NYT Bombshell: Trump CFPB Manipulated Research in Rush to Undo Payday Protections

Washington D.C. – As the Trump Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to finalize its payday rule this week, the New York Times exposed a troubling internal bureau memo today revealing former acting director Mick Mulvaney and other Trump political appointees “pressured the bureau’s economists to use ‘inaccurate and inappropriate’ data” in order to justify gutting core provisions of the existing payday rule, in particular the protection requiring payday lenders to consider borrowers’ ability-to-repay. According to the Times, “They were directed to research only [Mulvaney’s] preferred changes, without analyzing whether alternative approaches would yield a better outcome for consumers or industry.” And when Director Kraninger took over the Bureau, she reportedly “signed off quickly” on the rule rewrite with “little discussion of the evidence or research behind it.” Consumer watchdog group Allied Progress called on the Bureau to halt its plans to finalize the rule until Congress can conduct an investigation into these allegations.

“This internal memo offers the most damning evidence yet that the Trump CFPB’s proposal to push millions more Americans into the payday debt trap was motivated by nothing but politics and deceit,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Allied Progress, the consumer watchdog behind www.CFPBWatch.org“If it’s true that CFPB data that didn’t help the predatory lending cause was swept under the rug and their own economists were intimidated into “watering down” their findings, there is no doubt this process has been corrupted beyond saving and must not go forward.” 

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