Posts Tagged ‘Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’
April 20th, 2023 at 12:43 pm
CFPB, Like the IRS Before It, Suffers a “Major Breach” Affecting Over 250,000 Americans
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For years CFIF has highlighted how the IRS has not only targeted conservative and libertarian organizations for persecution, but also suffered security breaches allowing online extremists to release Americans’ sensitive data to the world.  Now, the equally abusive (and obviously misnamed) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has suffered a similar breach.  Specifically, the CFPB acknowledges that an employee breached and forwarded the data of over 250,000 Americans in what it labels a “major breach”:

The CFPB said an employee forwarded the personal information of more than a quarter-million consumers to a personal email account, an incident that the bureau described as a ‘major’ breach.  The employee, who was fired when the data breach came to light, sent spreadsheets with names and transaction-specific account numbers related to those 256,000 consumer accounts at a single institution, according to the bureau.”

Separately, and confirming our reference to CFPB abusiveness above, our friend John Berlau along with Stone Washington of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) write in today’s Wall Street Journal how the CFPB is suing and attempting to censor the owner of nonbank mortgage firm Townstone Financial for discussing out-of-control crime in the Chicago area on a radio show to general audiences.  You can’t make this up:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal bureaucracy with a vast jurisdiction, is testing a novel approach to crime and punishment.  In a lawsuit against Townstone Financial, a small Chicago-area nonbank mortgage firm, the CFPB is signaling that it may attempt to punish anyone who complains about neighborhood crime.

The CFPB accuses Townstone owner Barry Sturner and others affiliated with the company of making ‘statements that would discourage African-American prospective applicants from applying for mortgage loans.’  The suit, filed in 2020, doesn’t provide any concrete examples of  consumers that Townstone has allegedly mistreated.  Rather, the CFPB points to a handful of statements Mr. Sturner and other company officials made over a four-year period on the Townstone Financial Show – a weekly radio program and podcast.”

And here’s the kicker:  Mr. Sturner was simply saying things similar to what soft-on-crime Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson has himself said about Chicago crime:

Among the statements highlighted in the lawsuit are Mr. Sturner’s descriptions of frequent weekend crime rampages on Chicago’s South Side as the work of ‘hoodlums’ and his claim that police are keeping the city from ‘turning into a real war zone.’  The CFPB also wags its finger at a host’s description of a Chicago suburb as an area in which ‘you drive very fast through’ and ‘you don’t look at anybody or lock on anybody’s eyes.’

The CFPB contends that these statements about majority-black communities would somehow ‘discourage prospective applicants from applying for mortgage loans.’  Yet the Townstone hosts’ candid comments about the crime epidemic in Chicago’s black neighborhoods are remarkably similar to recent statements of Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson.

Despite Mr. Johnson’s past association with the ‘defund the police’ movement, he spoke openly in his campaign about the effect of crime on Chicago’s neighborhoods.  In a March 16 debate with Paul Vallas, Mr. Johnson described Austin – his own West Side neighborhood – as ‘one of the most violent neighborhoods in the entire city.’  In his April 4 victory address Mr. Johnson said he’d shielded his children ‘from bullets that fly right outside our front door.'”

It all points to a bureaucratic abusiveness that we address this week regarding the vast federal administrative state, and shows the need for courts and elected officials to rein it in.  In the meantime, the CFPB should pay more attention to its own dangerous data breaches, and less what is said on radio shows.



July 24th, 2017 at 5:57 pm
CFIF Joins Coalition Urging Congressional Reversal of CFPB’s Anti-Arbitration Rule

The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) today joined a coalition made up of more than two dozen free-market organizations on a letter urging Congress to use the Congressional Review Act to reverse a new rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that prevents financial services companies from using arbitration to resolve customer disputes.

“The CFPB’s arbitration rule has been described as ‘Christmas in July’ for America’s trial lawyers – and rightly so,” the coalition stresses in the letter.  “According to the CFPB’s own finding, the rule will cost consumers billions of dollars and unleash over 6,000 class action lawsuits every five years. This rule is an obstacle to the efforts to right America’s fiscal ship and create jobs and prosperity for the American people.”

The letter, which was organized by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, can be read in its entirety here (PDF).

Read the Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s official press release here.

July 6th, 2012 at 4:10 pm
Eliminating Dodd Frank Bureau Takes a Small Step Forward

If Republicans win control of Congress and the White House in November, expect conservatives to zero in on trying to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Created by the Dodd-Frank legislation, CFPB is largely exempted from congressional oversight because it is housed in the unaudited Federal Reserve.  It’s also able to self-fund through fees it sets and assesses on financial institutions.

But though it’s technically an independent agency, CFPB is turning out to be – surprise! – remarkably in synch with the Obama campaign’s anti-capitalist positions.

Piecing together several months-worth of visitor logs, Mary Kissel at the Wall Street Journal presents strong circumstantial evidence of improper coordination between political branch officers and supposedly neutral bureaucratic administrators.

CFPB chief Richard Cordray has been to an Obama cabinet strategy session.  He briefed the press about student loan policy alongside White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  He’s also held calls with the White House Chief of Staff for Policy.  His subordinates are in frequent contact with White House advisors.

Conservative opponents of CFPB’s unprecedented powers and structure like Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) are taking notice.  McHenry sent a letter requesting more details from CFPB officials about its working relationship with the White House.  Though that may seem quaint, remember that Darrell Issa’s investigation of Fast and Furious has largely proceeded by letters of inquiry met with silence, denials, and ultimately admissions.

Kissel puts the process into perspective:

Rep. McHenry’s requests will, in all likelihood, be stonewalled too. But that doesn’t mean that the Congressman’s letter is a waste of time. The 2010 Dodd Frank law gave the consumer bureau an unprecedented—and perhaps even unconstitutional—immunity from traditional checks and balances. If Republicans win a Congressional majority come November and want to eliminate the agency, they have to start demonstrating now to the public why that’s necessary. Letters like Rep. McHenry’s are a good start.

It’s good to know someone is doing the yeoman’s work of reining in a small but important part of the federal bureaucracy.  If McHenry’s letter helps build a case for dismantling CFPB, conservatives will be thanking him for taking steps like this.