Ten years ago, bullies had taken over the playground. Financial service firms preyed on their customers with impunity:
—Lenders made expensive, risky mortgages to people who couldn’t afford to pay the money back.
—Credit card issuers foisted overpriced insurance and other add-on products on millions of unsuspecting customers.
—Credit bureaus ignored evidence submitted by people disputing errors in their credit reports.
—Companies sold delinquent debts to collection agencies that ran amok, violating fair debt collection laws and strong-arming people into repaying debts they didn’t even owe.
People’s complaints fell on deaf ears, since consumer protection wasn’t a priority at any agency. Huge swaths of the credit and debt industries, including credit bureaus, collection agencies and payday lenders, operated with little government oversight.
Then the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pushed back.
In my latest for the Associated Press, why President-elect Donald Trump needs to save the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.