As Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, put it, last year, the CFPB “was constructed really deliberately to protect ordinary people,” and the Trump administration has “taken it apart — dismantled it, piece by piece, brick by brick.” I [Leandra English] am honored to join DFS Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell’s team to ensure that as Washington retreats, New York continues to lead.
Americans for Financial Reform welcomes the passage of H.J. Res. 76 to roll back Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ devastating attempt to make debt cancellation for scammed students nearly impossible. The resolution passed 231 to 180 with bipartisan support; 6 Republicans and all Democrats voted yes, with 19 members not voting.
The measure, which is scheduled for a vote at the company’s annual meeting next week, would block
investors harmed by securities fraud or other corporate legal violations from bringing their claims as a
class in a court of law, before a judge and jury. This would effectively end most shareholders’ ability to
recover their losses in such cases, as they cannot affordably be brought individually in arbitration by any
but the very largest institutional investors.
AFR Statement: The Department of Education has the Authority to Cancel Federal Student Loans. It should.
Today’s proposal that administrative authority be used to cancel student debt, and the affirmation of the legality of such a step by the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard Law School are important positive possibilities for student borrowers and their families and communities. AFR has long called on the Department of Education to use its existing legal authority to cancel the federal debts of wronged students of for-profit colleges without individual application – as have former Corinthian students, advocates, lawmakers, and law enforcement officials. A group of thirteen Senators wrote a letter in 2014 calling on the Department to use its authority to discharge the debt of former students of the now-bankrupt Corinthian College, a chain of for-profit colleges with endemic fraud. This call was joined by Rep. Maxine Waters and the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House. In 2015, AFR together with dozens of other organizations filed a petition to the Department of Education led by the National Consumer Law Center outlined the Department’s legal authority to compromise and modify student loans.
“The CFPB is dropping the ball on enforcing and drafting federal rules to actually protect the public from rip offs and discrimination in lending,” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “Creating and hiring a new task force stacked with industry representatives and ideological opponents of regulation is one more move that runs directly counter to the CFPB’s basic mission.”
Since the mid 1990s, student borrowers who were defrauded by their college have been entitled to have those loans canceled. Betsy DeVos wants to change that. In the fall of 2016, the Department of Education updated this rule to clarify the process and add protections.
On January 9, 2020, 29 organizations sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding the importance of applying Truth in Lending Act protections to PACE loans.
If the proposed rule went into effect, HUD’s assessment of whether localities were meeting their AFFH obligations would not include consideration of race, religion, national origin, families with children, or other protected classes that the Fair Housing Act was intended to shield from discrimination. The proposed rule eliminates the community participation process, which was proven to be extremely effective in helping communities develop meaningful fair housing goals, and does not even have a requirement that state and local governments conduct a fair housing analysis for their communities at all.
Confronted with the rare prospect of defeat on Capitol Hill, private equity titans Blackstone Group Inc. and KKR & Co. unleashed a national advertising blitz last year against legislation that threatened their investments in health-care companies valued at $16 billion … House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters has already said she plans to hold a hearing early this year featuring executives from top firms. Meanwhile, progressive groups such as Americans for Financial Reform and United for Respect are funding anti-private equity campaigns.
In The News: This was supposed to be the decade of tougher consumer protections. That didn’t happen. (CNBC)
“The biggest concerns that we see with the CFPB today is they are holding the hands of the payday lenders,” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform. “That means that the debt trap will continue and people will continue to lose their cars and their bank accounts as a result of the continued destruction of payday loans.”