For years, African-Americans as well as Hispanic and Asian Americans
have paid significantly higher interest rates on car loans than have other
buyers of equal credit-worthiness. Now, in a fresh outrage, more than 170
members of Congress are trying to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau’s ability to combat discrimination in the auto lending market.
Tell House members they should be backing, not blocking,
the Consumer Bureau’s efforts to crack down on abusive and discriminatory car lending.
Since 2013, the CFPB has required a group of banks to pay
more than $150 million in fines and restitution to some 425,000 minority borrowers
who got stuck with an average of several hundred dollars in extra loan payments.
In June 2015, the Bureau began to
oversee the auto lending practices of nonbank financial companies, which had previously
escaped federal regulation.
But auto dealers are up in arms over the Bureau’s efforts to
make them treat people fairly. They’ve persuaded the House Financial Services
Committee to approve legislation – HR 1737 - that would force the CFPB to rescind the
auto-lending directives it has already issued, while going through procedural
hoops before taking any further action.
Oppose discrimination in the auto lending market. Keep
this unconscionable bill from becoming law.
By putting obstacles in the CFPB’s way, HR 1737 would
sanction a system that not only routinely costs minority car buyers more money,
but puts them at added risk of having their cars repossessed. This measure might
as well have been named the “Perpetuating Auto Loan Kickbacks and Racial
But the car dealers are lobbying hard, and they have won
distressingly high support so far: 170 co-sponsors for their bill, and 47 votes
for, with only 10 against, in the Financial Services Committee. This terrible
legislation could come to the House floor any day now. We need many more people
to oppose it if we are going to succeed in keeping it from ever being signed
take action now.
Americans for Financial Reform
at Americans for Financial Reform, we work day in and day out to make
sure the big banks don't always get the last word – with the press, with
regulators, and with legislators. We try to shine a spotlight on key decisions
facing the bank oversight agencies and lawmakers, so more people can see what
they’re doing and hold them accountable. And we work to build a
chorus for reform, to push policymakers in the legislative and
executive branches to stand up to Wall Street and adopt and enforce tough new
rules. Anything you can do to help -- by signing petitions, donating
money to our efforts, or speaking out in any other way -- puts more wind in our
sails and makes a real difference.