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Consumer protection agency drops lawsuit against lender that charged 950 percent interest rates

Consumer protection agency drops lawsuit against lender that charged 950 percent interest rates
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has dropped a lawsuit against a lender that was allegedly charging interest rates up to 950 percent, NPR reported.

The case against Golden Valley Lending had taken CFPB staffers years to establish, but new agency Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion: Treasury Trump attacks Democrat in Ohio governor's race MORE instructed staffers to drop the lawsuit, according to NPR.

"People are devastated and angry — just imagine how you would feel if years of your life had been dedicated to pursuing justice and you lose everything," Christopher Peterson, a former attorney at the bureau who had worked on the case, told the news outlet.

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The agency had sued Golden Valley in April, alleging unfair, deceptive and abusive business practices. Golden Valley declined NPR's request for comment.

"The Trump administration is just going to turn them loose and let them off the hook despite the fact they were making 950 percent interest rate loans to struggling families in ways that were illegal and unauthorized under both state and federal law," Peterson said.

Mulvaney’s spokesperson told NPR that the decision to drop the suit wasn’t made by him, but by "professional career staff.”

However, several bureau staffers pushed back against that claim, saying that Mulvaney was involved in the decision to stop pursuing the lawsuit. The spokesperson later said Mulvaney had in fact been involved.

The dropped lawsuit comes as Mulvaney moves to reign in the agency. The new bureau head, who is also serving as the head of the Office of Management and Budget, requested no new funding for the agency for the second quarter of fiscal 2018.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE's budget, unveiled on Monday, would give Congress control of the agency and cut its funding by $6.4 billion over 10 years.