Brown Slams CFPB for Failing to Protect Servicemembers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following statement opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) failure to monitor financial services institutions for violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA).

“The CFPB is neglecting its duty to protect the women and men who serve and protect our country. The CFPB has broad authorities – Congress does not need to take action, the CFPB Director does,” said Brown.

The Military Lending Act was passed in 2006 with broad bipartisan support, and prevents predatory lenders from taking advantage of active-duty servicemembers through a number of protections including a 36% interest rate cap on loans to servicemembers and their families. During former Director Richard Cordray’s tenure, the CFPB used its supervisory authority to proactively examine banks and non-bank lenders for violations of protections under the MLA.

Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB ended those examinations without the cooperation of the Department of Defense and said it would reconsider whether the CFPB has the authority to examine lenders for compliance with the MLA. Director Kraninger affirmed that plan, meaning the CFPB will only enforce for violations of the MLA if some other action brings the matter to the Bureau’s attention.

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