Here’s an opportunity to make sure that we do not go down this road again with our financial institution. Barney Frank and other lawmakers have been working hard to change the way Wall Street does business with other people’s money.
Late this week, Congress will likely vote on H.R. 4173, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009,” a bill that responds to the recent economic crisis by modernizing America’s financial regulations while addressing the many causes – from predatory lending to unregulated derivatives – that led to last year’s meltdown. A critical component of H.R. 4173 is the creation of a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) whose sole responsibility is to protect consumers from discriminatory and predatory lending practices. The CFPA would work with states to establish a “floor” and not a ”ceiling” on states’ right to take action, while providing greater protection to low-income families – including families of color – who are at the greatest risk of predatory lending. Also, it is critical for the proposed CFPA to have jurisdiction over the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which is vital to fighting discriminatory, deceptive, and unsustainable lending practices in minority communities.
In light of the damage done by the financial and economic crisis, consumers need a single agency that can be trusted – one that will centralize and strengthen existing regulation, hold banks responsible for their lending practices, and fill in the gaps where existing laws have failed.
Today, there are more than seven agencies tasked with oversight of financial services institutions, yet not one of them enforced laws to protect consumers and eliminate discrimination in lending practices. These agencies also went out of their way to prevent state regulators from picking up the slack. This is unacceptable.
Call your representative at 202-224-3121 and tell him/her that it is time to stop bailing out Wall Street, and look out for the best interests of Main Street. Tell him/her to help safeguard families from unfair lending practices by passing H.R. 4173, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009,” with a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency.