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Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 at 8:56 PM
The future of a federal consumer watchdog agency is uncertain amidst pledges to reduce the agency.
Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the bipartisan 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. The Bureau issues regulations regarding "payday" loans, student loans, credit cards and mortgages. Congress is expected to pass legislation reforming the Bureau's structure and authority next year.
"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does important work to protect the vulnerable from predatory lending," noted Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious anti-poverty coalition Jubilee USA.
In September, the House Financial Services Committee supported efforts to restrict the Bureau's power. It's unclear whether a new Congress or Administration would support additional legislative measures to reform the agency.
The Bureau issued draft regulations on payday loans or high-interest short-term loans that affect low-income communities. The draft regulations include limits on the number of consecutive loans a consumer can borrow and measures to limit payday lenders' ability to withdraw money directly from borrowers' bank accounts without permission. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have challenged the Bureau's efforts to limit payday loans. The Consumer Protection and Choice Act, introduced in November of 2015, would delay the Bureau's pending payday regulations by two years and is co-sponsored by two dozen members from both parties.
"Responsible lending and borrowing is critical for the health of communities and families," stated LeCompte. LeCompte submitted comments to the Bureau urging it to strengthen its proposed regulations. "Some payday loans are simply predatory and consumers need basic protections."
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 550 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than 0 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org
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