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NCLC in the News

Select media clips. Journalists interested in speaking with an expert at the National Consumer Law Center should contact Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 617.542,8010).

Press Releases

Trump Nominates Office of Management & Budget’s Kathy Kraninger to Lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 18, 2018 || Contact: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), (617) 542-8010

WASHINGTON – President Trump announced Kathy Kraninger as his nominee for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau late Saturday. Since November 25, 2017, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has also served as acting director of the consumer bureau, an agency that has returned more than $12 billion to consumers but which Mulvaney once described as a “sick, sad” joke.

“Ms. Kraninger does not appear to have any consumer protection experience that qualifies her to lead an important agency that oversees the largest banks and protects the public from risky mortgages, tricks and traps, and other abuses by Wall Street giants,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center.

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Court to CFPB: Payday Lending Rule Compliance Date Stays Intact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12, 2018 II Contacts: Center for Responsible Lending: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 349-1866; Public Citizen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (202) 503-6768; National Consumer Law Center: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (617) 542-8010; Americans for Financial Reform: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 869-0397

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas today ruled against the request by Mick Mulvaney, the Community Financial Services Association of America, and the Consumer Service Alliance of Texas to delay the compliance date for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule on payday loans.

This spring, industry groups filed suit to invalidate the payday and car title rule and block the consumer bureau from implementing it. Then, the consumer bureau teamed up with the industry groups to ask the judge to stay the payday rule, without litigation. If the court had sided with Mulvaney and the industry and stopped the rule from moving forward, payday lenders would be able to continue to use harmful business models to keep distressed borrowers in a cycle of debt. Consumer advocates and civil rights organizations are calling on the consumer bureau to implement the rule as planned (effective August 19, 2019) to protect consumers from predatory lenders.

The consumer bureau issued the rule last October following broad stakeholder input and more than five years of extensive research confirming that these loans trap borrowers in unaffordable debt, causing severe financial harm. At the heart of the rule is the commonsense requirement that lenders check a borrower’s ability to repay before lending money. In a 2017 poll of likely voters, more than 70 percent of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats said they support this idea. The requirement helps to ensure that a borrower can repay without re-borrowing and without defaulting on other expenses—that is, without getting caught in a debt trap.

The Stop the Debt Trap campaign, made up of more than 750 organizations from across the country, released the following statement:

“The consumer bureau, under the direction of Mick Mulvaney, should never have made this transparent attempt to destroy an important consumer protection around payday lending. Nonetheless, we’re heartened that a federal judge rejected Mulvaney’s attempt, in partnership with predatory payday lenders, to evade the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act. “If they had succeeded in persuading the court, Mulvaney and the payday industry would have rolled back an important consumer protection with zero public input. By contrast, the payday rule as it currently stands was the subject of more than five years of public outreach, analysis and comment.”

Public Citizen, Center for Responsible Lending, the National Consumer Law Center, and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund last week filed an amicus brief asking the judge not to stay the rule.

As Robocall Volume Breaks Records, FCC Could Open the Floodgates to Even More Robocalls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2018 || Contacts: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Carolyn Carter (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) (617) 542-8010

Consumers Have Until June 13 to Urge FCC to Protect Consumers from Illegal Robocalls

WASHINGTON - According to the call-blocking app YouMail’s Robocall Index, robocalls made to consumers in the month of May exceeded 4 billion, the highest one-month total on record. As the number of calls soars, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened an inquiry into a number of critical questions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that will determine whether this law remains viable as a protection against robocalls.

The questions presented by the FCC include:

  • What constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” (autodialer)?
  • How should the FCC treat calls to reassigned wireless numbers?
  • How may a called party revoke prior express consent to receive robocalls?
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Acting Director Mulvaney Fires Members of Advisory Board of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Endangering Financial Well-Being of American Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2018 || Media Contacts: Jan Kruse, National Consumer Law Center, (617) 542-8010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Kelli Johnson, Texas Appleseed, (512) 473-2800, x103, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Nehama Rogozen, California Reinvestment Coalition, (415) 676-1320, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WASHINGTON – Today marked another in a series of unilateral moves that signal the destruction from within of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (Bureau). The Bureau informed Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) members and members of two other CFPB Advisory Boards that their terms were terminated and that they were not permitted to re-apply. This action takes place two days after 11 consumer advocates and academics* shared their concern over the cancellation of the only two CAB meetings scheduled for this year, as well as the direction of the Bureau away from helping everyday Americans. “Firing the current CAB members is another move indicating Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is only interested in obtaining views from his inner circle, and has no interest in hearing the perspectives of those who work with struggling American families,” said Ann Baddour, CAB chair.

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Consumer Advisory Board Members of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Alarmed by Bureau’s Shift to Deregulate Industry Rather than Protect Consumers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2018 || Media Contacts: Jan Kruse, National Consumer Law Center, (617) 542-8010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Kelli Johnson, Texas Appleseed, (512) 473-2800, x103, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Nehama Rogozen, California Reinvestment Coalition, (415) 864-3980, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Washington - 11 consumer advocates and professors* who serve on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (Bureau) Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) expressed deep concern about the policies and direction of the Bureau. “We can’t forget that American families lost one-third of their wealth just a decade ago, due to reckless market practices that hurt individuals, communities, and honest businesses alike,” said Ann Baddour, chair of the CAB and director of the Fair Financial Services Project at Texas Appleseed. “As the Bureau unilaterally shifts its mission from one prioritizing consumer protection and upholding fair market practices to one focused on industry regulatory relief—we see families, once again, being left behind.”

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Consumer Watchdog Mulvaney Colludes with Payday Lenders to Delay Payday Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 1, 2018 II Contact: Jan Kruse (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (617) 542-8010

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, a joint motion was filed with the U.S. District Court in Texas by Plaintiffs Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd., and Consumer Service Alliance of Texas, and Defendants Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and John Michael Mulvaney (interim director of the CFPB) to significantly delay the consumer bureau's final payday rule.

The following statement is issued by National Consumer Law Center Associate Director Lauren Saunders:

"The consumer bureau finalized the payday rule over five years of research, outreach, and a review of more than one million comments on the proposed rule from payday borrowers, consumer advocates, faith leaders, payday and auto title lenders, tribal leaders, state regulators and attorneys general, and others. It is despicable that the consumer bureau's interim director Mick Mulvaney is colluding with payday lending lobbyists who push unconscionable loans up to 400 percent annual interest on struggling families who can least afford it. The court should reject this blatant collusion to kill the payday rule in a way that Mulvaney could not legally do directly."

With New OCC Guidance, Banks Must Ensure Small-Dollar Loans are Affordable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2018 || Contacts: Lauren Saunders (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 595-7852; Stephen Rouzer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 595-7847

WASHINGTON – In reaction to a new Bulletin from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that encourages banks to offer small-dollar loans, advocates at the National Consumer Law Center emphasized that banks must make affordable loans of 36% or less and stay away from rent-a-bank payday loans.

“The OCC bulletin appropriately emphasizes the importance of determining a borrower’s ability to repay, along with reasonable and transparent pricing and terms that do not result in costs disproportionate to the amount borrowed. But banks must go farther and limit the loans to 36% APR or less to avoid high-cost debt-trap lending,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “The 36% interest rate cap has a long history going back over 100 years, widespread public support, and increasing acceptance as the dividing line between predatory and mainstream small-dollar loans. Higher interest rates encourage misaligned incentives, with lenders profiting while consumers default.”

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New Law Allows Mortgage Lenders to Resume Risky Loans, Hide Discrimination and Engage in Rural Lending Abuses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2018 || Contacts: Alys Cohen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 595-7852; Stephen Rouzer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or (202) 595-7847

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate’s bill, S. 2155, the “Bank Lobbyist Act,” stripping consumers of key protections Congress enacted after the recent financial crisis that devastated communities and crashed the market. The White House issued a Statement of Administrative Policy in support of the bill. The new law rolls back a range of housing and other protections, leaving homeowners more exposed to lending abuses.

“We need a market that works for all borrowers, not a widening of the wealth and fairness gap,” said Alys Cohen, staff attorney in the Washington office of the National Consumer Law Center. “In the guise of relief for small banks, Congress has voted to make it easier to hide information on lending discrimination, to make unaffordable mortgage loans, and to expose rural homeowners to abusive and overpriced loans.”

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