Other banks were clearly put on notice that the CFPB will do whatever is necessary to tame the wild west of financial services. They've learned that there's no such thing as a third-party vendor when it comes to compliance. If your vender screws up, you screw up. It was also a rather loud shot across the bow for all of the non-banking industries that are under, or about to come under the purview of the CFPB. Folks like the debt collectors who hound people to distraction (in many cases when they are not even the true debtor); the payday lenders who fleece consumers to the tune of millions of dollars of unconscionable fees; the mortgage brokers who thrive on directing borrowers to exotic loans they cannot afford; the auto lenders who squeeze non-existent dollars out of the poor and then take back their vehicles to remarket several times; the student lending system which is designed to trap our young people into a cycle of life debt.
And so, I say to the Distinguished Members of the U.S. Senate and House (McConnell, Shelby, Boehner and Bachus, to name a few… not to mention Gov. Romney) who so vigorously opposed this agency as yet another example of government regulatory redundancy and bureaucratic inertia: those footsteps you hear may not be your patrons running up the Hill to express their gratitude with bundles of cash. It just might be the sound of millions of voters expressing their outrage at your anti-consumer orientation.
The CFPB celebrates its first birthday this weekend, but the American public is getting the present. In its first 365 days, Elizabeth Warren's brainchild has already done more to protect the American public than this do-nothing Congress has accomplished since it was sworn in back in the dawn of 2011.
Adam Levin is chairman and cofounder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.