CFPB “Acting Director” Took More Than $60,000 From Payday Lenders in Campaign Cash
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reuters reports this morning that Mick Mulvaney, “acting director” of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has dropped a case against a “payday loan collector and is weighing whether to drop cases against at three payday lenders.” The news follows the recent discovery that the CFPB dropped its investigation of predatory lender World Acceptance Corporation after Mulvaney began leading the bureau – the company had given him thousands in campaign contributions. The payday lending industry as a whole has showered Mulvaney with more than $60,000 in campaign cash.
“Consumers beware. Mick Mulvaney has a debt to pay and you’re the down payment. He took tens of thousands of dollars from payday lenders and now he has their back at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He’s willfully perverting the bureau’s mission by abandoning consumers to pay these financial bottom feeders back after years of taking their cash and doing their bidding in Congress,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.
He continued, “We deserve a champion at the CFPB, not an industry stooge. It’s time for President Trump to appoint a director who will fulfill the mission of the bureau and hold bad financial actors like payday lenders and other cheats accountable.”
From the Reuters report:
- Under Mulvaney, the CFPB “decided not to sue a payday loan collector and is weighing whether to drop cases against three payday lenders, said five people with direct knowledge of the matter.” “Some former CFPB lawyers said they worry the agency’s mission is being eroded.”
- The four cases “aimed to return more than $60 million to consumers.” One of the companies “Cordray was ready to sue” was “Kansas-based National Credit Adjusters (NCA), which primarily collects debt for online lenders operating on tribal land.” Mulvaney “dropped the matter” against NCA and their lawyer told Reuters that “the case is ‘dead.'”
- “Consumers have complained that NCA threatened to have them jailed and sue family members…A CFPB investigation found NCA wrongly collected roughly $50 million, of which the agency’s lawyers wanted to return about $45 million.”
- Mulvaney “is reviewing three cases against lenders based in southern states where high-interest loans are permitted. He must eventually decide whether to sue the companies, settle with a fine or scrap the cases. Lawyers working for Cordray had concluded that Security Finance, Cash Express LLC and Triton Management Group violated customer rights when attempting to collect, among other lapses.”
- Security Finance “offers loans at rates that often climb into triple-digits” and allegedly engaged in aggressive debt collection practices, “violating federal laws.” “Cash Express used high-pressure collection tactics,” which former Director Richard Cordray believed were grounds for a lawsuit. Triton Management Group was “faulted…for aggressive collection in 2016…The CFPB still was ready to seek more than a million dollars in fines and restitution.”
[Patrick Rucker, “Exclusive: Trump official quietly drops payday loan case, mulls others – sources,” Reuters, 03/23/18]
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