What agitation in a federal consumer watchdog might mean for students: NPR Ed: NPR



As of this week, there are two people appointed to the position of CFPB interim director, and it is not clear who will remain. Mick Mulvaney, the current budget director of President Trump and he chooses the position, has supported the elimination of the office, which would make it easier for the loan services to take advantage of the borrowers.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP


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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

As of this week, there are two persons appointed to the post of CFPB interim director, and it is not clear who will be able to stay. Mick Mulvaney, the current budget director of President Trump and he chooses the position, has supported the elimination of the office, which would make it easier for the loan services to take advantage of the borrowers.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

This week, two different people showed up for the same job as the acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Office.

Mick Mulvaney is the election of President Trump and also his current budget director. Outgoing director Richard Cordray, appointed by Obama, named his deputy Leandra English for the role.

This strange scenario has special implications for current and former college students in the nation. CFPB plays an important role – some argue uniquely – vigilantly for 44 million student loan borrowers, who together owe $ 1.4 trillion in debt.

Since 2011, CFPB has been a place to contact if you have a problem with your student loan or -profit college. It collected 60,000 complaints related to student loans and used this information to detect trends that often lead to coercive actions.

For example: returned $ 480 million to defrauded students of Corinthian Colleges, and got a private student lender and his debt collector to pay $ 21.6 million for what CFPB said were illegally collected debts.

English would be prepared to continue with this aggressive stance.

Mulvaney? It is in the registry supporting the elimination of the CFPB completely. When Slate reported: "I do not like the fact that CFPB exists, I will be perfectly honest with you," Mulvaney said at a House committee hearing. As a member of the Chamber, he co-sponsored a 2015 bill to kill the bureau.

Mulvaney's position is reminiscent of other leadership appointments in the Trump Administration, such as Scott Pruitt, who has sued the Environmental Protection Agency 14 times and is now his boss. He has taken steps to cut staff, revoke regulations, increase security and secrecy and spent a lot of time with industry lobbyists.

We also have an idea of ​​Trump's priorities in terms of student loans and for-profit university regulations. The Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has stopped in the main reforms of the industry. She appointed A. Wayne Johnson, the director of a private student loan company, to run the Federal Student Aid office. Julian Schmoke Jr., the department's new chief student loan officer, has worked for a for-profit university.

And in September, DeVos terminated two cooperation agreements for the exchange of information and application with CFPB. The Department of Education argued that CFPB lacked jurisdiction over federal student loans and that it was "overreaching and inexplicable."

Democrats in the banking and education committees of the House and the Senate rejected this decision in a letter: "Without the supervision of the CFPB, they are deeply concerned that this step back will allow student loan administrators to take advantage of of the borrowers. "

Last week, the department responded that supervision of CFPB created "unnecessary confusion for borrowers."

This week's events are little to end that confusion.


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