WASHINGTON, D.C. — In what could result in one of the most devastating rollbacks of consumer protection in history, a lawsuit brought by the predatory payday loan industry is coming before the U.S. Supreme Court next term which seeks to gut the popular Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at its core by striking down its funding structure as unconstitutional. Government watchdog Accountable.US called the lawsuit the latest assault in a longstanding plot by predatory lenders, greedy big banks, and Wall Street special interests to impair the CFPB, all because the agency has been effective at protecting consumers from financial industry discrimination, scams and abuse. The lawsuit’s goal is clear: defang, defund, or destroy the CFPB so bad industry actors can operate without oversight and accountability.
This baseless lawsuit is the crown jewel in a long-running, highly organized effort by greedy industries and right-wing politicians in their pocket to take out the CFPB because it works so well to protect consumers from abuse. It’s apt that predatory lenders are leading this latest assault as no industry has a bigger ax to grind against the CFPB after facing numerous fines for mistreating consumers. Predatory lenders want to shutter the CFPB to avoid any regulation of their triple-digit-interest loans that target vulnerable communities they know cannot afford to pay them back in time. Payday loan sharks and their lobbyists are in the business of ensnaring millions of Americans in a debt trap and will do anything to keep the grift going.
This is all about industry payback to the agency that has successfully recouped billions of ill-gotten dollars on behalf of hard-working families. Just remember that the special interests and politicians cheering on this lawsuit see the CFPB’s successful defense of consumers as a problem, not the huge benefit to the economy that it is.”
Liz Zelnick, Accountable.US’ Director of Economic Security and Corporate Power.
WHO ELSE IS BEHIND THE LATEST ASSAULT ON CONSUMER PROTECTION: Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, led by a panel of three Trump appointees, ruled in favor of the payday loan industry’s dubious arguments against the CFPB’s constitutionality. As Accountable.US has documented, the three Trump appointed-judges all have ties to right-wing “maestro” Leonard Leo. Leo’s “mission” has been to push the federal judiciary in an extreme conservative direction and to dominate the Supreme Court. Accountable.US also found that 5th Circuit Judge Cory Wilson took at least $10,500 from the banking industry during his time as a Mississippi state representative.