CFPB Worked With Exposed Antifa Leader on Payday Loan Rule

New leadership expected to announce changes to rule in coming days

Joseph Alcoff Mugshot / Philadelphia Police Department
February 6, 2019

The previous leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau worked closely on its payday lending rule with a top official at a liberal advocacy group who was secretly working double-time as a violent Antifa leader.

Records show that former CFPB director Richard Cordray had multiple meetings with Jose Alcoff, the top liaison to the CFPB on the issue of payday lending for liberal advocacy group Americans for Financial Reform.

The meetings between Cordray and Alcoff occurred in 2016 and 2017, before the Daily Caller exposed last December that he had been using alternate identities to promote radical economic theories and participate in movements such as Occupy Wall Street and Antifa. The investigation ultimately led to Alcoff's arrest for his involvement in a racially charged January assault by Antifa on two Marines in Philadelphia.

Alcoff hid these activities from his work with Americans for Financial Reform, which had the ear of Cordray during his work to regulate the payday loan industry. Alcoff was working as payday campaign manager for the group and had at least three recorded meetings with Cordray during the crafting of the CFPB's payday lending rule.

Cordray met with Alcoff and other liberal activists first in August 2016, according to CFPB records. They met again twice in 2017, in March and then in May. The CFPB finalized the payday lending rule in October 2017.

Reached for comment on the extent of Alcoff's involvement in its work with the CFPB, Americans for Financial Reform said only that Alcoff no longer works for the group.

"As of December, Mr. Alcoff no longer works for AFR," said a spokesman. The group will not say whether Alcoff was fired.

Alcoff continued to work on the issue for Americans for Financial Reform through most of 2018 and often criticized the CFPB's actions under the new leadership of Mick Mulvaney, who took the reins a month after the payday lending rule was finalized.

After Mulvaney announced the CFPB would be reworking the payday lending rule, Alcoff slammed the decision on behalf of Americans for Financial Reform.

"The consumer bureau used to be a great agency dedicated to enforcing the law and protecting consumers, is now to putting predatory lenders ahead of the law and its mission with this attempt to gut consumer protections," Alcoff said in an Oct. 26, 2018, press release. "Mulvaney's CFPB now wants to wipe out a simple, common-sense requirement that lenders ought to examine a borrower's creditworthiness before making a loan that too often becomes a debt trap for the most vulnerable consumers."

The CFPB declined to comment on Alcoff's involvement in the drafting of the original law.

The revamped payday lending rule is expected to be released this week.