Military members and their families may have less protection against financial exploitation if part of the Military Lending Act is revoked. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is working to make sure that doesn't happen.
Becerra said protecting military families used to be a critical focus of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Becerra said CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has decided to stop examining lenders to ensure they're complying with the Military Lending Act.
"Banks and lenders didn't even need to sue, or even threaten to sue, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get this gift," Becerra said. "Mr. Mulvaney decided to abandon that power on his own."
Becerra said Mulvaney's reason is confounding, saying Mulvaney's explanation was that the CFPB needed more statutory authority, even though there hasn't been one lawsuit by banks or lenders saying this protection was out of the jurisdiction of the federal government.
"We urge the CFPB to use all the tools in its toolbox, rather than abandon them," Becerra said.
Becerra said he's written a letter to Mulvaney urging him to reconsider.
"To deliver a simple message: do your job," Becerra said. "Our service members do their job and it's a hard one. We must do our job to protect them."
Since the founding of the CFPB in 2011, more than $130 million have been returned to service members and the CFPB has fielded more than 72,000 complaints from service members and their families.