What: A media conference to respond to the SCOTUS hearing on CFPB
When: Friday, October 6 at 10:15 a.m.
Where: 600 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
Norfolk, Va. – Virginia Organizing, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), and Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) will hold a media conference tomorrow, October 6 at 10:15 a.m. at the corner of Granby and Brambleton, 600 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 (Walter E Huffman US Courthouse), to respond to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments this week on the legitimacy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Jay Speer of VPLC, Rev. Dr. Anthony Fludd of VICPP, and members of Virginia Organizing affected by predatory lending will speak.
This week the Supreme Court has heard oral argument in CFPB v. CFSA, a constitutional challenge to the funding structure of the CFPB. Challenging the CFPB’s funding structure is the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), a trade association representing predatory payday lenders that wants to invalidate a consumer protection prohibiting illegal bank account debits.
An adverse decision would undermine the CFPB’s ability to enforce the rules it revamped after the 2008 housing meltdown and possibly bring about a return of predatory lending in Virginia. It would weaken the agency that has held financial services companies accountable for violating consumer rights. Through its enforcement powers, the CFPB has won $17.5 billion in restitution or canceled debts for 200 million people.
The three groups are supporting a coalition of 20 national military and veterans service organizations urging the court to uphold the bureau’s ability to protect servicemembers, veterans, and their families from financial abuse.
“Without the CFPB, unscrupulous lenders would be unchecked to pursue servicemembers with impunity,” said the Military Officers’ Association. “Their constant relocations, steady incomes, and need to live near bases make troops particularly vulnerable to being the target for predatory financial actors promising quick cash.”
“The CFPB ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. This is good for Virginia consumers AND for Virginia businesses that follow the law and do not try to trick consumers,” said Jay Speer, Executive Director of Virginia Poverty Law Center.
“People of faith of many traditions call upon the Supreme Court to do that which is right, and that is to support and not take advantage of the poor through predatory practices in our society where there is anxiety about our scarcity,” said Rev. Dr. Anthony Fludd, Assistant Pastor at St. Johns Church of God in Christ in Newport News and Vice-Chair of the Board, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.
“I have been caught in the vicious cycle of trying to pay off a payday loan,” said Loretta Eaton, a leader in the Norfolk Chapter of Virginia Organizing. “It is something nobody should go through. I hope the Supreme Court will do the right thing.”
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. Virginia Organizing especially encourages the participation of those who have traditionally had little or no voice in our society. By building relationships with individuals and groups throughout the state, Virginia Organizing strives to get them to work together, democratically and non-violently, for change.
Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) is the state support center for all civil legal aid programs in Virginia. VPLC’s work breaks down systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty through advocacy, education, and litigation.
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) is a non-partisan coalition of 25,000 members, which includes 750 houses of worship, 1,000 clergy of all faiths, and people of goodwill, ten chapters (and growing!), many partner and affiliate organizations, most of the judicatory leaders in the state, and activists in every House and Senate district in Virginia, all working for a more just society.