March 08, 2018

Cortez Masto Introduces Amendments to Strengthen Consumer Protections, Fight Fraudulent Financial Institutions

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced ten amendments to S. 2155, a bill sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo that will roll back important Wall Street Reform rules that protect hardworking families. Cortez Masto’s amendments aim to strengthen protections for consumers and fight predatory and fraudulent behavior by financial institutions. 

“In a state home to more than 2 million families, Nevada had more than 219,000 foreclosures during the housing crisis. I was the state’s attorney general at the time, and I saw firsthand as banks and mortgage lenders took the homes of my neighbors. I took banks to court because they were robbing people of their homes, misleading consumers with false promises, hitting homeowners with expensive fees and discriminating against minorities. I sued these banks – twenty-six of them – to provide relief and justice for Nevadans whose lives were ruined by the financial crisis caused by reckless Wall Street insiders. 

“The signing of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 was pivotal in rewriting the rules to strengthen oversight and consumer protections against deceitful banks and prevent another housing crisis. But, the bank lobbyists pushed back hard. The banking bill before the Senate, S. 2155, is chock-a-block full of favors to Big Banks that dumped millions of dollars into lobbying efforts and now seek to rig the rules in their favor again.

“The amendments I’m offering seek to restore consumer protections that the Trump Administration has rolled back or refused to enforce. My amendments also enforce stricter penalties against banks that engage in fraudulent or predatory behavior. We should not weaken protections that were put in place after the crisis to protect people from discrimination, predatory lending, and forced arbitration. I have met too many Nevadans who suffered through losing their careers and their homes, many of whom are still recovering to this day. I encourage my colleagues to support my amendments so we have a financial sector that works for families, entrepreneurs and Main Street, not Wall Street.”

Below are summaries of each amendment: 

  • Amendment #2157: Strengthen Protections to Prevent Housing Discrimination. This amendment will restore the requirement under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act that any bank or credit union that makes more than 25 loans a year report detailed loan characteristics such as interest rates, points and fees, loan terms as well as borrower characteristics like credit score, age, gender and ethnicity. It also requires each loan receive a unique loan identifier to track the loan if it is sold to an investor. 
  • Amendment #2165: Reinstitute the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Rule Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration. This amendment will reinstate of the CFPB’s mandatory arbitration rulemaking, with an exemption for depositories with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets. 
  • Amendment #2166: Add Findings to Detail Facts About the Financial Crisis. This amendment will add findings highlighting the damage done by the Financial Crisis and how elements such as Title IV would remove many of the market protections placed post crisis.
  • Amendment #2158: Reverse Mortgage Protections for Seniors. This amendment will require loss mitigation protections for seniors with reverse mortgages that fall behind in property taxes, insurance or homeowners’ association payments and permit non-borrower spouses to remain in the home after the death of the borrower.
  • Amendment #2161: Maintain Stress Tests for Banks That Have Failed. This amendment will bar stress test relief for any institution that failed its stress test. 
  • Amendment #2160: Bar Regulatory Relief for Banks That Defrauded Homeowners. This amendment will bar regulatory relief for large banks that have had a history of misconduct related to mortgage origination, securitization and servicing. 
  • Amendment #2159: Prohibit Regulatory Relief Until Dodd-Frank Rules Have Been Finished. This amendment will delay Title IV’s effective date until all Wall Street Reform rules have been finalized. 
  • Amendment #2163: Highlight Fraudulent Activities of Financial Institutions. This amendment will require financial regulators to create a public online searchable database listing all penalties, civil and criminal, assessed by each regulator against all financial institutions with assets over $50 billion. 
  • Amendment #2164: Protect Investors. This amendment will prohibit mandatory arbitration clauses in investment contracts. 
  • Amendment #2162: Reintroduce Three Day Wait Period in TILA/RESPA. This amendment will strike language exempting lenders from providing borrowers with new closing documents information three-days before the close if a lower percentage interest rate is offered. This addresses concerns from consumer advocates that lenders might lower the interest rate a bit but then add more fees, shorter terms or more toxic language into the loan.