Public Comments

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued federal regulations to protect people from the abusive payday lending industry. New Economy Project is a member of the “PaydayFreeLandia” Coalition – a group of civil rights, labor, faith-based and community organizations from the 15 states where predatory payday lending is illegal. The coalition issued a statement responding to the CFPB’s long-awaited regulations.

New Economy Project submitted comments to the NYC Commission on Human Rights regarding its proposed rules implementing the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA) of 2015. Our organization spearheaded the community-labor-civil rights coalition that successfully pressed NYC to ban employment credit checks, as a matter of racial and economic justice, and we applaud the Commission for its work to enforce SCDEA and eliminate discriminatory barriers to employment in our city.

New Economy Project joined hundreds of groups from across the country to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ban on mandatory arbitration clauses. The rule will restore people’s ability to band together in court to pursue claims, is a significant step forward in the ongoing fight to curb predatory practices in consumer financial products and services.

For years, car insurance companies have systematically discriminated against New Yorkers of color, lower-income New Yorkers, immigrants, and women, overcharging them for car insurance on the basis of non-driving-related factors, including their occupations and education levels. New Economy Project urges the NYS Department of Financial Services to issue a strong final rule that bans this unfair and discriminatory practice.

New Economy Project opposes the proposed bill, which fails to adequately protect workers from unfair fees and other abusive payroll card practices. Indeed, the bill would directly undercut NYS Department of Labor’s (DOL) strong payroll card regulations, adopted last year, which community, labor, consumer, and civil rights groups across the state have enthusiastically supported.

The undersigned elected officials and organizations call on you as members of the New York City Banking Commission to remove Wells Fargo Bank from the City’s list of designated banks. As you may know, Wells Fargo’s federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), recently downgraded the bank’s CRA rating to “Needs to Improve,” citing “an extensive and pervasive pattern” of discriminatory and illegal lending practices.

We are extremely concerned about new attempts to undermine our state’s strong consumer protection laws – this time by online lenders that seek to circumvent or diminish our state’s usury laws, firmly on New York’s books since colonial days. We see a clear need for increased consumer protections in the online lending space, and to counter misrepresentations made by industry members as they press legislators for less regulatory oversight and enforcement. We approach the hearing topic today, in terms of the implications of online lending for economic and racial justice, and for equitable community development.