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Volume 28 - Number 25

December 4, 2017

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Cordray is Gone, Mulvaney Sets a New Tone for Consumer Bureau

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s choice to serve as acting director of the CFPB, assumed control of the agency Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, and quickly established a dramatically different direction for the agency, one far less hostile to the financial services industry. In his first press conference as acting director, one week ago, Mulvaney shook things up while trying to strike a more balanced approach, one far less hostile towards the financial services community. “This is an ordinary course of business in Washington, DC. What you’re witnessing today at the CFPB happens at every single agency every couple of years, which is a transition,” he said. [Includes a timeline chart.]

Trump Wants to Fix ‘Awful,’ ‘Unaccountable’ Agency: Mulvaney

During his first press conference as acting director of the CFPB, Mick Mulvaney spelled out the charge he was given in taking control of the agency, and elaborated upon his view of the bureau as a regulatory entity that has overstepped its bounds. “[President Trump] wants me to fix it,” Mulvaney began. “He wants me to get it back to the point where it can protect people without trampling on capitalism, without choking off the access to financial services that are so critical to so many folks.” He then cited the “many folks who are in the lower and middle classes, folks who are trying to start their own businesses, people who are trying to break out, people who are ...

She Said, He Said: English’s Arguments vs Trump’s

The biggest CFPB story of the year – which appointee is authorized to head up the agency in the case of a resignation of the director – involves competing legal arguments interpretations of two federal laws. Deputy Director Leandra English is relying on the CFPB succession provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, while Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and the Trump White House are relying on the text of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The crux of their respective arguments to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia follows. English’s brief to the court declared: “The Dodd-Frank Act is clear on this point: It mandates that the deputy director ‘shall serve as the acting director in the absence or unavailability of the

The CFPB’s Own General Counsel Supports White House Position

One of the most surprising aspects of the sudden drama associated with the departure of Richard Corday as director of the CFPB – who started at the bureau with a cloud of controversy and left it the same way – is that the bureau’s own general counsel, Mary McLeod, supported the position of the Trump administration in the struggle for control of the agency. “Questions have been raised whether the president has the authority under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to designate Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, as the acting director of CFPB following the resignation of Richard Cordray ..., even if the deputy director otherwise could act under 12 U.S.C. §5491(b)(5),” she said in a memorandum ...

With Mulvaney Confirmed Atop CFPB, What Happens to English?

Now that U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly has affirmed Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s choice to serve as acting director of the CFPB, one unresolved issue is the fate of his rival for the throne, Leandra English, whom Richard Cordray selected to be deputy director in his last official act before resigning. It’s possible that Mulvaney could flat out fire her, and he intimated last week that was a possibility – his argument being that she didn’t show up for work that day. However, multiple press accounts claimed she did in fact report for duty. One attorney closely following the case conceded, “I think she’s in a tough spot. While she could continue to press her claims in the hope of ...

More CFPB-Related Legislation Making its Way Through Congress

Overshadowed by all the drama associated with the resignation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray and the struggle over who is to serve as his temporary replacement was some potentially significant legislative activity on Capitol Hill. A number of bills were recently introduced or are in the process of facing votes that could affect the CFPB, some of its rulemakings and the regulations it enforces. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-WI, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-WY, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, late last week introduced bicameral legislation to restrain the CFPB’s rates of pay. Specifically, the legislation, H.R.4499, the CFPB Pay Fairness Act, would require the director of the bureau to ...

New Leadership Can Address Industry’s HMDA Concerns: HPC

The mortgage industry continues to have serious consumer privacy and data concerns with the CFPB’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act proposed guidance. But with new leadership in place, the bureau has a great chance to deal with the issues in a more appropriate manner, according to the Housing Policy Council of the Financial Services Roundtable. With new Acting Director Mick Mulvaney in place, the bureau could change course, electing to satisfy the statutory obligation to follow a formal rule-making process and also reconsidering the CFPB’s position regarding the disclosure of loan-level data, according to Ed DeMarco, president of FSR’s HPC. “Securing sensitive consumer data is a top priority for the financial industry,” said DeMarco, the former chief of the Federal Housing ...

Industry Again Urges Pivot from Regulation by Enforcement

As the CFPB prepares to move forward with a new strategic plan – which may well be revised, now that Mick Mulvaney is in charge – the mortgage industry again called on the bureau to move beyond “regulation by enforcement.” Instead, it should provide more of the detailed guidance lenders and servicers and other participants need to fully comply with the agency’s rules and regulations and best serve consumers, top industry representatives said. In a recent comment letter to the bureau, the Mortgage Bankers Association noted that the CFPB is at an inflection point in 2017. Now it can “pivot and focus its resources on providing supervision and binding, authoritative guidance that helps responsible parties, including those in the mortgage industry, comply ...

CFPB, VA Warn Military Personnel About Deceptive Refi Offers

The CFPB and VA recently issued their first WARNO, or “warning order,” to members of the U.S. armed forces and veterans with VA home loans, urging them to stay on their toes and avoid deceptive mortgage refinance offers. “If you have a VA home loan, then there is a good chance that you have already come into contact with unsolicited offers to refinance your mortgage that appear official and may sound too good to be true,” the two agencies said. Many of these solicitations promise extremely low interest rates, thousands of dollars in cash back, the ability to skip mortgage payments, and no out-of-pocket costs or waiting period. “Don’t be fooled,” the CFPB and VA said. “Before responding to any ...

Sen. Warren Questions Mulvaney About Double Duty at CFPB, OMB

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, wrote to Don McGahn, White House counsel, and CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, in his capacity as director of the Office of Management and Budget, last week for answers to questions she has about Mulvaney and other OMB personnel simultaneously serving at the consumer bureau. First, she wanted to know what staff from OMB or elsewhere in the Executive Office of the President (EOP) have accompanied Mulvaney to the CFPB. She requested a complete list of all such staff, their title at OMB or in the EOP, and their title at the CFPB. Warren also sought the authority under which these individuals are working at CFPB. “Have these individuals been appointed to CFPB, or detailed to ...

Other News in Brief/Republican Senators Threaten to Undo CFPB Rules Under English

Republican Senators Threaten to Undo any CFPB Rules Issued Under an English Regime. Last week, nine senators said they would work to invalidate any new rules promulgated by the bureau if Leandra English prevails in her attempts to unseat and replace the bureau’s acting director, Mick Mulvaney.... Mulvaney Taps Hensarling Aide. Is the Congressman Next? CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has named House Financial Services Committee Senior Counsel Brian Johnson to serve him as a senior adviser, late-breaking press reports indicated. ...

Poll

With originations expected to drop in 2018, will your shop turn to non-QM/non-prime mortgage products as a way to bolster volumes?

Yes, definitely. We’re planning a launch.
No. It’s still difficult compliance/regulatory-wise.
Maybe. It’s under consideration.
Not now. But things could change as 2018 progresses.

vote to see results