Trump Nominates Indian American to Federal Trade Commission

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On Jan. 25, President Donald Trump sent the nominations of four people to serve on the Federal Trade Commission which includes one Indian American, Rohit Chopra.

If his nomination is confirmed by the Senate then Chopra, a Democrat, will finish out the term which ends Sept. 25, 2019, of Joshua Wright who resigned.

Chopra has a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate from Harvard University.

He currently serves as a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, focusing on consumer protection issues facing young people and military families.

“Rohit is fair-minded, independent, and committed to a marketplace that works for consumers and honest businesses. He is well-respected by those with all points of view, and his experience and character will be valuable assets in this critical role,” CFA executive director Stephen Brobeck, said in a statement posted on the organization’s website.

Brobeck also noted that Chopra is widely regarded for his expertise in the student loan market as prior to joining CFA, Chopra served as the assistant director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2010 to 2015, where he oversaw the agency’s work on student financial services issues.

During his tenure at the CFPB, the agency obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds and relief for student loan borrowers to address illegal practices at companies like Wells Fargo and Corinthian Colleges, according to a CFA press release.

The CFA press release further stated that while tens of thousands of student loan borrowers have filed complaints to get servicing errors fixed and other help, under a newly established system, Chopra helped develop a Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, which was voluntarily adopted by thousands of colleges and universities, to help students and families make better decisions about student loans.

In 2012, Chopra and his colleague Holly Petraeus issued a report uncovering a student loan overcharging scheme that targeted members of the military.

The report led regulators to charge Sallie Mae and Navient with violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, providing $60 million in refunds for 78,000 servicemembers and veterans.

Chopra also worked with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general to shut down debt relief scams and deceptive lead generators.

“I’m delighted to see Rohit Chopra nominated to serve as an FTC Commissioner.  He did stellar work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, spotlighting abuses that impacted tens of thousands of servicemembers and veterans with student loans. He has continued to work to protect the rights of consumers and borrowers, and I look forward to his future contributions to the work of the FTC,” said Petraeus.

Jacob Lew, the former Secretary of the Treasury also appointed Chopra as the agency’s student loan ombudsman and in 2016, Chopra served as special adviser to John King, the Secretary of Education.

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