Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system.
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In The News: The fight to protect consumers, at a crossroads (The New York Daily News)

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.

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Joint Letter: Coalition Urges Intuit to Reject Proposal on Forced Shareholder Arbitration

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.

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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.

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News Release: New CFPB Task Force Runs Counter to Agency Mission

“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.”

Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash

News Release: AFR Ed Fund Criticizes HUD Proposal for Thwarting Fair Housing Goals

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.

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In The News: Blackstone-KKR Hidden Hand in Ad Blitz Unleashes Washington Fury (Bloomberg)

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.

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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.”