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The Corporate Observer A Publication by Attorneys Devoted to Protecting Consumer Rights

When One Door Closes Another Door Opens: Congratulations Senator Elizabeth Warren

Posted in Banks and Financial Services, Consumer Protection

There are many great things that can be said about Senator Warren’s victory: she is the first woman to be elected U.S.  Senator from Massachusetts; she symbolizes the American dream (her father was a janitor and she worked as a waitress); and for Democrats, her victory eliminated the possibility of a Republican controlled Senate.  But what’s really important about her victory is that it is one for working families and consumers.

Senator Warren was instrumental in establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), which is working to ensure that consumers are treated fairly and that they understand their legal rights in the financial products and services industry.  Based on her work as a lawyer and professor studying bankruptcy, Senator Warren understood that most Americans were not filing for bankruptcy because they ran up their credit cards on frivolous goods, but because health care bills and other catastrophes wiped them out financially.  She understood that credit card and other financial product and service companies were taking advantage of consumers, hence the genesis of the CFPB.  The CFPB is currently working on determining whether conditions or prohibitions should be placed on arbitration clauses for the protection of the public and consumers.

She should have been appointed to head the CFPB, but Republican opposition won out.  Resourceful groups spent significant amounts of money to defeat her and support Scott Brown.  Some women voters perceived her negatively, as an angry person, something that would never be said about a man, who instead would be perceived as passionate.  Senator Warren, however, did not give up; in other words, although one door was closed to her, another was opened.  She opened that door with her message, which was controversial in conservative circles:  the importance of a society that creates opportunities for all.  Senator Warren went on to defeat incumbent Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and it was because of her advocacy for families and consumers.  Kudos to Senator Elizabeth Warren.  And although she technically represents the good people of Massachusetts, I have no doubt that she will continue to represent all hard working people.