WASHINGTON - This week, President Obama signed an historic bill, which the NAACP has supported and helped develop for over a year, into law. This legislation will help protect consumers from predatory mortgage loans and other unscrupulous financial products that strip hard-earned wealth from consumers. H.R. 4173, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 would, among other things, establish a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which would be charged with overseeing consumer protection in the home mortgages and financial services areas.
“This is just one step toward pulling America back together, and protecting our families hard earned wealth and savings. The NAACP will continue to work tirelessly to ensure Congress and the President now focus on its implementation,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “The NAACP is pleased to see the Restoring American Financial Stability Act signed into law. For far too long the responsibility for regulating financial services were put in the hands of agencies whose primary responsibility is to respect the solvency of the financial services industry and make millions of dollars on the backs of every day Americans. These sweeping reforms are a monumental step in actually providing protection for Americans throughout our country, and eliminate corporate abuse of consumers,” added Jealous.
The newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an independent watchdog and would have the power to write and enforce new rules governing mortgages, payday lending and other financial products. It would ensure American consumers get the clear, accurate information they need to shop for mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products, and protect them from hidden fees, abusive terms, and deceptive practices,” stated Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy. Shelton went onto say “This legislation will also have an Office of Fair Lending, whose primary focus would be to develop and implement fair rules so that consumers will not be taken advantage of by predatory lenders or other unscrupulous financial servicers when they try to purchase a home, buy a car, or obtain a credit card because of their race or ethnicity.”
This landmark legislation will also provide assistance for families and communities affected by the foreclosure crisis, including at least $1 billion in bridge loans to help families hold on to their homes while they search for a job and it includes comprehensive mortgage reform and anti-predatory lending measures essential to combating the abusive lending practices that ushered in the economic crisis.
“The NAACP also applauds Congress for making civil rights protections an important component of the new agency’s stated mission by among other things, creating the Civil Rights/Fair Lending Compliance and Enforcement Office,” stated Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy. “The sad truth is that racial and ethnic minority American borrowers continue to pay more than our White peers for nearly every type of financial service, including credit cards, car loans, home mortgages and more. We hope these new rules will expedite the end of the cycle of abuse on American consumers and truly protect American families,” concluded Shelton.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights