Born free – CFPB and Equifax

Mike Mulvaney is protecting consumers, by not letting their hard earned money go to government.   Specifically, the agency he runs, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is actually anti-consumer.   The average citizen can’t sue Wells Fargo for setting up phony accounts, or Equifax which was hacked and potentially data on 140 million Americans was stolen.  I’ve reported how he reversed course and did not require Nationwide Biweekly Administration to post bond while appealing the 8 million dollars against them.   It really says to this company,  at your level, crime actually does pay.

How bad was the Equifax breach?  According to the company:

The credit reporting company announced in September that the personal information of 145.5 million consumers had been compromised in a data breach. It originally said that the information accessed included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and — in some cases — driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers. It also said some consumers’ credit card numbers were among the information exposed, as well as the personal information from thousands of dispute documents.

It doesn’t sound like it could get any worse, but it just did.  Add to the list of stolen data, email addresses and tax identification numbers as revealed by the Senate Banking Committee.   Tax identification numbers are used by foreigners to pay income tax.   The breach now goes beyond US citizens, and has to be addressed at the federal level.

CFPB can not comment on an active investigation,  but there has been enough leaks to know that CFPB is doing very little (Huffington Post article):

Three sources say, though, Mulvaney, the new CFPB chief, has not ordered subpoenas against Equifax or sought sworn testimony from executives, routine steps when launching a full-scale probe. Meanwhile, the CFPB has shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of how Equifax protects data, an idea backed by Cordray.

Further, the Huffington Post reports:

The CFPB also recently rebuffed bank regulators at the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency when they offered to help with on-site exams of credit bureaus, said two sources familiar with the matter.

A lot of Americans are going to be subject to identity theft as a result of the security breach.   I am a victim and there is this horrible feeling of helplessness, as I suddenly found 20 false charges totaling $4500 on one credit card.   I take Mulvaney’s inaction quite personally.

Lending discrimination is against the law, but again nobody has the resources to challenge the large inter-state lending institutions.  CFPB has lost its enforcement powers.

I think the bureau can only be restored (Make America Great Again) by a change in administration.  Unfortunately, this will have to wait another three years.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

ZNet:  Equifax says more private data was stolen in 2017 breach than first revealed   (AP reporting)

Huffington Post: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Reportedly Scales Back Probe Of Equifax

Trump administration strips consumer watchdog office of enforcement powers in lending discrimination cases

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