A quick note to say thank you for your continued support to stop abusive payday loans. And, to urge your organization to sign onto a letter in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Also pasted in below:
Please take a minute to read the letter and to sign on if you can!
Sign on by Friday February 6th, fill out the google form linked here
(or paste this URL into your browser https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1GPKG_Mb_8r40VM3r5O6vi8LKAu4diH2O26PcFY9OiBE/viewform)
The CFPB is on the front lines of Payday Lending Reform and an empowered CFPB is crucial to ensure a strong rule to regulate payday lenders and for future consumer protections. But the agency is under attack from the payday industry, debt collectors, big banks and their allies in Congress – we must show strong support from around the country for the good work the agency has done to protect consumers!
On behalf of Americans for Financial Reform and the undersigned national, state and local organizations, we are writing to urge your strong opposition to any efforts to dismantle, weaken, or change the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) in this Congress. The CFPB was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010; it opened its doors as the nation’s only financial regulator completely devoted to consumer protection in July 2011, and its first Director, Richard Cordray, was confirmed in July 2013.
Since then, the CFPB has been protecting consumers by ensuring that markets work in an open, transparent, and fair way. The Bureau’s mission is to hold financial companies accountable for being up front about the costs of, and risks associated with, their products, and also to ensure that consumers are treated with dignity and respect, rather than set up to fail. The Bureau has successfully gone to bat for consumers, delivering results that are making markets work more fairly and putting a stop to fraud and abuse. The CFPB has recovered billions of dollars in restitution for consumers, from Servicemembers to credit card holders.
The Bureau has done this through their investigation of various companies for potential violations of consumer financial laws. In total, CFPB enforcements have resulted in over $4.6 billion returned to over 12 million who have been harmed by illegal, deceptive, and discriminatory practices of various companies.
The rollback proposals that have been debated in the past—and which we expect will be raised again in the new Congress—will not protect the public or increase agency accountability. Instead these proposals would hamper the agency and interfere with its ability to fulfill its mission. The arguments to support them are part of a pattern of mischaracterizing the CFPB’s organization and processes. Unfortunately, opponents of consumer protection—including portions of the financial services industry that opposed the creation of the Bureau—have opposed its consumer protection efforts at every step, and possess a narrow self-interest in preventing effective consumer regulation. We strongly urge members of Congress to refrain from placing those narrow industry interests above the vital public interest in regulation of the consumer finance market place. And we urge you to be appropriately skeptical of arguments about what is in the public interest that are put forward by regulated industries, but opposed by the broad array of organizations representing tens of millions of people from diverse constituencies that are the signatories of this letter.
Some expected proposals, such as those that would subject the CFPB to appropriations, making it the only bank regulator without independent funding, or that would replace its director with a five-member commission, are simply designed to destroy the agency. Others pursue a strategy of a ‘death by a thousand cuts.’ Below we discuss some of our major concerns about a number of the threats to the CFPB that were proposed last Congress. This is only a partial list, however, and we urge your strong opposition to all proposals to weaken or undermine the CFPB.