Tomorrow marks one hundred fifty days since Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger committed to quickly filling the nation’s top student loan watchdog position—a role that has been vacant for almost a year. As student debt nears $1.6 trillion and predatory practices plague the market, the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund (AFREF) are releasing a roundup of failures by the current CFPB Director to stand up for student loan borrowers.
“Income-share agreements are nothing more than student debt with a fancy name,” said Alexis Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for Financial Reform. “Financial investors hungry for yield are using ISAs to put student debt in an elaborate and confusing package, while forcing students to waive key rights and seeking to withhold the already too limited consumer protections federal student loans provide.”
The AFR Education Fund sent a statement for the record to the House Financial Services Committee concerning Facebook’s proposal for the Libra digital token and payment system. The statement describes ways in which Facebook is attempting to create an unregulated financial product of potentially global scale and the dangers this would pose to the users of the token and the broader financial system.
“The money that is being siphoned off from earnings to increase executive bonuses doesn’t just make wealthy insiders wealthier,” said Heather Slavkin Corzo, senior fellow at Americans for Financial Reform. “It is money that could have been used to invest in making the business more competitive and pay workers living wages.”
The groups urged the agency to abandon old rules that govern stock buybacks in light of their rampant abuse by corporate America since their enactment in 1982. Last year, the massive tax cut passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump gave companies war chests of unprecedented size to boost share prices through stock buybacks.
Given the unfortunate demise of the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule and the glaring deficiencies in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Regulation Best Interest, we greatly appreciate states such as New Jersey that are willing to step in to fill the regulatory void by providing the protections investors need and expect.
Today, Americans for Financial Reform joined a coalition of national consumer and civil rights groups in writing to top banking regulators on the importance of preventing banks from once again issuing payday loans that trap people in a cycle of debt.
Even within our broad coalition, it is exceedingly rare for so many organizations to come together and to speak with one voice. The tremendous outpouring of opposition to high-cost, short-term loans that put people in a cycle of debt, whether issued by banks or nonbanks, illustrates the importance of this issue to people across the country.