I don’t know how it is in your state, but in New Mexico, our politicians hate predators. If they are animals, that is. The recent session of the State Legislature refused to ban contests for killing coyotes, while Gov. Susana Martinez’ wildlife apparatchiks have been doing everything they can to hamper Federal efforts to keep the Mexican Grey Wolf from becoming extinct. “Why protect these varmints?” they ask. They prey on household pets and valuable farm animals.
Of course, when it comes to human predators, who prey on poor, or uneducated, or unwary or just plain vulnerable human beings, our local politicians feel differently. None of them would propose organizing contests to eradicate predatory payday lenders. Nope, the Legislators just “reformed” to use their word, that industry by capping loan interest rates at 175%.
On the Federal level, the first line of defense against predators in suits and ties is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is probably the single most effective reform to come out of the Dodd-Frank legislation that followed, not coincidentally, the highly predatory 2008 Financial collapse. In its not yet 6 years in operation, the CFPB has been credited with $11 Billion worth of savings for consumers, punishments for predators, and real reforms of shady business practices.
Like what? you ask.
Like revealing that all of the big credit rating services: Experion, Equifax and TransUnion have been selling consumers sucker bait credit reports designed only for the uninformed. The credit agencies said, we’ll show you the rating your lenders have for you. Only the rating they sold to you was precisely not that, but a different rating entirely.
Like busting the Military Services Company for scamming veterans who often fall behind on debts when serving overseas by allegedly consolidating their loans, but lying about both the terms of repayment and the interest rate they were charging these servicepeople. Like helping unmask RD Legal Funding whose specialty was finding first responders injured in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack of NFL players who suffered brain damage while playing the game and allegedly cheating them out of big chunks of their damage settlement money.
The CFPB was who stopped Wells Fargo Bank’s 5 year, multi-million dollar scam assigning people credit cards and checking account they didn’t want.
And that’s only the beginning of CFPB’s accomplishments, only the first skim of reasons why President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have sworn to kill or cripple the agency, as part of their campaign to roll-back many of the reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank package.
Jordan E. Goodman is “America’s Money Answers Man” and a nationally-recognized expert on personal finance. He is a regular guest on numerous radio and television call-in shows across the country, answering questions on personal financial topics. He appears frequently on The View, Fox News Network, Fox Business Network, CNN, CNBC and CBS evening news.
For 18 years, Jordan was on the editorial staff of Money magazine, where he served as Wall Street correspondent. While at Money, he reported and wrote on virtually every aspect of personal finance. In addition, he served as weekly financial analyst on NBC News at Sunrise for 9 years and the daily business news commentator on Mutual Broadcasting System’s America in the Morning show for 8 years.
He is the author / co-author of 13 best-selling books on personal finance including Master Your Debt Fast Profits in Hard Times, Everyone’s Money Book, Master Your Money Type, Barron’s Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms and Barron’s Finance and Investment Handbook.