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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Consumer Protection


  • Protecting and Strengthening the Dodd-Frank Act and the CFPB - The 2007-2008 financial crisis was the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression: Nearly $13 trillion in household wealth simply disappeared, with the retirement and savings accounts of many swept away. All told, around 9 million individuals were displaced from their homes, many of whom may never again have the opportunity of homeownership. In response, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which has had an deep-seated impact on the financial services industry. Regulators have taken important steps to implement Dodd-Frank. As a result, regulators are on the lookout for systemic risk, have taken steps to prevent future bailouts, have added transparency and structure to the once-opaque derivatives market, reined in credit ratings agencies, and implemented new investor protections. Consumers now have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on their side, which has provided billions in relief to millions of consumers through its enforcement actions, while also regulating industries that have historically lacked strong federal oversight. As Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Waters continuously fights to preserve and strengthen Dodd-Frank from partisan and industry attacks to weaken this historic legislation and leave consumers vulnerable to another crisis.


  • Ending Predatory Practices by For-Profit, Post-Secondary SchoolsCongresswoman Waters has been a longtime advocate in the fight against the unlawful and predatory actions of for-profit post-secondary institutions. Since her time as a Councilwoman in Los Angeles, she has fought to hold for-profit institutions accountable to the students they purport to serve. She continues to be a leading voice in Congress on this issue protecting our most vulnerable students and veterans’ right to a quality education will not riddle them with burdensome and expansive debt, but  will provide them with the opportunity to earn a living and lead productive lives.


  • Eliminating Risky Financial Products - The recent financial crisis was sparked by banks and other institutions steering everyday consumers into risky financial products such as subprime mortgages which ultimately led to millions of foreclosed homes or pay day lending loans with exorbitant interest rates that plunged the American consumer further into debt. Congresswoman Waters believes Congress and the federal financial regulators must put an end to their distribution because they are robbing hard-working people of their life savings and robbing the nation of its middle class.



  • Credit Cardholders’ Bill of RightsCongresswoman Waters was an original co-sponsor of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights (H.R. 627).  The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights protects cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases, excessive fees, due-date gimmicks, and double-cycle billing. The legislation also cracks down on misleading and deceptive marketing by credit card companies, prohibits them from issuing credit cards to minors, and curbs practices that result in high fees on low-income consumers with weak credit histories.  In addition, the bill empowers cardholders by giving them information and rights they need to make important financial decisions.


  • Support and Defense of the CFPB - Congresswoman Waters is the lead Democrat supporting and defending the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. With her support, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to date has already returned $5.3 billion to 15 million consumers who have been subjected to unfair and deceptive practices. She has worked with the Bureau to create rules-of-the-road to make sure predatory mortgages never again strip wealth from American families and endanger our economy. Congresswoman Waters has also worked with regulators to institute rules to protect retirees and other investors from the practices that wreaked havoc on savers in 2008.


  • Introduction of the CLASS Act - In response to the predatory practices at the nation’s for-profit colleges, Congresswoman Waters, alongside Senator Richard Durbin, introduced the CLASS Act, which forbids schools from including mandatory arbitration and class action ban clauses from enrollment agreements. Mandatory arbitration and bans on class actions effectively prevent students from having their day in court when harmed by a for-profit college. Congresswoman Waters believes that students should have the right to join together and exercise their legal rights to obtain relief if they believed they have been wronged or harmed.


  • Divestment from Pay Day Lending OperationsCongresswoman Waters recently held a first-of-its-kind panel of lawmakers and religious leaders to discuss the impact predatory payday and small-dollar lending practices are having in communities across America. Additionally, Congresswoman Waters has also called the country’s most notable endowments and state retirement plans to begin to take steps to divest their interests in one of the country’s largest payday lenders.

More on Consumer Protection

June 18, 2013 In The News

A top House Democrat is asking the Obama administration to keep the nation's financial regulations out of trade talks with the European Union.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter on Tuesday to President Obama urging him to avoid a situation in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations that would undermine the Dodd-Frank financial rules.

June 5, 2013 In The News

Maxine Waters has settled into her new job. This term, the L.A. Congresswoman became the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Financial Services Committee. The appointment came after a three-year fight to clear her name on banking-related ethics charges.

 Waters waited a long time for the position — 22 years. She says when she first came to Congress, "People were fleeing the old banking committee because of the [savings-and-loan] scandal and nobody wanted it."

Waters notes: "I stayed, I worked, I've learned, and I've earned the seniority."

May 24, 2013 Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, lit up a committee hearing Wednesday by calling for aggressive prosecution of financial institutions involved in the laundering of illegal drug money.

May 17, 2013 Floor Statement
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, today made the following statement on the House Floor:

I rise to strongly oppose HR 1062.  This bill places significant additional requirements for economic analysis by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), effectively bringing any efforts at rulemaking to a standstill.
February 26, 2013 Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, today released a letter to Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, seeking additional, detailed information from the regulators about the termination of the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR).

February 22, 2013 In The News

A senior House Democrat is pressing federal regulators for additional information as to why they shut down a foreclosure examination program.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, on Tuesday sent her second letter within the past few weeks asking regulators why they terminated the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) following a $9.3 billion settlement with 14 banks over shoddy foreclosures practices.

February 22, 2013 In The News

Anyone who has ever watched former Rep. Barney Frank at a hearing or give a speech knows that he is a tough act to follow.

But that is particularly true for Rep. Maxine Waters, who has inherited his mantle as leader of the Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee, a role Frank played for a decade.

February 5, 2013 In The News

The Justice Department has filed civil charges against Standard & Poor's over mortgage securities it rated in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, setting up a high-profile showdown between the government and the much-maligned ratings industry.

In a lawsuit filed late Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the Justice Department alleges that S&P knowingly executed a scheme to defraud investors between September 2004 and October 2007 in its ratings of mortgage securities that were tied to subprime mortgages.

February 5, 2013 Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to the announcement by the Department of Justice that it has filed a civil suit against Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P):

February 5, 2013 Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, today sent the attached letter to Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the committee, requesting that he hold a hearing about the abrupt end of the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) process:

On Jan. 7, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board announced a settlement in which 14 mortgage servicing companies agreed to replace the process with an $8.5 billion settlement, effectively terminating the IFR.