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Consumer-Watchdog Settlements Reach Four-Year High - The Wall Street Journal

Consumers harmed by financial firms got back $777 million through actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the last fiscal year, the largest amount in four years, the Wall Street Journal reported. The amount included settlements of a few significant long-pending investigations, which were among the 22 enforcement cases the CFPB announced during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the agency said. That represented an uptick from 12 cases and $344 million in restitution in the previous fiscal year, during which the Trump administration curbed the activities of the CFPB. The trend came as CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger approached her first year on the job amid criticism from Democrats that the bureau has been too friendly to the financial industry. Kraninger, a career government worker, took over the CFPB in December 2018 from Mick Mulvaney, who now serves as President Trump’s acting chief-of-staff. Many of the large cases settled last year were started by Obama-era officials before President Trump installed Mick Mulvaney as acting director in November 2017. Among them was a July settlement with Equifax Inc. over its 2017 data breach, which resulted in the credit reporting company’s pledge to return $425 million to consumers. The bureau’s settlements with ITT Education Services Inc., a now defunct for-profit college, and CU Connect CUSO LLC, a lender that targeted its students, were a result of an investigation initiated in 2014. The two agreements brought a combined $228 million in loan forgiveness. The Wall Street Journal

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