When Congress sought to make sure that abuses by the financial industry that put our economy on the brink of collapse would never be repeated, it created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Since its founding in 2011, the CFPB has delivered resoundingly, providing $12 billion in relief to 29 million consumers wronged by banks and other institutions.
That success has some members of Congress — their campaigns well funded by the financial industry — lining up to gut the bureau’s powers, with a bill expected to head to a House vote this week.
The impact of the CHOICE Act on consumers is so potentially devastating that together with three colleagues I wrote and 158 experts in financial services regulation, consumer protection and housing policy signed a letter to Congress urging its rejection.
The bill would take away the CFPB’s ability to inspect banks, mortgage brokers, foreclosure relief firms, student and payday lenders, debt collectors, credit reporting agencies and auto financing companies to ensure they accurately disclose credit terms to borrowers and that they comply with laws that protect consumers from fraud and other wrongdoing.