Ahead of Small Business Saturday, a coalition of small business owners and community development groups opposed the Trump administration’s attempt to shut down our lawsuit against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for unlawfully delaying the implementation of Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires the agency to collect and disclose data from financial institutions on small business lending practices.
Studies show that small businesses—and women-and minority-owned firms in particular—face significant obstacles to obtaining credit. The stalled data collection is critical for enforcing fair lending laws as well as identifying and addressing the barriers small businesses face in accessing credit. The new legal filing was submitted by Democracy Forward on behalf of two small business owners from Waterloo, Iowa and Portland, Oregon; the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB); and the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC).
While Groups’ Lawsuit Forced Administration to Say it Will Move Forward, the CFPB’s Unreasonable and Unlawful Delay Harms Small Business Owners
Eight years after the CFPB began “gathering information from stakeholders to better understand the relevant business lending markets, and to determine what data are available and how best to collect those data,” the Trump administration, in 2018, unlawfully halted this progress. In recent court submissions, the CFPB stated it has “many other pressing obligations” besides addressing the discrimination faced by small business owners across the country, and asked a federal court to allow it to continue to delay the legally required data collection for at least three more years.
While the country celebrates Small Business Saturday on November 30, 2019, the administration is proposing to continue to put off the data collection until 2022 or later and refuses to commit to a concrete timeline. Meanwhile, the widespread, discriminatory lending against small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses continues.
Our reply in support of our motion for summary judgment and opposition to the government’s motion for summary judgment was filed on November 26, 2019, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.