Tell Congress Not to Weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Image credit: The Trial Lawyer Magazine, Winter 2015.
By Lisa Donner, Americans for Financial Reform.
One of the best things to come out of the Wall Street reform law known as Dodd Frank was a new financial watchdog agency – the first-ever with a focused mandate to make the marketplace fairer for consumers and borrowers and put their interests ahead of the power and profits of banks.
Since it got up and running in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ably embarked on that task, despite a barrage of attacks from the financial industry and its allies. Now those attacks are about to get tougher, and much more dangerous -- and the CFPB is a prime target, Wall Street and its friends in the 114th Congress are out to “de-fang” the agency, according to former Representative Barney Frank.
We need financial regulators with the will and the means to resist Wall Street’s power. Tell Congress to stand up for the CFPB, not to weaken or undermine it.
In its short life, the CFPB has racked up a record of significant accomplishment: among other things, it has forced financial services companies to pay some $4.7 billion in monetary relief to wronged consumers; cracked down on “last dollar” scams that pocket up-front fees from financially desperate people for help that is never actually delivered; told mortgage lenders to stop making unaffordable loans; started work on rules to end payday lending abuses and reign in out-of-control debt collection practices; and developed a searchable consumer complaint system, helping tens of thousands of people get answers or monetary relief from their lenders in addition to giving the Bureau and the public a valuable window onto problems in the market.
For the CFPB to continue to defend the American people, though, we will need to rise to the defense of the CFPB.
Join in sending the new Congress a loud message of support for the CFPB and the cause of a fairer, simpler and safer financial system.
The great majority of Americans, regardless of party, want regulation of the financial industry to be tougher rather than looser, not just to protect consumers against abusive and deceptive practices but to guard the economy and the country against another financial and economic disaster.
But Washington needs to hear from us. Members of the new Congress need to know that we are watching and will hold them accountable for actions plainly designed to weaken the rules and open the door to another round of predatory lending and Wall Street gambling – with the prospect of another taxpayer bailout down the road.