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As CFPB Turns 6 Years Old, PIRG Calls on Senate to Block Wall Street Attacks

PIRG, 98 Groups Release CFPB Birthday Video
For Immediate Release

-New “The CFPB Gets Results” Video from U.S. PIRG and 98 Groups Available-

COPIRG CFPB BIRTHDAYToday, July 21st, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau turns 6 years old. The CFPB, a watchdog agency set up to restore fairness and competition in the marketplace, was part of Wall Street Reform legislation enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. (Photo: CoPIRG door-to-door outreach canvass staffers take a break from visiting neighborhoods to talk to Coloradans about the CFPB to hold a CFPB birthday event outside state capitol in Denver. More photos from event here.)

“For the 6th year in a row, the CFPB is getting results for consumers across the nation. Reining in Wall Street isn’t a left-right issue, it’s a little guy-big guy issue. Senators need to recognize that and ask themselves whether they are for their little guy citizens or for Wall Street, said Mike Litt, Consumer Program Advocate with U.S. PIRG.

Litt also announced the release of a new social media video, co-released nationally with 98 groups.  “The CFPB Gets Results,” (2 minutes) is available by simply clicking on this link.

Some highlights of the CFPB’s successes in its first six years:

  • The bureau has returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million consumers cheated by illegal practices of credit card and mortgage companies, banks, debt collectors, and others.

  • The bureau has processed over 1.1 million consumer complaints across the country.

  • The bureau has finalized a variety of new protections, including its arbitration rule this month, giving consumers back their rights to join class-action lawsuits when they are cheated by financial companies.

“We’re very disappointed that the Senate Banking Committee chairman, Mike Crapo (R-ID), has joined a controversial Wall Street-backed effort to repeal this simple new rule that doesn’t even ban arbitration, but simply prohibits small-print bans on consumers’ rights to band together and go to court when corporate wrongdoers rip them all off,” said U.S. PIRG Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski.  

Additional CFPB successes include:

  • Many people are familiar with the Wells Fargo account scandal where the bank was caught creating millions of fake accounts. The CFPB took the lead in holding the bank accountable with a $100 million fine. But that was just one case. The agency has taken over 180 legal actions against companies that broke the law.

  • The bureau has special offices to protect students, seniors, servicemembers and persons at risk of unlawful discrimination.

  • Helpful guides are available on its website to help consumers make important financial decisions like shopping for a home, taking out a loan, or planning for retirement.

The group noted that the House has already passed HR10, the so-called Financial Choice Act, which repeals the CFPB’s independence and eliminates most of its tools for protecting consumers. The bill also weakens many of the Wall Street reforms enacted in 2010 to prevent another collapse of the financial system due to reckless big bank practices. 

“The Senate must reject the Wrong Choice Act that brings back the threat of another 2008 financial crisis. We’ve already lived that nightmare, which left millions of consumers without homes, jobs, or retirement savings,” concluded Litt. “That’s why it is critical to defend the CFPB, because it is helping consumers hold on to their hard-earned money, and preventing Wall Street from engaging in the anti-consumer practices that made that crisis even worse.”

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U.S. PIRG is a non-partisan, non-profit consumer organization that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. On the web at uspirg.org.

U.S. PIRG is a founding member of Americans for Financial Reform, the coalition that helped enact the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that created the CFPB and other reforms and continues to defend them. The latest AFR poll (July 2017) shows strong bipartisan support for continued Wall Street oversight and a strong Consumer Bureau.

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