Native American Leaders Fire Back at CFPB about Racial Bias Issues

File this one under the ironic file: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – no stranger to controversy and making headlines since day one of its inception, usually for the wrong reasons – is yet again feeling the heat. The CFPB was created by Senator Elizabeth Warren and was supposed to act as an agency that had the back of American consumers. It was supposed to stop rich businesses from taking advantage of the poor and those without power. Essentially, it was supposed to make financial dealings more of a level playing field. Here’s where the irony kicks in – a group of people who are often financially impoverished and historically taken advantage of believe that the CFPB is operating more like a typical government power broker than the financial protector it was supposed to be.teengirl_laptop

The Councilwoman for the Indian Nation Habematolel Pomo in Upper Lake California is named Sherry Treppa. She has some issues with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is working on instituting new payday lending regulations. Treppa, and the people she represents, believe that these new regulations will undermine a large part of the tribe’s business and that it does not take their current consumer protections into consideration.

A Native American tribal leader had harsh words for the CFPB recently. These words had to do with the bureau’s new regulations of the nationwide payday lending industry. The tribal leader says that the agency has not consulted with the tribes in its preparations to issue a new industry-sweeping proposal.
At a hearing of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, Ms. Treppa said that the new rule coming down from the CFPB may very well show a total disregard for numerous tribe rules and regulations that are already implemented in order to regulate loans and to protect borrowers.

At the hearing Treppa said, “I remain concerned that the CFPB is developing its proposed action in a vacuum without consulting with tribes to learn about the innumerable tools that we have developed to ensure that we conduct business in a manner that is fair, responsible, compliant and benefits our tribal members and the American consumer.” Treppa talked about how her tribe experienced financial transformation – both to the general economy and improvements in governmental services – because of its online lending business. The progress that has been made may wind up being undermined, according to Treppa.
Treppa continued her testimony by saying, “The CFPB’s refusal to work with tribes in a government-to-government manner is not consistent with the federal government’s trust responsibility to tribal governments, nor does it respect the inherent sovereignty of Indian tribes.”
And this is not the first time the CFPB has had issues related directly to discrimination. Just this past summer, their civil rights officer announced that their internal practices made an outright mockery of equal rights protection.
But this isn’t the first time that the Bureau has run into problems over discrimination. Last summer their own civil rights officer came forward and said their internal practices made a mockery of equal rights protection. (American Banker)
The CFPB has also had some considerable overruns that took place when constructing their official headquarters. This, again, seems to be ironic, and a little bit humorous, when you consider that the bureau is supposed to provide protection and oversight to American consumers. With taxpayers making up the largest group of people in the country, the fact that this organization has no qualms about overspending and overstepping its boundaries seems to be a glaring mistake that someone needs to correct before too long.

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