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 MulvaneyOvernight Regulation: EPA sued over water rule delay | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Regulators talk bitcoin | Patient groups oppose FDA ‘right to try’ bill Mnuchin wants to know how consumer bureau is handling Equifax breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would ‘love to see a shutdown’ over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group 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 NPR.

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

“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 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 second quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump’s desire for military parade: ‘We have a Napoleon in the making’ MORE ‘s budget, unveiled on Monday, would give Congress control of the agency and cut its funding by $6.4 billion over 10 years.