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WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 26, 2017 – Today in a joint effort, advocate groups including Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), Self-Help Credit Union (SHCU), The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), and Maeve Elise Brown, the Executive Director of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates and Chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Consumer Advisory Board, filed a motion to intervene in the case of PHH Corporation v. CFPB. In the filing, the consumer advocacy groups pressed their concerns that the new Trump Administration may not uphold the Dodd-Frank Act reforms that created the consumer protection agency and led to the recovery of billions of consumer dollars.
The motion to intervene comes as the CFPB is awaiting the D.C. Circuit’s decision to rehear a 2-1 panel decision, which legal experts have said erroneously ruled that the President may remove the CFPB Director without cause. At this time, the court has stayed the panel decision while it determines whether to rehear the case before the full court.
These advocates have consistently urged the need to maintain a strong and independent CFPB, as Congress intended, free from political and outside industry influence.
AFR, CRL, U.S. PIRG and Maeve Elise Brown, released the following statements:
“We are committed to protecting the CFPB’s independence, which is essential to stopping Wall Street and predatory lenders from fleecing American consumers. Director Cordray has been an effective and tireless leader of the CFPB and should serve his full five-year term without the threat of removal by Trump at the behest of industry lobbyists,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform.
U.S. PIRG is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. For decades, we’ve stood up for consumers, countering the influence of big banks, insurers, chemical manufacturers and other powerful special interests. www.uspirg.org
“Any attempt to weaken the CFPB by disrupting its leadership or structure presents a real threat to consumers across the country. It will revert us back to lax financial regulations and cause another painful economic crisis that we simply cannot afford. Under Richard Cordray’s leadership, the CFPB is fulfilling its mission of protecting consumers—just as Congress intended. We’ve already seen the agency hard at work against abusive practices by ITT Tech, Wells Fargo, car-title and payday lenders, big banks, and other that deceive their customers. Any efforts to halt CFPB’s progress would reduce its effectiveness and harm hardworking people. The Center for Responsible Lending will continue to support the CFPB and Director Cordray as the Bureau fights to maintain its independent structure so it can carry out its mission,” said Center for Responsible Lending President Mike Calhoun.
“Since 2011, the CFPB has restored order to the financial marketplace, and consumers overwhelmingly support its efforts to rein in abusive practices. Director Richard Cordray has brought much-needed transparency to industries that sorely lacked it, including remittance transfers, credit cards, student loan servicing and payday loans. Interfering with that progress or efforts to roll back important consumer protection provisions will only put our economy and middle class at risk to another financial crisis. We stand ready to do our part to protect the structure of the CFPB and ensure Richard Cordray remains the Bureau’s director until the end of his term,” said U.S. PIRG Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski.
“Undermining the CFPB will leave our borrowers, and the families they support, vulnerable to financial abuse by bad actors in the financial industry. The agency has fought hard against payday and car-title lenders and returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million consumers who were deceived or harmed by the big banks. The CFPB’s effectiveness, and its ability to respond to unlawful practices quickly, is because of Director Cordray’s strong leadership and its insulation from political and industry influence The CFPB and Director Cordray deserve to be protected so the Bureau can continue to look after the interests of consumers across the country,” said Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates and Chair of the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board.