Happy Birthday CFPB: Protecting American Consumers Against Wall Street

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the law that created the only financial regulatory agency with a mandate to put the interests of consumers first. Since it opened its doors in July 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has begun to bring badly needed rules of fair play to mortgages, debit cards and other areas of the financial marketplace, while delivering some $10.1 billion in refunds and restitution to more than 14 million consumers cheated by financial companies big and small.

Now the Bureau has taken the first steps toward issuing rules that could end abuses in payday, car-title, and other high-cost, debt-trap consumer loans – loans that have had devastating effects on countless Wisconsin families. Unfortunately for the citizens of Idaho, however, Senator Crapo appears to be lining up with the payday lenders and the big banks in their ceaseless efforts to block regulation and undermine the Consumer Bureau’s effectiveness.

Senator Crapo has voted for bills and amendments designed to curtail the CFPB’s funding and authority and roll back financial reform. In addition, he ranks among the top thirty House recipients of payday-industry campaign contributions, with $37,500 coming in during the last election cycle.

A new survey confirms once again that most voters – including majorities of Democrats, Independents and Republicans – believe there should be more, not less, government oversight of financial companies. Nearly nine out of ten voters say that small-dollar lenders should have to make sure a loan is affordable in light of a customer’s income and expenses.

“Deceptive loans, fueled by the greed of lending companies and Wall Street banks, nearly drove our economy off a cliff in 2008,” said Ayde Saavadra. “Some of our elected leaders may have forgotten that; their constituents have not. Most Americans understand that the kind of abuses the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has set out to tackle put our whole economy at risk.”

The Bureau released an outline of its plans to regulate small-dollar consumer loans in March, and it is expected to come out with a formal proposal later this year. Meanwhile, it has been working with the Justice Department and other federal agencies to crack down on payday lenders, debt collectors and their corporate accomplices (including banks and payment processors) when they violate existing state and federal laws.

“It makes you wonder who Senator Crapo is representing on these issues,” Robynhawk Wilson said. “It does not seem to be the people of Idaho.”

“It is a big win that we now have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the job of putting consumer protection first,” ICAN added. “It is time for Idaho’s Congressional Delegates and all our elected officials to start supporting instead of undermining its crucial work.”

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