Coalition Efforts

Consumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see "More Information" at the end of each article.
 

Postings

Against changing the leadership structure of the CFPB
Powerful banks and Wall Street cronies in Congress escalated their campaign to defund and defang the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, because it works for consumers, not them. The American Bankers Association and other major trade groups representing Wall Street and other financial interests revealed they are the driving force behind intensified Congressional efforts to pass H.R. 1266 (Neugebauer-TX) – an effort to eliminate the Bureau's single director and replace him with a highly-politicized five-member Commission.

Policy riders threaten vital public safeguards, hijack budget process
A coalition of 178 groups is urging President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains inappropriate and ideological policy riders. These riders would jeopardize policies that restrain Wall Street abuses; guarantee clean air, food and water; ensure safe consumer products and continued access to vital health care services; keep homes and workplaces safe; prevent consumer rip-offs; and hold big corporations accountable for wrongdoing.

“Full file” reports undermine existing protections and harm consumers credit
Consumer advocates wrote Congress in opposition of H.R. 3035, the Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2015. This legislation, if enacted, would preempt state utility regulatory and legislative authority, risk damaging the credit scores of millions of low-income consumers and conflict with long-standing state utility regulatory consumer protections.

Protecting borrowers, not banks, from risky loans
Coalition advocates wrote to Congress asking them to oppose H.R. 1210. The bill would change the new Qualified Mortgage rules in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Ability-to-Repay requirement. Lenders should make a good-faith effort to determine a borrower’s ability to repay a mortgage before extending them a loan. Instead, H.R. 1210 contains an unnecessary exemption that puts all the risk on the borrower and protects the lenders from legal responsibility.

Advocates oppose effort to suspend lender liability under new mortgage rules
Coalition advocates wrote to the House of Representatives asking them to oppose H.R. 2213. The bill suspends homebuyer rights by absolving lenders from accountability for five months after new mortgage disclosure rules take effect this summer, and lets lenders off the hook even when a homeowner has been harmed. This means that homeowners who receive misleading mortgage cost disclosures during that period would have no recourse. Moreover, the legislation sets a dangerous precedent by suspending liability where legal rules apply.

In favor of improving mortgage data to prevent housing discrimination
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) is proposing to improve the quality and type of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data collected, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. HMDA data is used to evaluate mortgage lending activity, particularly to understand the dynamics of the mortgage market for underserved borrowers and communities of color. Consumer Action joins coalition advocates in supporting the CFPB's efforts to improve HDMA data collection and urges the Bureau to expand on its collection fields and take further steps to improve the quality of the data collected.

Mortgage Choice Act of 2014 protects lenders - leaves homebuyers out in the cold
The Mortgage Choice Act of 2014 (H.R. 3211) contains certain provisions that would both increase fees for homebuyers and provide additional legal protections for lenders who make riskier loans. The passage of this bill may deter consumers seeking to purchase a home or refinance their current mortgage. As the housing market continues to recover, Consumer Action joins consumer advocates in urging Congress to oppose H.R. 3211 in order to protect basic, existing, consumer safeguards.

Homeowners could see an increase in fees if mortgage rule is weakened
S. 1577—the “Mortgage Choice Act of 2013” reintroduces some of the higher fees borrowers faced in the lead up to the mortgage crisis; fees that the new mortgage rules were designed to prevent. Specifically, this bill creates a loophole that would allow many more risky, high-cost loans to qualify as Qualified Mortgage (QM) loans by creating exceptions to the points and fees threshold. Consumer Action joins advocates in urging Congress to refrain from weakening the QM standard by rejecting this bill.

Strengthening mortgage reform protections
Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in supporting Sen. Brown's amendment to the Housing Finance bill (Johnson-Crapo) that would require servicers to disclose any new fees, the loan's default status and whether a loan modification application has been submitted prior to transferring servicing duties to a new mortgage servicer.

Proposed Freddie and Fannie reform needs work
Significant changes are needed to improve and strengthen the proposed Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform legislation before it could provide the access to affordable credit guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If this bill became law in its current form, it would be a giant step backward for the working class, people of color, Millennials, and other traditionally under-served communities.

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