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National Consumers League hails the launch of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; first ever agency to provide consumers with protections in financial transactions

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July 25, 2011

Contact: NCL Communications, (202) 835-3323, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Washington, D.C.— Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act one year ago. This was a sweeping financial reform law designed to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory system.  On July 21, 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created through the Dodd Frank Act, opened its doors.

This is the first federal agency solely devoted to fighting for the financial protections of average Americans. CFPB has already stood up for consumers by fighting to make lending terms clearer and advocating for commonsense disclosures that plainly detail fees and penalties.

“The tricks and traps in mortgages, credit card agreements, cell phone contracts and so many other documents consumers must sign to get goods and services will now be subject to scrutiny from an outside consumer protection agency,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL’s Executive Director. Greenberg continued, “Predatory mortgage lending was central to the housing crisis and the hardest hit consumers were lower income and communities of color. As consumer advocates, we welcome the oversight that CFPB will provide over products and services that can help families secure financial stability.”

NCL strongly backs the nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the agency, however members of Congress made it clear they would not support her nomination. Today NCL supports the newly nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the agency. Cordray has a reputation as a spirited advocate for families, and in the past has taken on deceptive mortgage servicing practices that were robbing people of their homes. In the process, he also recaptured $2 billion dollars for retirees.

“NCL decries efforts to block Cordray’s nomination or dilute CFPB’s authority by handing decision-making power to a commission. This will only harm American consumers and hinder the ability of CPFB to deliver relief to so many families,” said Sally Greenberg.

“CFPB must not fall victim to politics. We need a strong CFPB to enforce our nation’s consumer protection laws and help put consumers on a level playing field with banks and other financial institutions,” Greenberg noted.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.