April 07, 2016

ICYMI: Public Interest Advocates Praise CFPB's Success in Protecting Consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Senate Banking Committee holds hearings this week on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, several public interest groups highlighted the bureau’s achievements to rein in abusive practices that hurt American families, communities, and the economy. The groups urged the Banking Committee and Congress to resist Republican efforts to undermine or abolish the CFPB, which has secured more than $11 billion in relief to more than 25 million wronged consumers.

Before the Banking Committee’s hearing today on the CFPB’s semi-annual report, the panel received petitions from hundreds of thousands of Americans supporting the bureau’s work.


Americans for Financial Reform: “The CFPB has fulfilled Congress’s vision of a federal agency with ‘the authority and accountability to ensure that existing consumer protection laws and regulations are comprehensive, fair, and vigorously enforced.’ Through its rulemaking, supervision, enforcement, and consumer education and complaint system, the CFPB has made enormous strides in ensuring that the financial marketplace is fair to consumers. Its rules and supervision have already begun to reform the industry’s conduct, making banks and other financial services companies more attentive to consumers’ rights.”

Alliance for a Just Society: “While we know some industry interests are intent on undermining the ability of the CFPB to protect consumers, we hope the committee’s proceedings will explore the continuing threats of unfair and deceptive financial industry practices facing consumers, both in debt collection and in other areas, and the important role of the CFPB in curbing abusive practices that harm families, communities, and our economy.”

Center for American Progress: “As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reaches the five-year mark, it has achieved a remarkable track record for American families. It has handled over 830,000 public complaints, its enforcement actions have provided more than $11 billion in relief to more than 25 million wronged consumers, and, it has uncovered consumer financial challenges in segments of the market—such as credit reporting—that had previously not been addressed. In short, consumer finance regulations post-crisis are working.”

Center for Responsible Lending: “We should remember lessons from the immediate past – Congress should not roll back the protections that will prevent the onslaught of defaults and foreclosures that caused the crisis… Instead of focusing on false causes of the crisis, Congress needs to give its full attention to the economic recovery—which will remain out of reach for too many Americans as long as creditworthy borrowers struggle to keep or purchase a home. We must move forward, not backward, on the reforms that protect borrowers and promote sustainable homeownership. The reforms of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB help consumers, lenders, and the economy by the promotion of responsible loan products.”

Consumer Federation of America: “Effective regulation of the lenders that offer high-cost payday, auto title and other loans is critical to protecting consumers from abusive practices and the financial insecurity that results from the sustained use of high-cost debt. The proposal under consideration by the CFPB is the result of a comprehensive analysis of the high-cost credit marketplace and is supported by robust CFPB research and information collected as part of its ongoing supervision and enforcement activities. It represents a targeted response that will prevent bad practices so that good practices can flourish. We urge you to fully consider the profound harm suffered by consumers trapped in a long-term cycle of debt caused by payday and auto title loans and support the Bureau’s work to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.”

Main Street Alliance: “CFPB opponents often invoke small businesses in their opposition, claiming that its regulatory and enforcement actions are burdensome or job-killing. However, the Main Street Alliance firmly believes that these protections are the necessary safeguards to enable businesses and entrepreneurs to take the financial risks to start or expand their business.”

“The CFPB has made enormous strides in creating a fairer marketplace in which small businesses, consumers, and local economies can thrive. The Main Street Alliance urges theCFPB to continue this work ahead and promptly move forward on each of the nine priorities it has identified for the next two years.”

National Association of Consumer Advocates: “The CFPB’s work has resulted in billions of dollars returned to consumers and consequential changes to predatory industry practices. Through these and other actions the Bureau has identified and addressed some of the worst unfair, abusive and deceptive practices in debt collection, credit reporting, student loans, payday loans, back accounts, and other products and services.”

National Consumer Law Center: “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been doing exactly what Congress created it to do: addressing a long backlog of consumer protection issues that have been sorely neglected. The Bureau has been listening carefully to consumers, industry and other interested parties and gathering critical research in order to make financial markets work better for all concerned. Congress should applaud the CFPB for the tremendous progress it has already made in a short period of time and provide strong support to the agency to continue its vital work in protecting the American public.”

National Community Reinvestment Coalition: “NCRC applauds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) final rule expanding the data collected around the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)... We are particularly pleased that the CFPB has followed the recommendation of NCRC and other advocacy groups to disaggregate the data on race and ethnicity. The CFPB has also shown careful consideration of potential privacy issues in this process, which should assuage any concerns surrounding the collection of the data.”

National Fair Housing Alliance: “Prior to the establishment of the CFPB there was an obvious void in federal oversight of financial institutions operating to bring a panoply of financial products and services to consumers. This is evidenced by the sheer number of fair lending issues the Bureau is now able to address using its authority under Dodd-Frank. The millions of consumers who have received relief from discriminatory practices are a testament to the Bureau’s necessity. NFHA fully supports the fair lending regulatory and enforcement work the CFPB has undertaken and urges the Committee to do everything within its power to ensure that the agency is fully equipped to continue its work to make our financial markets fair for America’s consumers.”

Public Interest Research Group: “Strong consumer regulations, and a strong CFPB, are critical to making financial markets work. They better align the interests of buyers and sellers so sellers don’t depend on ‘gotcha’ practices and buyers (consumers) gain more trust and confidence in the regulated financial system. Strong consumer rules also reduce the amount of risk placed in the system by unsafe, unsustainable products, further reducing the threat of future financial crises. The idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.”

Public Citizen: “As the Senate Banking Committee meets with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Public Citizen applauds the CFPB for what it’s done—returning more than $11 billion from predatory Wall Street firms to victims. We urge the agency to continue to fulfill its mandate by moving forward a strong rule banning or restricting forced arbitration—a pernicious practice which blocks consumers from joining together to seek justice and forces ripped-off consumers to take on large corporations alone in a secretive system set up to favor corporations, giving them an effective license to steal. We also urge the CFPB to propose strong rules protecting consumers from abusive small-dollar lending that exploits the most vulnerable among us. Public Citizen stands strongly behind the CFPB as a key achievement of Dodd-Frank and a tried and true defender of American consumers.”