has been fully focused on consumer justice and addressing the system-wide gaps in the consumer marketplace.
In 2015, an Oregon law ruled that going forward, unclaimed funds from class action lawsuits–which can sometimes be in the tens of millions of dollars–should go back to the people, not the corporations that harmed them. The law was put into action in 2019, when unclaimed settlement funds from the Scharfstein v. BP West Coast Products, LLC class action lawsuit were allocated for consumer protection through a cy pres order.
Oregon Consumer Justice was established with a specific mission to advance consumer protection through legal, legislative, and policy advocacy; research; education; and engagement over the course of 25 years. We envision an equitable and inclusive consumer marketplace that reflects the needs and experiences of everyone who lives here.