Corruption Etiquette Team: Congressman NC Stimulates Payday Loans; Trump administration produces ‘romantic scam’ placemats

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Representative Patrick McHenry

If you ever wonder what Trumpism looks like in all its corrupt, dog-eating, predatory splendor, there are two classic examples of our nation’s capital today to jog your memory.

Exhibit 1 is the ridiculously titled “Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017” – a bill that the House of Representatives is due to vote on today at the request of its main sponsor, North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry. As you have probably guessed, the measure has nothing to do with consumer protection and is rather a blatant attempt by the payday loan industry’s favorite congressman to revive the discredited and predatory practice at the nationwide. This is taken from an alert issued by real consumer advocates:

“The United States House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on HR 3299, a bill that would allow 400% payday lenders to escape North Carolina’s high interest rate caps by associating with a foreign bank.

When payday lenders were kicked out of North Carolina in 2001, some used an illegal “rent a bank” system to continue providing 400% payday loans in our state for five years. Our North Carolina Attorney General and Commissioner of Banking were the first state regulators to end this sham arrangement, forcing the last payday lenders out of North Carolina in 2006.

Now a bill is being tabled in Congress that would overturn that victory. This bill would bless these “break-in-a-bank” programs and encourage them to spread by legalizing loans that are briefly initiated by a bank, regardless of the interest rate, even if the bank has little involvement and loans are immediately sold to a payday lender.

Rep. Patrick McHenry sponsored this bill and all three members of the North Carolina House Financial Services Committee voted in favor of this dangerous bill: Reps McHenry (R, NC-10), Robert Pittenger (R, NC-09) and Ted Budd (R, NC-13).

Unfortunately, none of this comes as a particular surprise. McHenry was a staunch payday shark apologist during his brief and indiscriminate tenure in the General Assembly and was one of the industry’s most loyal lapdogs in Washington. Sadly, the rise of Trumpism has given new impetus to its destructive intrigues, and the bill will be difficult to stop. If passed in the House, consumer advocates hope the Senate will prevent the measure from ending up on the desk of the chief predator and corrupt lackeys he has installed at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Speaking of CFPB, his latest mischief is today Room # 2. This week the office dispute abandoned which was launched under Obama’s appointment to crack down on a predatory lender who charged thousands of consumers with 950% interest on loans. And, what you might ask, does the office offer to do it instead? According to a press release yesterday – we’re not making this up – he will now devote special attention to the production of “romantic scam” placemats. This is taken from the press release:

“Dear Colleague,

The CFPB has created a new romantic scam prevention placemat to help the elderly who might fall under the spell of a con artist. The placemat is part of a series of consumer education placemats that meal service providers deliver to homebound seniors and senior meal sites. Placemats are free download or bulk order.

Please see the blog post below to learn more:
www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guard-your-wallet-well-your-heart-romance-scams/

thank you,

Community Affairs Office
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ”

Don’t you feel more secure now?



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