Today marks six months on the job for Kathy Kraninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But over those six months, Kraninger has consistently prioritized the interests of Wall Street and predatory lenders, instead of working to protect everyday consumers (like the literal name of her Bureau says she should).
To mark the occasion, here’s a quick look at the top six ways Kathy Kraninger has failed American consumers.
Kathy Kraninger wants to gut the payday lending rule that protects consumers from the debt trap.
Under her proposed plan, which is based on ZERO new academic research, predatory payday lenders would be able to approve loans with interest rates of 400% or higher to people who they know can’t pay back the loans in time.
The payday loan industry stands to reap $7 BILLION more a year from this proposal — which also came just weeks after the industry spent an estimated $1 million holding a conference at a Trump golf resort in Florida.
Kathy Kraninger is working to make it easier for debt collectors to harass consumers.
Kraninger followed up her irresponsible payday lending proposal with one that would allow debt collectors to make seven phone calls per debt per week, and send unlimited texts and emails to consumers without their prior consent.
Kathy Kraninger is considering overhauling the CFPB’s overdraft rule so banks can charge consumers more overdraft fees.
Kraninger is considering overhauling the CFPB’s overdraft rule, which requires consumers to “opt in to give their accounts the ability to overdraft.” This rule prevents situations like a consumer being automatically signed up for an “overdraft protection” program and then charged a $35 overdraft fee over a $3 cup of coffee, instead of the charge just being declined.
The CFPB previously found that the existing rule led to “a material decrease in the amount of overdraft fees paid by consumers,” so why does Kraninger feel the need to change it?
Kathy Kraninger has neglected the CFPB’s duty to supervise lenders’ compliance with the Military Lending Act.
Kraninger refuses to conduct proactive examinations of lenders for violations of the Military Lending Act. The CFPB has every right to conduct these examinations, according to a chorus of legal experts and 33 attorneys general around the country, but Kraninger chooses not to — even though the bureau released a report finding a 47 percent spike in complaints made to the CFPB between 2016 and 2017 from soldiers being financially taken advantage of by debt collectors, credit reporters, and student loan servicers.
Kathy Kraninger has turned a blind eye to the student loan crisis at the CFPB.
At a congressional hearing, Kraninger refused to agree that America has a student debt crisis — and on Kraninger’s watch, the CFPB has filed ZERO new lawsuits against student loan companies. Compare that to former director Richard Cordray’s CFPB, which filed 50 cases against student loan companies and returned $712 million to consumers.
Kathy Kraninger has refused to say whether the CFPB should even exist, and continues to neglect enforcement at the bureau.
During a hearing before Rep. Maxine Waters’ Financial Services Committee earlier this year, Kathy Kraninger ducked a simple question asking whether she believes “we even need the bureau at all.” Kraninger’s cagey non-answer rightfully raised eyebrows and serious questions about her commitment to the CFPB’s mission to protect consumers.
In Kathy Kraninger’s job interview before the Senate Banking Committee last year, she vowed to protect consumers by taking “aggressive action” against shady financial actors in the marketplace. Unfortunately for students, retirees, servicemembers, and everyday working Americans, the only thing she’s been aggressive about is letting industry off the hook.
In just six months, Kraninger has given predatory payday lenders a free pass to hook consumers into long-term debt, overseen plummeting enforcement actions, and is managing to return even less money to consumers than her predecessor Mick Mulvaney, who tried to defund and destroy the CFPB from within.