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House Panel Attacks Effective Government Agency for Protecting Consumers

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Melissa Stegman

Hearing Uses Debunked Arguments as Cover for Favoring Payday Lenders, Financial Predators Over Working Families

Today, the House Committee on Financial Services’ Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on the design of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Since its inception in 2010, the independent CFPB has provided 29 million Americans harmed by financial companies with a total of nearly $12 billion in restitution and it has helped thousands of families across America resolve disputes with unscrupulous lenders.

Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Senior Policy Counsel Melissa Stegman released the following statement:

The CFPB was created to do an important job: to enforce laws that prevent financial predators from cheating American families out of their hard-earned paychecks. Today’s hearing is part of a concerted effort to undercut a government agency that is immensely popular and effective.

The Bureau has scored numerous wins for consumers. This includes stopping Wells Fargo from opening fraudulent accounts, securing $480 million in debt relief for students scammed by Corinthian for-profit colleges, forcing MasterCard to compensate consumers who were denied access to their own money, and establishing new rules for the mortgage market, so that American families have sustainable access to homeownership and wealth building. The consumer agency is now working to prevent payday loan debt traps and forced arbitration clauses that deny consumers their day in court.

Proposals to alter the structure of the CFPB all aim to undermine its ability to serve the public and the critique of its constitutionality ignores clear legal precedent. Instead of doing the bidding of unscrupulous lenders, Congress should focus more attention on the homeownership gap and other challenges to expanding economic opportunity.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Matthew Kravitz at matthew.kravitz@responsiblelending.org.