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WASHINGTON -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law released its final report under the Trump administration on Tuesday. The 898-page, two-volume release makes 102 recommendations to future CFPB leadership, Congress and state legislatures regarding how to ‘protect’ consumers’ rights.
In June 2020, U.S. PIRG and others sued the CFPB, charging that the agency violated federal law when it selected members and activities biased toward industry for the one-sided task “farce.” The plaintiffs are asking the court to mandate an end to the taskforce’s unlawful operations and stop the CFPB from relying on its work. Oral arguments on the CFPB’s motion to partially dismiss the lawsuit are scheduled for Wednesday in federal district court in Massachusetts.
The following statements can be attributed to Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG Senior Director for Federal Consumer Programs and Mike Landis, U.S. PIRG Litigation Director.
“We’ve already asked the Biden transition team to throw this illegitimate task farce’s report in the dumpster,” said Mierzwinski. “Most of its recommendations follow a dangerous, deregulatory, industry-approved playbook. Recommendations include:
- That states eliminate usury limits on predatory lending or that Congress allow fintech lenders to ignore them and make loans with triple-digit interest rates even in states that have more stringent interest rate limits. The report ignores the transpartisan will of the American people. For example, in November, 83 percent of Nebraskan voters chose to join 16 other states and Washington, DC, in enforcing a 36 percent interest rate cap.
- That Congress repeal provisions of the highly successful 2009 Credit CARD Act. That law protects students and other young adults from credit cards that they cannot afford to repay and protects consumers with poor credit from predatory lenders’ “fee harvester” cards, which offer tiny credit lines and relatively large recurring fees.
- That Congress cap allowable penalties against credit bureaus and banks that violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act, despite record numbers of consumer complaints to the CFPB about credit reporting errors affecting their credit scores.”
“This one-sided, shadowy taskforce is exactly what the Federal Advisory Committee Act was enacted to protect against,” said Landis. “We’re confident that the court will see this taskforce for what it is -- a blatantly unlawful attempt by the CFPB to favor special interests at the expense of consumers.”
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