Our focus today is an assessment of the financial reform law that Congress enacted in an effort to address the worst financial crisis in three-quarters of a century. Financial reform is necessary over time because our laws must keep pace with the many innovations in the financial marketplace. The pace of innovation can be rapid in this sector, where the products are intangible objects of human creativity, and the pace has accelerated dramatically in the computer age.
My speech today is intended as an incremental contribution to the year-long conversation on civil and human rights that Michigan State University has commenced through the project known as 60/50. Across the country, this year has marked significant anniversaries for civil rights milestones. It is the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which held that segregated schools in America are unconstitutional and struck down the previously accepted doctrine of “separate but equal.” And it is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and other areas.
Thank you for joining our forum to explore how consumers are affected by checking account screening policies and practices. Today we will look at how these practices work and raise questions about whether they unfairly block some consumers from opening checking accounts, while exposing other consumers to inappropriate risk. We look forward to a fruitful discussion that advances our understanding of these issues.
Good morning! I want to start by asking you all to welcome the newest member of my senior team, Janneke Ratcliffe. Janneke joined the Consumer Bureau on Monday as an Assistant Director in charge of our Office of Financial Education. I know she will be working closely with all of you the on Council, and I encourage you to take the opportunity to get to know her better.
Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking its first enforcement action under the Bureau’s new mortgage servicing rules. We are entering an order against Michigan-based Flagstar Bank for violating those rules by failing borrowers and illegally blocking them from trying to save their homes. Flagstar took excessive time to process borrowers’ applications, did not tell them when their applications were incomplete, denied loan modifications to qualified borrowers, and illegally delayed finalizing permanent loan modifications. These unlawful practices caused many consumers to lose the homes they had been trying to save. That is wrong and it is unacceptable.
Thank you. Over the years, financial education has become a passion that I have pursued at the local, state, and now federal levels. It is a joy and a privilege to be here amongst others who share that passion and understand its importance to the future of our country.