Payday lenders suck the life blood out of hard working people.  They charge horrendous interest rates, averaging 300% but going as high as 1200% due to hidden fees.  They prey on the desperate, those with no other source of income or temporary money.  Yet there are a few people who are more evil than that.  Some members of Congress have sold their souls to the payday lenders for thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.  Here are the most egregious examples…

Mick Mulvaney

Mick Mulvaney, a former Republican lawmaker and current White House budget chief, was also picked as interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Watchdog groups are up in arms because Mulvaney has put on hold a rule that would restrict payday lenders and their high-interest-rate loans. The agency has also dropped a lawsuit against online lenders charging 900% interest rates. Critics say these moves are payback for campaign contributions to Mulvaney when he was a congressman representing South Carolina.

The average borrower is taking out 9, 10, 15 or more loans per year.

These loans have been found by Congress to be so dangerous that they have been prohibited for the military

Mulvaney once introduced legislation to abolish the bureau and called the CFPB a “sick, sad” joke.”

Mulvaney took over $60,000 in campaign cash from the payday lenders when he was in Congress.  He is deep in the pocket of the payday lenders and he’s doing everything he can to help them.”

Mulvaney declined requests for an interview. But he has said in the past he doesn’t think campaign contributions present a conflict of interest for him.

Payday lenders, as might be expected, are happy to see the rule put on hold. Jamie Fulmer, with Advance America, says the rule would be too burdensome to implement for such small-dollar loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, formed under President Barack Obama through the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, launched the nation’s first program for supervising “non-bank” financial services, which include payday loan providers, as well as debt collectors, mortgage companies and credit-score companies.

Andy Barr

So what did Barr do, exactly?  At issue is Barr’s 2017 vote for the Financial CHOICE Act.

The bill would make sweeping changes and repeal provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, in part by weakening the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  There is a line in the legislation that says, “the agency may not exercise any rulemaking, enforcement, or other authority with respect to payday loans, vehicle title loans, or other similar loans.’’

The bureau has played a major role in “providing restitution and help to troops taken advantage of by illegal financial practices.”  The new bill would undo certain protections for active and retired service members and their families.

One program, in the bureau’s Office of Service member Affairs department, has fielded over 74,000 complaints about predatory financial practices from the military community since 2011, a 2017 CFPB report says, resulting in more than $130 million in relief to affected service members.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, an authoritative database of campaign finance data, Barr has accepted $36,550 from PACs and individuals associated with the payday lending industry since his 2014 campaign.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

After taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks, Schultz has voted to prevent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from regulating payday loans and addressing racial discrimination in car loans.”

Tim Canova, a law professor running against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of South Florida says she is in the pocket of big banks and isn’t looking out for consumers who get crushed by debt from payday loans.

The Center for Responsive Politics found she received $309,020 from commercial banks, and $325,850 from finance/credit companies.  Schultz voted for the “Consumer Protection and Choice Act,” that allows payday lenders to keep gouging consumers without any regulation.

More than 200 consumer or civil rights groups — including the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Consumer Federation of America — wrote a letter to Congress urging them to defeat the bill.

In Florida, payday lenders have racked up $2.5 billion in fees since 2005, according to the Center for Responsible Lending’s March report.  In the past year, the average Florida payday loan had an annual rate of 278 percent, and they are being rolled over on average nine times.  Schultz voted for a bill that squashed bureau guidelines that were intended to provide clarity about the law on racial discrimination related to car loans.

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