When it comes to the Trump administration’s efforts to tear down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the president and his team haven’t exactly been subtle. The entire mission of the agency has effectively been turned on its head, with consumers’ interests no longer at the top of the CFPB’s list of priorities.
For the top U.S. official overseeing student borrowers at the agency, it’s simply become too much.
The top government official overseeing the $1.5 trillion student loan market resigned Monday, citing what he says is the White House’s open hostility toward protecting the nation’s millions of student loan borrowers.
Seth Frotman will be stepping down from his position as student loan ombudsman at the end of the week, according to his resignation letter which was obtained by The Associated Press. He held that position since 2016.
Since Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s budget director, also took control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency has not only turned back the clock on safeguards for students, as the AP article added, the South Carolina Republican has also “downgraded the mission of Frotman’s student loan office and moved it under the umbrella of consumer education instead of enforcement.”
This is a position that not only used to protect student borrowers, it also returned $750 million to students who’d been treated unfairly. Of course, that was before Mulvaney started implementing the Trump agenda at the CFPB.
It’s a shame, of course, that Frotman came to believe his resignation was necessary. It’s also a shame that Donald Trump and his team will choose his successor (assuming the position continues to exist).
But there’s something to be said for a great resignation letter.
“Unfortunately, under your leadership, the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting,” Frotman wrote to Mulvaney. “Instead, you have used the Bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America.”
After highlighting those who used to benefit from the CFPB’s work, Frotman added, “Sadly, the damage you have done to the Bureau betrays these families and sacrifices the financial futures of millions of Americans in communities across the country.”
This has the added benefit of being true.