Spokesman Admits “Mulvaney Was Indeed Involved in the Decision” Despite Previous Claim It Was Made by “Professional Career Staff”
CFPB Staffers Told Reporter “Mulvaney Decided to Drop the Lawsuit Even Though the Entire Career Enforcement Staff Wanted to Press Ahead”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, NPR reports the spokesperson for CFPB “Acting Director” Mick Mulvaney has admitted “Mulvaney was indeed involved in the decision” to drop the Bureau’s case against a payday lender charging 950% interest rates despite previous claims that the decision was made exclusively by “professional career staff.” In fact, CFPB staffers told NPR’s reporter that “Mulvaney decided to drop the lawsuit even though the entire career enforcement staff wanted to press ahead.”
“Mick Mulvaney willfully misled the American people, allowing his office to lie about his involvement in the Bureau’s decision to drop a case against a predatory lender that took advantage of consumers with 950% interest rates. He did this after taking more than $60,000 in campaign cash from the payday lending industry. He even dropped an CFPB investigation into one of his previous payday donors. This latest development adds to the mountain of evident that Mulvaney simply cannot be trusted to protect consumers and hold his friends in the financial industry accountable,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.
- Under Mulvaney’s leadership, the CFPB “dropped a lawsuit against an alleged online loan shark called Golden Valley Lending.” The case, which “took CFPB staffers years to build,” accused the lenders of illegally charging “people up to 950 percent interest rates.” One CFPB attorney who worked on the case called Golden Valley Lending “‘one of the worst of the worst'” for its predatory lending practices. [Chris Arnold, “Trump Administration Plans To Defang Consumer Protection Watchdog,” NPR, 02/12/08; Stacey Cowley, “Consumer Watchdog’s Latest Budget Request: $0,” The New York Times, 01/18/18.]
- The CFPB moved to drop the case in January 2018, under Mulvaney’s leadership. Golden Valley lending allegedly made illegal “loans with annual interest rates starting at 440% in at least 17 states.” The CFPB claimed “it would continue to investigate the loans” and said it “could not comment further ‘because it is an open enforcement matter.'” The CFPB dismissed with case without prejudice, “which means the agency can re-file the case in the future.” [Jim Puzzanghera, “Mulvaney requests zero funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” The Los Angeles Times, 01/18/18; Steve Vockrodt, “CFPB drops Kansas payday lending case, stoking fears Trump is backing off the industry,” The Kansas City Star, 01/19/18.]
- Mulvaney’s spokesperson claimed that the decision to drop the Golden Valley lawsuit was made by “professional career staff,” and not Mulvaney himself. He was later forced to admit Mulvaney was involved. However, several CFPB staffers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that “Mulvaney decided to drop the lawsuit even though the entire career enforcement staff wanted to press ahead with it.” Mulvaney’s spokesperson finally admitted “that Mulvaney was indeed involved in the decision to drop the lawsuit.” [Chris Arnold, “Trump Administration Plans To Defang Consumer Protection Watchdog,” NPR, 02/12/08.]
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