Consumers Demand a Strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

May 4, 2011

CONTACT: John Carey 202-466-1854

Consumers Demand a Strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Efforts to Handcuff the CFPB in House Subcommittee are Wrong

Washington, DC – Today, a House Financial Services subcommittee is considering two pieces of legislation that would weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and are wrong for consumers and for the economy.

“Consumers have been calling for help with financial issues since before the financial crisis. But the bills being debated by the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will do little to help consumers—rather, they are attempts to cripple the CFPB before it has even opened its doors,” said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney.

Yesterday, on a conference call with reporters **, three consumers – a former Marine and two homeowners -highlighted the need for a strong CFPB, and provided first-hand accounts of deceptive financial products and schemes. Undercutting the CFPB is bad for consumers, and increases the danger of a repeat of the Wall Street-caused financial crisis that cost Americans millions of lost jobs, billions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailouts and trillions of dollars in lost home values and retirement savings. “If enacted, these bills would virtually guarantee that the CFPB would be a weak and timid agency without the will or ability to curb the kind of financial abuses that caused the nation’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform. Click here to view a sign-on letter urging members of Congress to resist any efforts to weaken the CFPB.

Excerpts from remarks by consumers:

“I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, being a young marine right out of high school I didn’t have a credit history or a score established and I was looking to build my credit,” said Joshua Brack, a former Marine living in Springfield, MO. “I had seen a local ad for a military loan company and it said ‘build valuable credit.’…[but in the end] The company told me that only reported negative credit.”

“I did everything they told me to do and again they said’ no’,” Ms. Donna Bolling of Harford County, MD said as she described her repeated efforts to get a loan modification to pay her mortgage and stay in her home. “They made a lot of promises to me and I did everything I could do on my part, but nothing has been resolved as far as my home is concerned.”

“I tried to sell the house on a short sale….I was told it was definitely going to go. So my wife and I moved out, we put everything in storage. Then 2-3 days before, they came and told us ‘no, it is not going go,’ said Mr. William Bailey of Plainfield, IL. “And I was out of the house, I have no recourse…. We have gone through this three times ….We have done everything Bank of America has asked and each time they have turned us down.”

The CFPB is the first federal agency with only one job — protecting consumers in the financial marketplace — and the legislation scheduled for markup tomorrow would only handcuff the CFPB at the expense of consumers like these.


** For replay instructions please contact John Carey at


Americans for Financial Reform, is an unprecedented coalition of over 250 consumer, civil rights, investor, retiree, community, labor, religious and business groups and Nobel Prize winning economists that fought for Wall Street reform.