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Prepared Remarks of CFPB Director Rohit Chopra Regarding the Supreme Court’s Decision in CFPB v. CFSA

Our economy and our financial system don’t work for the public when there are laws on the books that simply go unenforced. This isn’t just bad for consumers, it’s bad for the honest businesses that play by the rules. We saw the results of this in a devastating financial crisis that cratered the economy.

Since the CFPB opened its doors as part of the Federal Reserve System in 2011, large financial firms have been scheming to defund consumer protection and law enforcement and return to a market where they are able to act with impunity. The payday loan lobby has repeatedly argued that the CFPB’s funding structure within the Federal Reserve System is unconstitutional.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected a radical theory that would have rattled financial markets by injecting uncertainty into all of the CFPB’s actions taken since day one. In its opinion, the Court repudiated the arguments of the payday loan lobby. The Court’s ruling makes clear the CFPB is here to stay.

Here’s what will happen next. First, the CFPB will be able to forge ahead with our law enforcement work. During the pendency of this Supreme Court case, a number of the CFPB’s enforcement actions were put on pause. In many of these lawsuits, we allege that the defendants engaged in severe misconduct that took advantage of people, including ones living paycheck to paycheck and even military families. That means justice has been delayed for too many.

The CFPB will continue to focus on repeat offenders, including the individual executives involved in calling the shots. Given our workload, we are increasing the ranks of our enforcement office. Even in spite of the uncertainty we faced before yesterday’s decision, our law enforcement program over the past several years resulted in meaningful results for families across the country.

Second, our efforts to stop the creep of the junk fees will move ahead. In the past few years, the CFPB has helped to lead efforts across the government to make markets fairer and more competitive. We’ve seen large financial firms reduce billions of dollars in junk fees, and we’ve taken action to recover illegally obtained junk fees.

We’ll continue to defend our rule to close a longstanding late fee loophole on credit cards, which credit card giants have abused for years. We’ll be working to finalize rules on overdraft fees and nonsufficient fund fees. Altogether, we think these reforms can save consumers $20 billion each year.

Third, expect to see more work when it comes to credit reports and credit scores. For the past few years, we’ve been taking a hard look at the medical bills that are getting parked on people’s credit reports. We do not want a system where debt collectors can weaponize a credit report to coerce someone to pay a bill that may not even owe.

The CFPB’s complaint center has been experiencing significant growth in consumer complaints, and the bulk of these relate to credit reports. We want to make sure that big credit reporting conglomerates and small background screeners alike are living up to their obligations under the law to ensure that credit reports are accurate and to investigate disputes. We’re also considering new rules to make sure that so-called data brokers who ingest, assemble, and sell our personal data are living up to these standards.

And there’s so much more. Whether it’s appraisals or auto loans or mortgages or medical loans, the CFPB will be firing on all cylinders.

While the payday loan lobby’s case was pending before the Supreme Court, even industry groups sounded the alarm of the consequences if the CFPB’s work was called into question.

Behind closed doors, financial industry players admit that the CFPB has helped to prevent some of the race-to-the-bottom business practices that helped to foment the subprime mortgage crisis. I hope that more and more of them will also realize that our economy is better off with a CFPB at full strength.

Our banking and financial system is supposed to support the American dream, not destroy it. We should all want markets where people can do business with a provider of their choice without worrying that they’ll be ripped off or mistreated. It’s really that simple. That’s the vision the CFPB was created to protect, and that’s what we’re going to keep on doing.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that implements and enforces Federal consumer financial law and ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. For more information, visit