Thank you for joining us on the call today and my thanks to Katie Fallow at the FTC for her and her staff’s hard work on this issue. Today, both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission are announcing recent action we’ve taken against companies and individuals that took advantage of underwater homeowners looking for foreclosure relief.
It is indeed an extreme pleasure to be able to experience the true nature of summer here in El Paso in the middle of July. And it is also a pleasure to welcome you all to this field hearing hosted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As we all know, the financial crisis did serious damage to individuals and communities all across this country. Its effects remain vivid in our collective experience, and the toll it took on our lives was substantial. Millions of people lost their jobs; millions lost their homes; and virtually everyone lost considerable household wealth, amounting to trillions of dollars. As a key part of its response to the crisis, Congress created the Bureau and vested it with the responsibility to stand on the side of consumers and make sure they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace.
Thank you for joining us on today’s call. Today we are announcing that we have resolved an investigation and are entering an order against one of the nation’s largest payday lenders, ACE Cash Express, for inducing payday borrowers into a cycle of debt. We believe ACE used illegal debt collection tactics – including harassment and false threats of lawsuits, or criminal prosecution – to bully overdue borrowers with a demonstrated inability to repay their existing loans into taking out new payday loans with expensive fees. These kinds of predatory tactics are appalling, and under the terms of the order, ACE will pay $10 million in restitution and penalties to address the conduct at issue.
The economist John Maynard Keynes was once asked what interest is. He replied simply and directly: “If I let you have a halfpenny and you kept it for a very long time, you would have to give me back that halfpenny and another too. That’s interest.” Of course, that is not Keynes’s most insightful comment on economics, but it may be his earliest: He was four-and-a-half years old at the time.
Thank you for joining us on this call today. Today, the Bureau is ordering GE Capital Retail Bank, now known as Synchrony Bank, to provide $225 million in remediation to 746,000 consumers who were harmed by GE Capital’s deceptive credit card add-on practices and discriminatory debt relief promotions. This kind of conduct has no place in the consumer financial marketplace. People deserve to be given clear information and they deserve to be treated fairly.
Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today about the Semi-Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the nation’s first federal agency with the sole focus of protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. Financial products like mortgages, credit […]