Letter: ‘Don’t let small print ruin your life’

To the editor:

Small print can ruin your life. The Consumer Financial Bureau exists to make sure that doesn’t happen. But now, its very existence is under attack.

Leandra English was chosen to be acting director by Richard Cordray before his departure from the CFPB. English has proven her dedication to the mission of the agency through years of service, and yet President Donald Trump doesn’t want her to serve. Instead, he is trying to appoint Mick Mulvaney who once called the CFPB a “sad, sick joke.”

It’s no secret what’s at stake here. When Wells Fargo was caught secretly opening accounts for its customers and assessing them junk fees, the CFPB assessed $185 million in fines and penalties. When Synchrony Bank was caught discriminating against customers and tricking them into buying credit card products they did not need or use, the CFPB required Synchrony to pay $225 million in refunds to hundreds of thousands of customers. When National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts got caught suing people for student loans they didn’t owe, CFPB negotiated a settlement of $21.6 million.

When Wells Fargo, Synchrony Bank and National Collegiate, and lots of other companies lied, swindled and robbed consumers, it was the CFPB who came to their rescue.

Congress created the CFPB after the last financial crash, thanks to the leadership of Senator Elizabeth Warren. As she says, you can’t buy a toaster that has a 20 percent chance of bursting into flames. But you can buy a mortgage that has a 20 percent chance of leaving you out on the street. We need good government to protect us from predatory lenders and all of their tricks and traps. Now, thanks to the CFPB, it does.

The CFPB has passed rules to protect people from predatory payday loans and mandatory arbitration clauses. Since its founding, it has also protected members of our military from financial fraud. It is simply un-American to allow servicemembers to be victimized by lenders while they are serving our country abroad. The CFPB stands up for all Americans, to make sure they can work hard and get ahead without getting swindled.

Just like your neighborhood police keep the streets safe, the CFPB makes it safe for Americans to borrow and invest, whether it is to buy a home, finance your education, or apply for a credit card.

Contact Rep. Trey Hollingsworth and tell him you support the CFPB!

Liz Watson, candidate for Congress in IN-09

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