This press release was originally posted through Allied Progress. Allied Progress is now Accountable.US.
Washington D.C. – Following the deadline to submit amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in Seila Law v. CFPB, consumer watchdog group Allied Progress released a new report finding the vast majority of those who filed challenges to the bureau’s for-cause removal provision – and some to the CFPB’s very existence – have financial motives in seeing the bureau stripped of its independence or struck down entirely. Others likely have payback in mind, like one company that was once held accountable by the bureau for grifting 9/11 first responders.
When Director Kathy Kraninger announced her refusal to defend the constitutionality of her own job, special interests including predatory lenders and greedy banks smelled blood in the water. Of all 23 briefs filed in support of Seila, Allied Progress found 78% of them were drafted by CFPB-regulated entities, Republican politicians who have taken campaign contributions from those CFPB-regulated industries, or think tanks and legal foundations funded by industry money or led by industry insiders. These conflicts of interest were conveniently omitted from their submissions to the high court.
Among the Seila supporters is Consumer Bankers Association, whose member banks have been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in CFPB enforcement actions. Another is Roni Dersovitz and his associated companies who were sued by the CFPB and the New York Attorney General for “allegedly scamming 9/11 heroes out of money intended to cover medical costs, lost income, and other critical needs.”
“The vast majority of those questioning the CFPB’s constitutionality have some financial motive in seeing the bureau stripped of its independence,” said Allied Progress Director Derek Martin. “Many apparently have an axe to grind after the bureau dared to hold them accountable in the past for ripping off consumers, including 9/11 heroes. Those seeking to undermine the CFPB should make their true motivations clear.”
Maintaining the law that established a strong, independent bureau is vital keeping consumers safe from bad financial actors. Allowing any President – particularly one as politically motivated and self-interested as Donald Trump – to fire the CFPB Director without any cause would gravely imperil the bureau’s ability to put consumers first, as it was set up to do by Congress. While Director Kraninger may be in the tank for industry, it’s easy to envision a scenario where a President like Trump would fire a CFPB Director more committed to consumers’ interest for no reason other than complaints from some big banking donor or a politician in the pocket of predatory lenders.
Other petitioners who say they’re concerned about “Constitutional issues” include:
- Seila Law Who Attacked The CFPB As Unconstitutional After It Sought Documents Related To The Law Firm Allegedly Misrepresenting Debt Relief Services While Violating Federal Telemarketing Laws.
- Roni Dersovitz And His Associated CompaniesWho Were Sued By CFPB And the New York Attorney GeneralFor “Allegedly Scamming 9/11 Heroes Out Of Money Intended To Cover Medical Costs, Lost Income, And Other Critical Needs.”
- Payday Lender Mike Hodges And His Business Who Spent $350,000 On Lobbying EffortsTo Get The Trump Administration To Ease The CFPB’s Payday Lending Regulations. Hodges was caught on tape last year bragging that his millions of dollars in contributions to the Trump campaign bought access to the administration and promises of favorable regulations.
- Daniel S. Lipsky And His Associated Companies—Which Had To Pay A Nearly $8 Million Penalty After The CFPB Sued Them For Misleading Consumers—Filed An Amicus Brief Asking The Supreme Court To Rule Against The CFPB’s Structure And To “Terminate Enforcement Actions Taken By The Unconstitutionally Structured Agency.”
- A Group Of Republican Members of Congress Who Received Nearly $68 Million From CFPB-Regulated Industry Donors
- Competitive Enterprise Institute Whose Annual Dinner Was Sponsored By A Major Payday Lending Trade Group.