Finance Bill Protects American Consumers

By Cathy Mansfield, Des Moines Register - July 15, 2010

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley's decision not to support the banking bill before the Senate this week is bad for Iowa. He claims the bill is good for Wall Street, and not for consumers, but he is wrong. The bill is a good one, and consumer organizations around the country are unanimously in support of this bill.The legislation at issue - the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act - will overhaul the financial services industry, protect consumers from dangerous financial products and inject transparency into the financial dealings of banks and other financial institutions. If this bill does not pass, borrowers, families, neighborhoods, city and state economies, investors and financial markets will remain vulnerable to the dire consequences of unmonitored and unrestrained lending and investing.

I have been practicing, teaching and writing about consumer protection law for two decades. I am one of the many people who did see a crisis coming a decade ago, and tried to get Washington's attention.My colleagues and I authored studies and law review articles exposing the practices of the subprime mortgage lending industry and urging Congress to protect consumers from the worst aspects of this market. We testified before Congress and federal agencies, and brought victims of and participants in the subprime mortgage market with us. We proved over and over again that the market was having a disproportionate negative impact on borrowers of color.


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