The proposal also establishes a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency with the authority to implement a modernized Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)–a critical step to rooting out the financial industry’s worst practices. With foreclosures and vacant properties on the rise and property values on the decline in the Chicago region and throughout the country, we believe the best way to move forward is to protect consumers from predatory products and discriminatory practices. As the CRA has demonstrated, safe and sustainable loans build stronger c
But home mortgages are far from the only bad financial products being sold to unsuspecting American consumers. Not surprisingly, all of the entities selling these harmful products are lobbying hard to get their particular product exempt from coverage under the CFPA. These “carveouts” for special interests are unacceptable. Car loan issuers are the worst example of big businesses trying to protect their ability to rip off consumers.
The agency would require understandable disclosure, not the reams of fine print that has trapped business owners in unfavorable credit card contracts. It would prohibit unfair and deceptive practices, not let hazardous products like automobile title loans, which many businesses rely on to manage cash flow, slip through regulatory loopholes. Finally, it would require that lenders offer straightforward financial products, such as transparent credit cards and small business loans, alongside the complicated and price-shrouded products that crowd the marketplace.&n
The Emergency Economic Recovery Act of 2008 gave the Treasury Department broad authority to support major financial institutions by purchasing distressed assets, bolstering capital and catalyzing lending in response to the current fiscal crisis.