WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of the Third District of Wisconsin called on the Office of the Inspector General to open an investigation into reports of corruption within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This comes after the former Assistant Director & Student Loan Ombudsman, Seth Frotman, stepped down late last month, arguing that Trump Administration appointees within the CFPB have repeatedly undercut CFPB staff working to expose abuses by for-profit colleges and student loan companies.
“Wisconsin students and families rely on student loans to earn a degree and a better life. They should never fall prey to the corruption and exploitation of politically-motivated actors or powerful special interests,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I’m calling on the Office of the Inspector General to open an investigation into the CFPB, so we can ensure nobody is the victim of predatory lending and misinformation.”
Over 44 million Americans are working to pay off student loan debt, collectively owing $1.5 trillion. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, 67% of Wisconsin graduates enter the workforce with student loan debt, with the debt per student averaging $30,000.
In order to ensure that the Bureau remains focused on protecting consumers, particularly student borrowers, Rep. Kind has asked that the investigation include the following questions:
• Was career staff at the CFPB ever pressured by senior leadership not to enforce existing protections for students, despite there being evidence of wrongdoing by loan providers?
• Has career staff been given support by current CFPB leadership toward receiving critical information from other federal departments, particularly the Department of Education?
• Has CFPB leadership ever suppressed the release of materials documenting predatory practices toward students?
Read the letter here.