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Volume 29 - Number 8

April 16, 2018

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States Set to Fill the CFPB Vacuum to Protect Consumers

States are dedicating more resources for consumer protection in financial services to fill the vacuum of a potentially less aggressive CFPB. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, D, recently said in a press release that he and Gov. Phil Murphy, D, will “fill the void left by the Trump administration’s pullback of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” and create what they referred to as a “state-level CFPB.” Murphy will name Paul Rodriguez as the director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs ...

Mulvaney Before Congress: the GOP Loves Him, the Dems Do Not

The nature of the CFPB is completely in the eyes of the beholder. In hearings on Capitol Hill last week, Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney was grilled by Democrats while Republicans praised his efforts to reform the bureau. Mulvaney appeared before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee last week to testify on the CFPB’s semi-annual report. The major changes he proposed included: giving Congress authority to approve ...

Mulvaney Gives Pay Raises to Political Appointees

Staffers hired by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney saw major pay raises from their previous employment. The agency chief also asked Congress to change the pay system established by the Dodd-Frank Act. Since Mulvaney took over the bureau in November 2017, he has hired eight political appointees and four of them are paid more than $250,000 a year, according to salary records obtained by various media. “I can’t tell you the number of folks I know on the Hill, the number of folks I know in the White ...

Personal Showdown: Sen. Warren Faces Off With Mulvaney

After rounds of exchanging increasingly nasty letters, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, finally got a face-to-face opportunity to question Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of her brainchild – the CFPB. In Mulvaney’s testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee last week, Warren turned her five-minute questioning time into a passionate speech generally claiming that Mulvaney is hurting the American people “Here’s what you don’t get, Mr. Mulvaney – this isn’t about me,” Warren said ...

CFPB and OCC Seek $1 Billion Settlement From Wells Fargo

The CFPB and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are seeking an aggregate of $1 billion from Wells Fargo to settle abuse allegations tied to its auto lending and home mortgage businesses, the megabank disclosed in its first quarter 2018 earnings report late last week. The auto lending violations center on collateral protection insurance policies the bank sold to customers between October 2005 and September 2016. Wells estimated $145 million in cash remediation and $37 million ...

Nonbank Group Asks CFPB To Tailor Regulations

The Community Home Lenders Association called for regulatory streamlining for smaller independent mortgage bankers in a comment letter to the CFPB in response to its request for information on enforcement and supervision. The CHLA, which claims to be the only national association that exclusively represents IMBs, said the bureau should reduce burdens and compliance risks faced by IMBs “through targeted CFPB exam and enforcement exemptions.” Under current law, every nonbank ...

Payday-Lending Trade Groups Sue the CFPB to Repeal Its Rule

Two payday-lending trade groups filed a lawsuit against the CFPB, seeking to invalidate the bureau’s payday lending rule and challenge its constitutionality. The Community Financial Services Association of America and the Consumer Service Alliance of Texas alleged that the agency’s payday lending rule, titled “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans,” violates the Administrative Procedure Act. The two groups said the final rule was based on “unfounded” presumptions of consumer harm ...

Judges Raise Questions Over Mulvaney’s OMB Hat

Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit late last week expressed concerns that Mick Mulvaney, who heads the Office of Management and Budget, would threaten the independence of the CFPB. A three-judge panel heard oral arguments in English v. Trump, a case challenging Mulvaney’s appointment by President Trump as acting director of the CFPB. Leandra English, named the bureau’s deputy director by former Director Richard Cordray before he left ...

CFPB Seeks Input on Financial Education and Complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its last two requests for information – one on financial education programs and another on the handling of consumer complaints and inquiries. Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has said before that consumer education would be one of the bureau’s priorities. In his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee last week, Mulvaney reiterated that he will pay more attention to financial education ...

Complaints About Credit Reports Surged in First Quarter

Consumer complaints to the CFPB jumped in the first quarter, with a major surge in the area of credit reports, according to a new analysis by Inside the CFPB. Overall, total gripes to the bureau rose 22.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018, and 11.0 percent year over year. Criticism about credit reports leapt by 120.3 percent from a year ago to 28,283, a 26.0 percent increase from 4Q17 to 1Q18. Experian ranks 1st by the number of [includes exclusive data chart] ...

Other News in Brief: CFPB Commission; Consumer Website; African Americans in CFPB

Trade Groups Wrote to Support a CFPB Commission. Twenty-three trade organizations representing the financial services industry, including the American Bankers Association and Mortgage Bankers Association, last week wrote to Congress to support legislation that would change the CFPB’s leadership structure from a single director to a bipartisan commission. The letter was sent to Reps. Dennis Ross, R-FL, Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ, David Scott, D-GA, and Ann Wagner [Includes four briefs] ...

Poll

What’s your opinion on how Mick Mulvaney has managed the CFPB since he took over three months ago?

He’s done a good job of paring back the agency’s excesses and we’d like to see more.

35%

I hope he totally dismantles the agency and sends those functions back to the agencies hence they came.

14%

Not bad, but he needs to take his time making additional changes.

12%

We’re totally aghast. He’s gone way too far in protecting the rights of companies not consumers!

39%