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Trump’s Head Of Consumer Protection Just Screwed Over Everyone In The Country



Equifax, one of the country’s most despised companies, appears to be receiving a free pass from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after failing to protect the personal data of 143 million consumers. Reuters reports Mick Mulvaney, who’s the new head of the CFPB, has decided to pull back from conducting a full-scale investigation into the credit monitoring company, citing sources close to the matter.

Initially, when Equifax announced the data breach, which they knew of ahead of time, the former head of the CFPB Richard Cordray immediately launched a full-scale investigation into Equifax. However, after he resigned, the new boss in town decided it isn’t important to investigate a company tasked with protecting people’s data.

Equifax (EFX.N) said in September that hackers stole personal data it had collected on some 143 million Americans. Richard Cordray, then the CFPB director, authorized an investigation that month, said former officials familiar with the probe.

But Cordray resigned in November and was replaced by Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s budget chief. The CFPB effort against Equifax has sputtered since then, said several government and industry sources, raising questions about how Mulvaney will police a data-warehousing industry that has enormous sway over how much consumers pay to borrow money.

The CFPB has the tools to examine a data breach like Equifax, said John Czwartacki, a spokesman, but the agency is not permitted to acknowledge an open investigation. “The bureau has the desire, expertise, and know-how in-house to vigorously pursue hypothetical matters such as these,” he said.

This is important for multiple reasons. First, Equifax is one of the three credit bureaus lenders use to determine how much you pay for a loan. Landlords also use it to determine a tenant’s ability to pay rent and some employers use it as a way to vet candidates. So, if you have incorrect information on your credit reports, you could pay more for a loan, not receive the apartment or lose out on the job.

The fact that the head of an agency, whose mission is to protect consumers’ finances, doesn’t believe it’s in their best interest to investigate a scumbag company who had poor security protocols in place sets a dangerous precedent. If the CFPB doesn’t investigate Equifax over obvious mistakes the company made, then it tells other companies they can receive a free pass for doing the same thing.

What’s more, when regulators from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency offered to help to launch on-site exams of credit bureaus, the CFPB declined, according to Reuters.

Equifax won’t get away without any financial ramifications. They told Reuters there are over 240 class-action lawsuits against them and every state attorney general are conducting their own investigations.

If the attorney generals from all 50 states determine there’s enough evidence to investigate Equifax, what does it say about Mulvaney, who won’t open an investigation?





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