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Color of Money: Will consumer watchdog become a lapdog for the financial industry?

Michelle Singletary on

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.: "From the day that the agency opened its doors, the CFPB has been targeted by Republicans and their Wall Street bank allies. They attacked the agency at every turn, and tried to stop it from helping consumers. … his is a big test for Donald Trump. He said on the campaign trail that he would stand up to Wall Street and defend forgotten Americans. … If the president appoints another industry hack or bought-and-paid-for politician to lead the agency, it is just the latest sign that he wants to run this government to help his rich buddies."

The National Consumer Law Center: "The president must appoint a new director who is committed to the mission of consumer protection. … Much work has been accomplished, but much more needs to be done, as evidenced by the scandals of financial giants Wells Fargo for its fake accounts and Equifax and complaints that continue to stream in about debt-collection abuses, overdraft fees, and predatory loans."

Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, which is the policy division of Consumer Reports: "Consumers need a tough watchdog in Washington to protect them from abusive practices that jeopardize their financial security. We can't afford to take the financial cop off the beat and leave families vulnerable to costly scams and rip-offs."

Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending: "The [CFPB] has fought against discriminatory practices in the financial marketplace, including bringing actions to enforce fair-lending laws that protect consumers of color from being charged more for a mortgage, auto loan or credit card."

Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst: "For President Trump, it will be yet another opportunity to put his stamp on a nominee who is friendlier to business and more inclined to deregulate. For consumers, the risk is that they will have fewer advocates working for them in the federal government."

 

These are the people you should listen to, because they've got your back. So now let your voices be heard, because we need a leader of the CFPB who will continue to be a watchdog for consumer interests and not a lapdog for the financial industry.

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Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1301 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichelleSingletary). Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer's name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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