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Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici: CHOICE Act is the wrong Choice

June 12, 2017

Bonamici Denounces House Bill to Roll Back Consumer Protections
Financial CHOICE Act Severely Limits Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) voted against legislation that guts the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and rolls back protections of 2010’s Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The bill would limit the ability of financial regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Stability Oversight Council, to prohibit the risky financial practices that led to the Great Recession.

“This bill rolls back important consumer protections for seniors, students, and hardworking families,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been protecting people from predatory payday lenders, unscrupulous financial institutions, and deceitful debt collectors. Since its creation, the CFPB has assisted more than 29 million consumers, many of them seniors and veterans. Without these protections, our country could be at risk of another financial disaster.”

“Seniors are especially vulnerable to financial fraud and abuse. Last month, I introduced bipartisan legislation to protect seniors from elder abuse, including financial abuse. Today’s bill is a step in the wrong direction from this goal – it would roll back the CFPB’s ability to identify and stop unfair and abusive debt collection and telemarketing practices, which often target vulnerable seniors.”

Additionally, Oregon has some of the most effective laws to address predatory payday lenders, who take advantage of struggling families by issuing loans at exorbitant rates. Last year, Bonamici introduced the Stopping Abuse and Fraud in Electronic (SAFE) Lending Act to protect consumers from predatory payday lending practices nationally, and to crack down on some of the worst abuses in the industry. The SAFE Lending act would stop automatic bank withdrawals and ban third party “lead generators” that collect applications and auction them to payday lenders.

“This harmful bill that passed the House today would prevent the CFPB from cracking down on predatory payday lenders nationwide. As a former consumer protection attorney, I saw too many families lose their homes, too many consumers harassed by debt collectors, and too many people fall into the trap of payday loans. This bill is called the CHOICE Act, but it’s the wrong choice.”

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