The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turned three years old this month, and every American consumer should celebrate!
For those who don’t know, the CFPB was originally proposed by (now Senator) Elizabeth Warren in 2007, and was passed as part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
In the wake of the financial meltdown, the CFPB was tasked with standing up for consumers, making sure they’re treated fairly, and restoring trust in the consumer financial marketplace.
Their core mission is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products, including student loans, payday loans, and even retirement products, while always enforcing the consumer protection laws.
Their website, which is very informative is located at: www.consumerfinance.gov
Making sure that consumers are treated fairly and restoring trust in the marketplace is a huge task, given the fact that every corner of the American political sector has sold out lock, stock and barrel to Wall Street.
Nevertheless, the CFPB is the very best that consumers have, and is making a measurable difference.
One example will show you how much better it would have been for homeowners had the CFPB been in place a long time ago:
The $25 Billion settlement with the Big 5 Banks (negotiated in the political sphere by the 50 state Attorneys General) provided that the banks could get credit toward their share of the huge penalty by reducing the principal balances of mortgages. Through clever political slight-of-hand, the Banks got the biggest gift in the world, and the homeowner got the shaft. That is, the banks got credit toward their penalty for FRAUD by reducing principal balances of mortgages in the course of forcing short-sales, i.e., putting Americans out of their homes!
Compare: the more recent Ocwen settlement, by the CFPB for $2.5 Billion, specified that any credit for reducing principal balances had to be to help people stay in their homes! The difference? Many hundreds of thousands of American families displaced for no good reason. The remedy itself had turned out to be a crime.
That will not happen on the CFPB’s watch.