CRL in the News
Last year, the Obama administration enacted new rules regarding payday lending. They haven't yet come into effect. Now, the Consumer Financial Protection Board says it will reconsider the tighter regulation that would have required payday lenders to make sure the people they lend to can actually repay their loans. The rule was bitterly opposed by some in the lending industry who say it would cut off credit to potential borrowers. Many consumer advocates, however, said the rule would have prevented people from being taken advantage of.
“Today’s announcement is a big deal and could become a terrible deal for consumers,” said Rebecca Borné, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. “The human devastation caused by payday loans, which average nearly 400 percent APR, has been extensively documented.”
"In every state, across the board, for-profit colleges are underperforming non-profit and that their demographics are different. Students who are attending for-profit colleges look different."
Some consumer groups disagree. “Considering the success the CFPB has had in fighting for consumers, it is troubling that H.R. 1264 would essentially exempt a large part of the banking industry from the CFPB’s supervision,” Scott Astrada, director of federal advocacy for the Center for Responsible Lending, told a House subcommittee last week, in testimony opposing the bill.
“Another area where there could be a big change is the consumer complaint database,” said Melissa Stegman, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. Nearly 1 million complaints processed by the agency are published on its website – minus people’s names and identifying information – as a resource for consumers and researchers on corporate practices.
Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending, called Mulvaney’s appointment “unlawful.”
“Leandra English is the rightful Acting Director of the Bureau,” Calhoun said. “Naming Mick Mulvaney — someone who’s adamantly anti-consumer — rewards financial predators and fails to put consumers first.”
Even without Cordray at the helm, the problem that confronts Hunt and his frenemies running other financial industry trade associations is that the CFPB is simply too popular to eliminate. A 2017 poll by Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending showed that 78 percent of likely voters believe we need tough rules and enforcement to prevent another financial crisis.
While taxes and Russia were dominating the headlines, President Trump quietly signed a bill into law that severely weakens America’s consumers—all 325 million of us. This law lets financial companies block consumers from going to court when those companies illegally take money away from them. Instead, consumers are forced into arbitration, a process rigged against them with little chance for compensation. Big banks, credit card companies, and payday lenders received a “get-out-of-jail-free” card.
Warner’s bill has drawn opposition from consumer groups including Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending and the Consumer Federation of America, along with civil rights organizations including the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Payday loans are debt traps by design with interest rates averaging 300 percent,” Standaert said. “These small loans cause big problems for low-income people all across the country.” The CFSAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Trump Organization spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.