OPINION: A win for all consumers

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By ELIZABETH WARREN
U.S. Senator
(D) Massachusetts

We got some very welcome news last week: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is getting Wells Fargo to pay billions of dollars back to Americans who got ripped off by the bank.

This type of historic action is exactly why I fought so hard to create the CFPB over a decade ago. And it is exactly why big banks and giant corporations have spent over a decade trying to stop it in its tracks.

The CFPB — or, as I like to call it, the Little Agency That Could — has withstood attack after attack and kept on chugging.

MORE WINS FOR WORKERS
A few other recent victories the CFPB has delivered for working families:

  • Cracking down on junk fees that banks and other businesses load on families in order to boost corporate profits — things like surprise overdraft fees, hotel resort fees, and other random add-ons people usually can’t see until it’s too late.
  • Putting money back into the pockets of teachers, fire fighters, nurses, and other public servants who were misled by student loan servicers and cheated out of loan forgiveness.
  • Reducing barriers to affordable, quality housing by targeting shoddy tenant screening companies, which too often result in families of color being unfairly denied rental housing.
  • Getting the three big credit-reporting agencies to eliminate nearly 70 percent of medical collection debt from consumers’ credit reports — preventing people from having to pay extra for things like car loans, credit cards, and mortgages.

SAVING US MONEY
I could go on and on about all the ways the CFPB is saving tens of millions of families a ton of money.

When I think about wins like these, I remember how hard we had to fight to get the CFPB into law. How all the big money was on the other side. How Wall Street lobbyists swarmed Capitol Hill trying to sway members of Congress against us. And how we got it done anyway, alongside so many people and so many groups — unions, civil rights organizations, consumer advocates and more.

DAVID BEAT GOLIATH
We dreamed big. We fought hard. We won. David beat Goliath.

And now tens of millions of seniors, students, veterans, and other hardworking Americans who got cheated have billions of dollars back in their pockets. 

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