Sign On Today to Support Consumer Protections
Dear Members of Indiana’s Congressional Delegation:
Our statewide coalition of faith, policy, and community groups urges you to protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and its efforts to reign in abuses that impact Indiana consumers. The CFPB was created in the wake of the economic collapse with a clear mission: to protect American families from the predatory and unfair lending practices that had contributed to the financial crisis. We need your leadership and influence to achieve strong financial reform and protections.
More than one third of Hoosiers in Indiana can’t afford the basics like food, shelter, transportation, and childcare. Indiana has a very high bankruptcy rate – 4.4 bankruptcies per 1000 people as compared to a national average of 2.9 per 1000. Fewer than half of our citizens have access to prime credit options, and Hoosiers aren’t saving enough for emergencies, let alone retirement. They are struggling to afford childcare and wonder how they are going to support their kids in getting to college.
This leaves Hoosiers vulnerable to unscrupulous lending. And up until now, the CFPB has pushed measures to protect us, and it has achieved positive results for Hoosier families:
● The CFPB has fielded 8,000 direct complaints from Hoosiers, particularly about mortgage servicing companies, debt collectors and credit reporting agencies, winning them responses from these companies, and, in many cases relief.
● Thanks to the CFPB and former Attorney General Greg Zoeller, 10,000 Hoosiers received $1 million dollars back in illegal loan costs through a settlement agreement with Western Sky Financial LLC, who attempted to use tribal immunity to lend to Hoosier consumers at illegal interest rates.
● The CFPB sued Indiana-based, for-profit college ITT Tech for exploiting its students and pushing them into high-cost private student loans, then offered resources to the 40,000 enrolled students to help them understand their options for moving forward.
● The CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million dollars for the illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized accounts and racking up fees on unknowing consumers.
● The CFPB finalized “Know Before You Owe” disclosures for prepaid accounts to give consumers clear, upfront information about fees and other key details. Under these rules, prepaid companies would also be required to offer protections similar to those for credit cards when they extend credit.
● Over the last 5 years they have returned over $12 billion to 29 million consumers across the country.
Both the CFPB and the consumer protections it has established and will establish will be under assault, with Wall Street banks, payday lenders, and their Congressional allies promoting a seemingly endless series of measures to undermine its effectiveness. This includes measure currently in congress to take away the CFPB’s independent funding, hamper it by replacing the directorship with a partisan commission, and an effort to roll back a rule to protect prepaid card customers.
The CFPB is preparing to issue rules to stop forced arbitration clauses from preventing wronged consumers from having access to courts, and we hope to see a strong rule reining in predatory payday, car title, and installment loan abuses. We urge you to oppose any efforts to take away its independence or roll back these much needed rules.
We urge the Indiana delegation to protect the CFPB.
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