Top student loans protector resigns, says Trump administration has 'abandoned' young people

Mick Mulvaney.
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

America's top student loans protector says the Trump administration isn't prioritizing students over exploitative lenders.

Seth Frotman, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's primary student loan watchdog, sent a fiery resignation letter to acting bureau director Mick Mulvaney on Monday, NPR reports. In it, Frotman says Mulvaney's bureau "has turned its back on young people and their financial futures," sparking worries over just how much the federal government cares about the ballooning student loans industry.

After the financial crisis unveiled the seriousness of predatory lending, Congress in 2010 designated a student loans ombudsman to oversee the $1.5 trillion system. The CFPB has since reviewed more than 60,000 complaints and gotten $750 million back to borrowers, NPR says. Frotman has served at the bureau for seven years and worked as the ombudsman since 2016.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Mulvaney, the acting CFPB director and target of Frotman's letter, is also the President Trump-appointed head of the Office of Management and Budget. As a House representative in 2014, Mulvaney called the CFPB "a joke ... in a sick, sad kind of way" because it acts without much congressional oversight, NPR points out.

Frotman said the CFPB under Mulvaney has "abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting." "Instead, you have used the bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America," Frotman wrote. And because Frotman feels he can't protect students under these conditions, he's leaving Mulvaney to handle the consequences. Read his entire resignation letter at NPR.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.