The Fairness Project Calls on Trump’s Appointee Leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Protect Consumers, Not Wall Street

Washington D.C, — A startling memo released by The New York Times has revealed that Donald Trump’s political appointees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) manipulated research to make regulation of the predatory lending industry appear ineffective. In the coming days, CFPB’s Director Kathy Kraninger is expected to revise the current payday lending rule to allow payday lenders to administer loans without assessing customers’ ability to repay them, intentionally trapping borrowers in a cycle of debt. 

In response to the memo and in anticipation of the CFPB’s revised payday lending regulation, The Fairness Project’s Executive Director, Jonathan Schleifer released the following statement:

“It is outrageous that in the middle of an economic crisis, an agency that exists to protect consumers would consider changes to make it easier for predatory lenders to trap families in a cycle of never-ending debt. This is just further evidence that predatory lenders and the hedge funds that own them run the show in Washington, DC. 

“At a time when our leaders should be focused on saving American lives and jobs, the Trump Administration is hoping that we won’t notice their attempt to further rig the system in favor of predatory lenders. But we are watching, and we will continue to shine a bright light on this corruption. 

“In a moment like this, we should be seeking every avenue to protect the most vulnerable, not freeing up an exploitative industry to prey upon those in desperate need of financial support during a crisis. A properly functioning CFPB must not only maintain their existing regulations on payday lenders, but take further steps to remove the corrupt influence of Wall Street and the predatory lending industry on our political system.”

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Facts About Predatory Payday Lending:

  • The dirty secret of the payday lending industry is that there is no money in people repaying their loans on time. The key to the whole profit-making engine that makes lenders’ Wall Street backers rich is tricking people into taking out one loan and then locking them into months or years of debt.
  • The average payday loan comes with 391 percent interest.
  • Payday lenders have defied shutdown orders and remained open amid the pandemic, despite not being “essential,” allowing them to continue to make predatory loan agreements. 
  • A vast majority of payday loan borrowers take out loans to cover recurring expenses, such as rent, utilities, credit card bills or food. In this unprecedented time, when over 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment or have been furloughed, they are facing heightened need to take out payday loans to cover these expenses. 

 

The Fairness Project is an organization that leads ballot initiative campaigns across the United States to fight for improved health care and economic fairness. Their campaigns advocate for curbing predatory lending, Medicaid expansion, raising the minimum wage, paid sick leave, paid parental leave, and more.