The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals needs to be hearing the already expedited case to determine the leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau while the agency still exists. The rightful acting director, Leandra English, has sued to force part-time Trump interloper Mick Mulvaney out of the job. That could be why he’s trying to fast-track its destruction.
An internal memo obtained by NPR says the CFPB on Monday will unveil a new strategic plan to that end. A “revised mission and vision of the bureau” for the years 2018 through 2022 will call upon the agency to “fulfill its statutory responsibilities but go no further.” It also says the bureau should be “acting with humility and moderation.”
This new direction is consistent with Mulvaney’s other memos and statements and formalizes his plans for defanging the watchdog bureau and reshaping its mission, according to insiders and experts that NPR has talked to. […]
Within weeks of coming on board, Mulvaney has worked to make the watchdog agency less aggressive. Under his leadership, the CFPB delayed a new payday lending regulation from going into effect and dropped an investigation into one payday lender that contributed to Mulvaney’s campaign. In another move that particularly upset some staffers, the new boss also dropped a lawsuit against an alleged online loan shark called Golden Valley Lending. The suit says the lender illegally charges people up to 950 percent interest rates. It took CFPB staffers years to build the case.
“People are devastated and angry — just imagine how you would feel if years of your life had been dedicated to pursuing justice and you lose everything,” says Christopher Peterson, a former Office of Enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who worked on this particular case early on.
One of the devastated people is Julie Bonenfant, 27, in Detroit. Last year she ended a relationship and her car was stolen and the two crappy life events left her behind in her rent. She borrowed $900 from Golden Valley Lending, but “her scheduled payments in less than 12 months will total $3,735, or more than four times what she borrowed.” In paying more than $3,000 of that off, she’s racked up more than $1,000 in overdraft fees at her bank. She’s one of the borrowers the CFPB was suing on behalf of and who Mulvaney could not care less about.
When NPR requested an interview from Mulvaney, his staff responded that the decision to quit the Golden Valley suit was made by “professional career staff” and not Mulvaney. Except that the career professional staff insisted that “Mulvaney decided to drop the lawsuit even though the entire career enforcement staff wanted to press ahead with it,” and Mulvaney’s spokesperson eventually admitted he was involved in the decision.
Because screw you.