Rep. David Trott makes wrong CHOICE on consumer protection

Photo courtesy Karen Houghton

Photo courtesy Karen Houghton

Constituents rally to protect their families financial future

Constituents of Michigan’s 11th district held a rally Thursday in Shain Park to protest the so-called CHOICE Act and its Wall Street-backed attack on consumer protections. The bill, co-sponsored by their representative, Dave Trott, represents a major step in dismantling the post-recession protections of the Dodd-Frank, Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Acts. Having passed the House Financial Services Committee on a party line vote, the CHOICE Act is expected to be voted on by the full House this week.

Standing in front of a backdrop of the White House rose garden at the rally, a stand in for Rep. Trott, dressed as the “Foreclosure King” and flanked by Wall Street thieves, was confronted by constituents to make it clear that he would be held accountable for his vote. People who would be affected by the reforms described what they’d been through and what it would mean to them.

Sam Johnson once suffered a minor financial setback that led him to borrow against his earnings through a payday lender. “I thought that it would be just for a short time, but I quickly got stuck in the debt trap. I had to re-borrow what I had just earned with most of it going to fees and interest.” Sam compared his experience to dealing with loan sharks. The CHOICE Act would significantly weaken the CFPB and strip their authority to regulate abusive payday loans like the ones Johnson took out. Every year, 12 million Americans get trapped in a cycle of debt and desperation.

In a recent op-ed, Rep. Trott has portrayed the CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) as the universal cure to all things holding America back. However, he fails to mention that the bill’s sponsor, Jeb Hensarling, has received over $7 million in political donations from companies regulated by the CFPB. These same companies also donated nearly a quarter million dollars to Rep. Trott even though he’s already earned the title of “Foreclosure King” by making millions in the wake of a housing crisis created by lax regulation.

“I had perfect credit, always paid all of my bills, and was working with my lender to restructure my loan after my business failed in 2010.” said Daron Power, a homeowner who fought and won a seven-year battle with Trott & Trott to save his home. “While they told me that they would work with me, they stopped accepting my full payments and commenced foreclosure proceedings. I eventually had to file bankruptcy. It ruined our lives. Dave Trott led the charge”.

Steven Morris emphasized that gutting of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exposes all consumers to the lender abuses that preceded the Great Recession. Morris, a Professor of Finance at The University of Michigan Ross School of Business said, “Left unregulated, the financial community will prey on those who want to believe that their best interests will be protected.”