Members of the military are often disproportionately targeted by predatory lenders — financial institutions and other creditors who convince borrowers to accept unfair terms to get a loan, lie to them or coerce them, or give loans out to people they know won’t be able to pay them back. Service members are often young, financially inexperienced, and have little to no credit. The Times notes that Department of Defense studies over the past decade have found that service members, their families, and veterans are four times as likely to be targeted by predatory lenders.
The federal government’s top consumer watchdog has decided it no longer needs to proactively supervise banks, credit card companies, and other lenders who deal with members of the military and their families to make sure they’re not committing fraud or abuse.
Critics, baffled by the decision from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, say it will put service members in the claws of predatory lenders and put their careers and livelihoods — and potentially US national security — at risk.
This is part of a broader effort by Mulvaney to roll back protections at the CFPB. A longtime opponent of the bureau’s mere existence, the former South Carolina Congress member has sought to scale back its reach and authority since taking over.
Getting rid of the proactive examinations is “literally going to be putting service members back in the crosshairs of predatory lenders,” said Scott Astrada, federal advocacy director at consumer advocacy group the Center for Responsible Lending.
Call your representative and demand they stop this rollback and protect our veterans from financial fraud and abuse.