Thank you for joining us. Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking action against an auto finance company that distorted consumer credit records for years. Texas-based First Investors Financial Services Group systemically provided information to credit reporting agencies that it knew was inaccurate, potentially harming tens of thousands of customers. Today we are ordering the company to pay a $2.75 million fine, fix the mistakes it has caused, and change the way it does business.
I would like to thank the Association of Military Banks and Andy Egeland for inviting me to be with you here today.
As the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I recognize the importance that community banks play in the lives of many consumers and in many neighborhoods and small towns across the United States. When I joined the Consumer Bureau, I came with a strong viewpoint that community banks were not among the causes of the financial crisis. I saw this when I was a county treasurer, then the State Treasurer of Ohio. You did not underwrite the bad loans that brought down the housing market. Instead, you worked to keep your own customers in sound and sustainable loans. You were sounding the alarm bells well before the sinking of the economy. And you were upholding sensible underwriting standards even though you may have been losing some of your customers and your market share to the financial predators who were not held to the same standards of responsible lending.
Thank you all for joining me today for the release of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s data point on checking account overdrafts. This is our second report on overdraft that raises concerns about how consumers are being affected by overdraft practices.
Chairman McHenry, Ranking Member Green, and Members of the Subcommittee, I am glad to be here today to address certain personnel and management matters at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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.