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In the Trump Era, consumer protection agency changes course

Crowell says that the Trump-appointed CFPB director Mick Mulvaney delayed the implementation of its prepaid card rule that was designed to help stop abusive fees for users.

Crowell says that the Trump-appointed CFPB director Mick Mulvaney delayed the implementation of its prepaid card rule that was designed to help stop abusive fees for users.

In the Trump Era, consumer protection agency changes course

CBC Members Question CFPB Actions under Trump Appointee

By Charlene Crowell, (NNPA Newswire Columnist)

In the wake of a recent series of anti-consumer actions taken by Mick Mulvaney, the Trump-appointed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Acting Director, a bicameral call for accountability was released on Jan. 31. Led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two other Congressional Black Caucus Members, Congressmen Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Al Green (D-Texas) joined Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) as signatories.

Together, the group of lawmakers seek to know what prompted Mr. Mulvaney’s actions as well as his ties to the payday lending industry.

A Jan. 31 letter calls into question the following specific actions that have occurred over the past month:

  • Halting implementation of the agency’s final rule preventing abusive payday lending (the ‘Payday Rule);
  • Announcement of the Bureau’s intention to initiate a rulemaking process that appears designed to weaken the Payday Rule;
  • Withdrawing a Bureau lawsuit against four online pay-day lenders who allegedly misled customers on interest rates that spanned a low of 440 percent to as high as 950 percent; and
  • Ending an investigation of World Acceptance Corporation, a high-cost installment lender that began in 2014 after consumers complained of un-affordable loans and aggressive collection practices.

“For too long, some payday, auto title, and installment lenders have taken advantage of American workers who need a little extra money to pay an unexpected medical bill or fix their car,” wrote the lawmakers. “For too many families, one un-expected expense or tight week traps them in a cycle of debt that lasts months or years…The rule finalized by the CFPB last October was carefully balanced to end that cycle of debt while ensuring that borrowers retain access to needed credit.”

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act that created the CFPB intended for it to be an independent agency, charged with serving as the consumer’s financial cop-on-the-beat. Its director was to be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to a five-year term of service.  Additionally, CFPB was to secure its funding directly from the Federal Reserve Bank, rather than through Congress’ annual appropriations process that could enable powerful special interests to restrict necessary funding.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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