WASHINGTON, D.C.— Stephen Hall, Better Markets’ Legal Director and Securities Specialist, issued the following statement in connection with today’s filing of an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in CFPB v. Community Financial Services Association of America. The brief was led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and joined by Better Markets and other prominent organizations committed to fighting predatory and discriminatory practices in consumer finance.
“The CFPB is under relentless attack precisely because it has been so effective at combating predatory and discriminatory practices by a broad swath of lenders, having returned $16 billion to victimized consumers, and that tally continues to rise. The CFPB is the federal government’s most meaningful attempt in generations to protect individuals not only from predatory practices but also from racial discrimination in the financial markets. For example, as detailed in the brief, the CFPB’s enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act protects homeowners and renters of color from discrimination. As also explained in the brief, the CFPB combats discrimination through its rulemaking and enforcement work in other markets, including auto loans, student loans, and credit cards, where people of color suffer disproportionately from unfair, deceptive, or abusive consumer practices.
“This latest assault on the CFPB now before the Supreme Court takes aim at the agency’s funding mechanism, which the Fifth Circuit declared unlawful under the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Circuit’s decision has been widely criticized because the court ignored the plain language of the Constitution, ample precedent, and Congress’s long-established use of similar funding mechanisms for a host of other agencies, including the Fed and other banking regulators. The amicus brief highlights not only these profound flaws in the lower court’s legal analysis but also the terrible impact the decision threatens to have, especially on minority communities, unless it is reversed by the Supreme Court.
“Sidelining the CFPB entirely or undermining its independence will sharply curtail if not eliminate protections for millions of Americans, harming all consumers but especially communities of color that are targeted by unscrupulous actors. The CFPB must be allowed to continue its vital work unhindered by groundless attacks on its legitimacy.”
The full amicus brief is available here.
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.