WASHINGTON, D.C. Accountable.US is calling on President-Elect Joe Biden to protect consumers and commit to reversing the Trump administration’s policies allowing nearly unrestricted predatory lending and debt collection.

As part of its Damage Control project, Accountable.US is highlighting the actions taken by the Trump administration to benefit its payday lender donors and the industry lobbyists that filled his campaign coffers. 

“No one should be harassed by debt collectors or forced into a dangerous financial agreement because of predatory lenders, and we are calling on President-elect Biden to reverse Trump’s dangerous, anti-consumer policies as soon as he takes office,” said Chris Saeger, spokesman for Accountable.US. “For four years, the Trump administration has sold out vulnerable Americans and made it easier for predatory lenders and unscrupulous debt collectors to cash in, all to benefit their campaign donors and the army of lobbyists and insiders who benefited from Trump’s revolving door in government. It’s incumbent upon the President-elect, who has always made a difference for consumers and Americans in need, to stand up and reverse the damage Trump caused.”

 The payday loan industry has spent nearly $6.5 million lobbying the federal government since Trump took office and gave over $2.2 million to Trump’s inaugural and political committees, while debt collection industry trade groups spent over $2.1 million on federal lobbying and donated over $400,000 in political contributions. 

The Biden administration should immediately take action to protect consumers and military service members, and help repeal the dangerous standards set during the past four years under Trump: 

  • Hold predatory lenders accountable by reintroducing the protections revoked by the Trump administration that benefited the payday loan industry, reversing the Trump administration’s actions weakening its fair lending division, and stopping predatory lenders from funneling their loans through non-bank lenders, which the Trump administration allowed. [See details here, here, and here.
  • Restore the legitimacy of the CFPB by implementing a major hiring push after Trump oversaw a 15% drop in staffing at the agency and by hiring staff that will protect consumers, unlike the Trump administration, which hired Paul Watkins, who had worked for an anti-LGBT hate group, helping lead the CFPB. [See details here and here.
  • Protect Americans from harassment from debt collectors by rescinding the Trump CFPB’s policy statement allowing abusive acts and practices and by directing the CFPB to prohibit collectors from sending an unlimited number of texts and emails to consumers, which the Trump administration allowed. [See details here and here.
  • Safeguard military service members and student borrowers, both of whom have been targeted by unscrupulous lenders as a direct result of the Trump administration’s policies. [See details here.
  • Support vulnerable consumers by reversing the Trump administration’s efforts allowing the collection of time-barred “Zombie” debt, ignoring the anti-consumer recommendations of the Trump administration and, unlike Trump, actually enforce consumer protection law. [See details here, here, and here.] 

A non-partisan federal watchdog, Accountable.US has released full documentation for the corrupt origins of these harmful policies on its Damage Control site, which catalogs solutions to harmful Trump policies the Biden administration should pursue to make the government work for all Americans again.

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