Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (Consumer Bureau’s) proposal to address predatory debt collection practices:
“This is yet another example of an anti-consumer action at the Consumer Bureau by a Trump Administration appointee. Last year, the Consumer Bureau received about 81,500 consumer complaints regarding predatory debt collection practices, which disproportionately affect minority and low-income consumers. This proposed rule does not come close to protecting consumers from predatory behavior. Instead, it allows debt collectors to needlessly harass and threaten consumers by sending unlimited emails and text messages and calling them seven times a week to collect debts. Hardworking Americans deserve better than this.”
In February, Chairwoman Waters blasted the CFPB’s decision to reconsider its 2017 Payday, Small-Dollar, and Car Title rule that would put a stop to abusive payday loans.
Also in February, Chairwoman Waters and Congressman Al Green (D-TX), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, wrote to Kraninger to request documents relating to recent settlements that do not require companies that have violated the law to provide redress to consumers who have been harmed.
In March, Chairwoman Waters reintroduced the Consumers First Act (H.R. 1500), a bill to block the Trump Administration’s anti-consumer agenda and reverse their past efforts to undermine the mission of the Consumer Bureau. The bill would direct the Consumer Bureau’s leadership to reverse harmful actions taken under Mick Mulvaney’s leadership, including by:
- Resuming the previously authorized supervision of financial firms for Military Lending Act compliance;
- Restoring the supervisory and enforcement powers of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity;
- Reestablishing a dedicated student loan office; requiring adequate agency staffing, including for supervision and enforcement;
- Limiting the number of political appointees the Consumer Bureau may hire to address allegations that they suppressed the work of dedicated, professional staff;
- Mandating the consumer complaint database to remain transparent and publicly accessible;
- Reinstating the Consumer Advisory Board that was effectively terminated by Mr. Mulvaney with protections to ensure consumer voices are well represented, and that diversity and inclusion are promoted on the agency’s advisory boards; and,
- Encouraging greater cooperation with other government agencies, like the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense.