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A little-known government watchdog is striking fear into the lending industry
The first time Deborah Jacobs heard about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it struck her as a terrible idea. It was 2010, and Jacobs, a 65-year-old retired teacher, was one year into the mortgage on her new house in Brooklyn, Mich. Watching the news one evening, she saw a Harvard academic named Elizabeth Warren talking about the need for a new federal agency to protect consumers from deceptive and predatory lending. Jacobs, who describes herself as “definitely a Republican,” remembers thinking, Well, that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Four years later, Jacobs was in a bind. Her daughter and grandkids had moved into her home, and the costs of supporting the expanded household caused her to fall behind on the …