Watchdog agency to tackle military payday loan scams once again

The new leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has pledged to reject the Trump administration’s “relaxed approach” and resume targeting of payday loan scams that trap troops in endless cycles of indebtedness.

Acting director Dave Uejio said on Thursday that the watchdog agency “would reverse policies of the last administration that weakened enforcement and oversight” of business practices and made it easier to oversee the payday lending industry.

“To date, CFPB official policy is to oversee lenders with respect to the Military Loans Act,” which limits interest rates on most types of consumer loans to 36%, said Uejio in a press release addressed to CFPB staff. “And we plan to rescind public statements conveying a relaxed approach to law enforcement for which we are responsible.”

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The change in CFPB policy was welcomed by Senator Jack Reed, DR.I., the new Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“This is great news for our soldiers and their families. The Military Loans Act makes a huge difference for active-duty military personnel, and I am pleased that the CFPB is fully upholding the law once again and using the tools at its disposal to protect our troops from abusive practices, ”a- he said in a statement Thursday.

The CFPB had previously taken an aggressive stance on predatory payday lending practices under Holly Petraeus, wife of retired Army General David Petraeus. She resigned as chief of the Bureau of Military Affairs at CFPB when President Donald Trump took office.

President Joe Biden signaled his intention to change policies at CFPB shortly after being sworn in on January 20. He has appointed Uejio, a nine-year CFPB veteran, to serve as interim director until his choice as new director, Rohit Chopra, can be confirmed by the Senate.

Chopra, 38, currently a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, will replace Kathy Kraninger, who was director of CFPB for two years. She resigned Jan. 20 at the request of the Biden administration and said on Twitter: “I am proud of all that we have accomplished on behalf of consumers.”

Information on filing a complaint with the CFPB can be found here.

– Richard Sisk can be reached at [email protected]

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