Special Report: Mick Mulvaney Is a Payday Industry Puppet

Yesterday, Mick Mulvaney’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it would waive compliance and reconsider its important new rule issued earlier this year that would have protected consumers from predatory payday, car title, and other short-term lenders. For those who have followed his career, this action was no surprise. While the Trump administration has paid lip service to the notion of taking on powerful financial interests and standing up for hard working Americans, Mulvaney has always been a payday industry puppet.

Prior to his appointment by Trump as CFPB “acting director,” the Bureau thoroughly and thoughtfully considered every aspect of the payday lending issue over the course of several years. There is quite literally no reason to delay implementation of this rule – unless, like Mulvaney, you are more concerned with the needs of payday lenders than you are with the interests of the consumers these financial bottom-feeders prey upon.

Below you will find a trove of research highlighting Mulvaney’s financial connections to the payday lending industry and his record over the years as an industry puppet.

Mulvaney Accepted More Than $62,000 from Payday Lenders When He Was in Congress

  • Mulvaney received $62,950 in payday lending contributions during his congressional career. [OpenSecrets search for Payday Lenders, Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 12/13/17.]

Mulvaney Took Thousands from Payday Lenders within Weeks of Taking Official Actions to Help Them

  • In September 2016, Mick Mulvaney sent a “letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau […] expressing concern about the agency’s proposal to rein in payday lending and other short-term credit, warning it could hamper credit availability.” That same month, Mulvaney received $18,500 in campaign contributions from the payday lending industry. The following month, Mulvaney received an additional $7,000 from the payday industry. [Ian McKendry, “Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urges CFPB to Ease Up on Payday Rule,” American Banker, 09/30/16; Follow The Money search for Payday/Title Loans to Mick Mulvaney, Follow The Money, accessed 12/08/17.]

Mulvaney Appeared on the Website of Payday Lender Advance America in Defense of the Industry, The Same Lender’s PAC and Employees Contributed $12,200 to His Campaign

Mulvaney Was the Payday Industry’s Puppet in Congress and in South Carolina’s State Legislature

  • Mulvaney voted against a motion to protect the CFPB’s “oversight of payday lenders located on or near military bases.” The same motion would have protected the CFPB’s work to help consumers deal with compromised credit cards, and its policing of fraud in fees charged for student loans or ATM withdrawals.” He also opposed a legislative fix to ensure that the CFPB would not be prevented “from informing consumers about personal information breaches, protecting servicemembers from payday lenders on or near military bases or from investigating and enforcing sanctions related to ATM or private student loan fees.” [“How Arizona’s members of Congress voted,” Arizona Daily Star, 3/02/14; HR 3193, Vote #84, 2/27/14; Victoria Finkle, “House to Consider Bill Overhauling CFPB,” American Banker, 02/25/14; “February 2014 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 09/26/17 and “HR 3193,” House of Representatives Vote 84, 02/27/14.]
  • Mulvaney was one of four state senators in South Carolina to vote against payday lending reforms that would have “put an end to some of the most abusive practices of the payday lending industry.” [Richards McCrae, Opinion, “Warts and All,” Winnsboro Herald Independent, 10/15/10; David Rogers, Opinion, “Voters need to know position of their candidates,” The Rock Hill Herald, 10/08/10; Seanna Adcox, “SC lawmakers limit payday lending on final day,” Associated Press, 05/22/09; Editorial, “Close loopholes on lending,” The Rock Hill Herald, 03/02/10.] 
  • Mulvaney voted against amending the “Access to Capital for Job Creators Act” “to ban individuals convicted of fraud related to financial transactions, including predatory lending to veterans, from generally advertising or soliciting non-publicly traded securities.” [“HOUSE PASSES BI-PARTISAN SMALL BUSINESS BILLS,” US Fed News, 11/04/11; “November 2011 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 09/26/17;  House of Representatives Vote 827, 11/03/11]
  • Mulvaney voted against removing a provision from the 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act that prohibited “funds from being used by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to enforce regulations or rules with respect to payday loans, vehicle title loans or other similar loans.” [“H.R.5485,” Library of Congress, accessed 12/12/17; “July 2016 Vote History,” U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D., accessed 12/12/17; “HR 5485,” House of Representatives Vote 369, 07/06/16]

Mulvaney Arrived at the CFPB Already Prejudiced Against the Payday Rule

Mulvaney Defended Payday Lenders and Wanted Them to Have More Influence Inside the CFPB

  • Mulvaney urged the CFPB to create an “Advisory Board made up of non-bank lenders, including payday lenders” and criticized them for rejecting payday lenders from joining past boards. The letter also claimed, the CFPB’s “White Paper of Initial Data Findings” on “payday loans” was “one dimensional and biased,” and did “not reflect mainstream business practices by the vast majority of vendors who are honest and scrupulous[.]” [Mick Mulvaney et. al. Letter to Richard Cordray, 08/05/13]

Mulvaney Opposed CFPB Proposals that Conflicted with Weaker Payday Laws in South Carolina

  • In 2015, the CFPB “was considering requiring a 60 day ‘cooling off’ period before a consumer could get another payday loan after a certain amount of loans were issued.” Mulvaney expressed worry that such a requirement would supersede South Carolina’s weaker “2-day cooling off period.” [Rachel Witkowski, “State AGs, Lawmakers Tell CFPB to Back Off on Payday Rule,” American Banker, 02/11/16]
  • Mulvaney urged the CFPB to “not issue rules and regulations governing short-term credit that would interfere with what has worked to protect consumers in the state of South Carolina.” Once a CFPB short-term credit rule was proposed, Mulvaney sent another letter to the CFPB claiming, the proposed rule “preempts the statutory and regulatory frameworks currently in place in […] states.” [Mick Mulvaney et. al. Letter to Richard Cordray, 01/29/16; Mick Mulvaney et. al. Letter to Richard Cordray, 12/01/16]

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