Donald Trump’s attempts at controlling consumer protections directly failed in the courts. But his henchmen have done a great job of dismantling government agencies. One of the reasons that alarms went off when Mick Mulvaney fired the entire board of consumer financial protections experts from outside the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB), was because these were the non-partisan specialists that were required by law, to give advice to whomever the orange scam artist in chief decided would become director of the CFPB. But like all Republican-led attacks on government, Mulvaney called the dismantling of the CFPB as some sort of austerity measure, to save money and streamline the process of
scamming consumer doing its work.
Mark Corbett settled with the CFPB on January 23, 2019, after being found guilty of brokering high-interest credit offers that targeting veterans. Military veterans. In layman’s terms, Corbett brokered predatory loan scams that preyed upon U.S. military personnel. We know how much Trump loves our military and how he’s going to #MAGA it up on the disgraceful treatment of our veterans.
Under the terms of the consent order, Corbett is permanently banned from brokering, offering, or arranging agreements between veterans and third parties under which the veteran purports to sell a future right to an income stream from the veteran’s pension. Corbett must also pay a civil money penalty of $1, an amount that accounts for Corbett’s inability to pay more based on sworn financial statements that he provided to the Bureau and Corbett’s ongoing cooperation with the Bureau’s investigation.
Yes. One whole dollar. But don’t worry, Corbett isn’t allowed to do it again! Problem solved! According to the CFPB’s report, Corbett “misrepresents to consumers that the contracts he facilitates are valid and enforceable when, in fact, the contracts are void because veterans’ pension payments are unassignable under federal law.” It becomes a little bit clearer as to what Mr. Corbett was doing when you realize he “misrepresents to consumers that the offered product is a purchase of payments and not a high-interest credit offer.”
So, this scumbag threatened veterans over a scam of high interest credit, he passed off—illegally—as a pension payment buy out. In essence, Corbett would say that he was just going to give these veterans a hunk of cash from their pension and then take some of their pension payments, probably offering up a passing remark that he would wet his beak just a bit, for his service of course. He subsequently bashes them over the head with hidden costs and rates, then threatens them with credit ruin. And make no mistake, Corbett focused squarely on “Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability pensions or pensions administered by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).”
The CFPB identifies the companies that Corbett represented “Doe companies,” which would make these veterans reroute their entire pensions via direct deposit, into said Doe company bank accounts. Veterans were also required to buy life insurance to ensure that Doe companies would get its money if the person died. So much of Corbett’s brokering is against the law that there is virtually nothing about it that the CFPB could possibly find redeemable.
Upon being busted, Corbett pleads poverty and a promise that he won’t do it again. The CFPB’s argument is likely that Corbett has provided information that will allow them to better go after the aforementioned “Doe companies.” But, a slap on the wrist is not $1. One dollar is a massage.