CRL in the News
Citing the Trump administration's threat to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a coalition of consumer advocacy groups and the top Democrats on the U.S. Senate and House banking committees on Thursday moved to defend the agency and its leadership. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Maxine Waters of California, moving to intervene in a federal appeals court case, said the Trump administration cannot be counted on to defend the independence of the agency's single-director structure.
"The Center for Responsible Lending will continue to support the CFPB and Director Cordray as the Bureau fights to maintain its independent structure so it can carry out its mission", said Center for Responsible Lending President Mike Calhoun. That's why a number of consumer advocates and more than a dozen state attorneys general have stepped up, seeking to defend the CFPB if the new executive branch won't. Cordray's tenure will come to its natural conclusion in July of 2018, and he has made it clear that he does not anticipate any unexpected changes in the way the agency operates.
The groups seeking to intervene on behalf of the CFPB include Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending, Self-Help Credit Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group. They join 16 state attorneys general, who have also petitioned the court to help defend the CFPB.
"I think we were surprised by how quickly this was something that they wanted to look at," said Sarah Wolff of the Center for Responsible Lending, according to a USA Today report. "I think it unfortunately signals that they don’t place as great an emphasis as we would hope on access and affordability of mortgage credit.
In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law provided new protections, many modeled after laws on the books in North Carolina, and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – an agency that finally made consumer protection a priority and the financial services industry accountable to working families.
At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, an estimated one out of every 54 homeowners lost their homes. Workers and seniors lost lifetimes’ worth of savings or retirement accounts, small businesses went under, and vulnerable consumers fell victim to toxic and manipulative financial products offered by Wall Street and the big banks.
Presionan para abrir el mercado hipotecario. Aunque el mercado de las casas se expande y se decretan leyes que protegen a los prestatarios, los consumidores latinos y afroamericanos siguen batallando para conseguir crédito hipotecario a buen precio. Una defensora del consumidor comenta sobre la práctica del redlining, la nueva agencia federal que protege a los consumidores de servicios fnancieros, y las perspectivas hacia el año entrante para los compradores de casa.
A series of developments following the Wells Fargo scandal has now led to the introduction of legislation designed to bring financial justice to the millions of consumers affected by fees and fraudulent accounts they never authorized nor opened. On Dec. 1, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio introduced a bill that would grant Wells Fargo victims their own day in court — even if they signed contracts that included arbitration for legitimately-opened accounts with the bank.
"The most effective consumer protection laws at the state level should not be undermined by bad new financial products that could open the doors for predatory lending," said Courtney Robinson, policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. "A federally chartered fintech lender would avoid state interest rate caps, leaving people vulnerable to financial services abuse."
“We need a strong and independent CFPB agency and director now more than ever. If the 2008 financial crisis showed us anything, it’s that people need an independent regulator to look after the interests of consumers,” says Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending. “Director Cordray has led the Bureau with a steady hand and worked tirelessly with his staff to return billions of dollars back to hardworking people across the country harmed by abusive financial practices.”