Federal Agencies

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Federal Agencies.

May 17, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mark McWatters Said to be Pick for Top Job at CFPB, But Nomination Faces Several Challenges

The Trump administration appears set to name an experienced Washington regulator to take over the top post at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but the process is fraught with challenges.


May 17, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mulvaney Signals Potential Changes to CFPB’s Qualified-Mortgage Rule Focused on Burden

Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, this week said the agency might make changes to the qualified-mortgage rule.


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief: Reg Relief Bill; Permanent Director; Enforcement Against Nationstar; Richard Cordray

The House Could Vote on the Reg Relief Bill By Memorial Day. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, last week said the House will take up S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, as currently written and free from amendment. “We’ve got an agreement to be moving different pieces of legislation,” Ryan said. “So, we will be moving [S. 2155]. We’re also going to be moving in the Senate a package of bills that we think [Includes four briefs] ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Wants Less Adjudication, While Consumer Groups Want More

In response to the CFPB’s second request for information on adjudication proceedings, industry groups want more cautious and fair adjudications, while consumer advocates oppose any scale-back of enforcement through adjudications. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which created the CFPB, allows the bureau to enforce consumer financial protection laws through two different means. One is to file an action in U.S. district court, and the other is to initiate an adjudication proceeding ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Democrats and Ethics Group Call For Investigation into Mulvaney

A group of Democratic senators is asking the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to investigate whether Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney violated the Hatch Act. The acting director last month said to bankers that he “had a hierarchy” in his office in Congress and only talked to lobbyists who gave him financial donations when he was a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina. “It raises troubling questions about whether his statements ran afoul of the Hatch Act ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Rulemaking Agenda Suggests A Restrained Role for CFPB

The CFPB made significant changes to its rulemaking agenda in 2018, signaling a weakening role for the bureau in the financial services market. The agency released its spring 2018 rulemaking agenda last week. Noting that it’s under interim leadership pending the appointment and confirmation of a permanent director, the bureau said it is prioritizing meeting specific statutory responsibilities, continuing “selected rulemakings that were already underway,” and reconsidering ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Democratic AGs to Rely More on Their Own Investigative Powers

Democratic state attorneys general urged the CFPB not to back away from its investigative powers but promised to fill the gap if the federal agency does so. A group of 16 Democratic state AGs led by California’s Xavier Becerra recently sent a letter in response to the CFPB’s request for information on civil investigative demands. In the letter, they opposed any efforts to curtail the CFPB’s civil investigative demand authority. “As our state’s chief law enforcement officers ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

House Votes to Kill Auto Lending Guidance, Payday May Survive

The House last week voted to kill the CFPB’s auto lending guidance, but the chances of a similar override of the bureau’s payday rule are fading, attorneys said. In a 234-175 vote, the House repealed Obama-era CFPB guidance on indirect auto lending that subjected auto dealers and others to liability for discriminatory price markups. The Senate passed the Congressional Review Act resolution last month, and President Trump is expected to sign the rollback. Congress used the CRA ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Survey Shows Lenders Lukewarm About Disrupting QM Regulation

Mortgage lenders spent a considerable amount of money implementing the qualified-mortgage rule, and many are not keen about a major overhaul, according to a survey by Strategic Mortgage Finance Group. Some 54 percent of 122 respondents to the survey favored no or only modest changes to QM rules. There was little variation between banks and independents, or large and small lenders. However, lender attitudes on regulatory change vary significantly with the size of ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Mulvaney Considers Moving CFPB Staff to Basement to Cut Costs

Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney, a vociferous critic of the consumer agency’s budget, is reportedly looking for ways to cut spending by tens of millions of dollars, including an option to move dozens of employees to the basement of its Washington headquarters. According to an internal cost-saving analysis obtained by Bloomberg News, Mulvaney’s top aides proposed to add 70 work spaces in the CFPB main building’s basement, which may save $16.6 million. Other ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Mulvaney Makes Major Changes To Student Protection Unit

Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney announced last week that he plans to restructure an office that aims to help student loan borrowers. Many consumer advocates worried that the change will strip the office of all functions except for consumer education. In a memo obtained by Inside the CFPB, Mulvaney announced to all staffers that the Office of Students and Young Consumers will be folded into the Office of Financial Education. Both offices are part of the bureau’s Consumer Education ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

An Influx of Political Appointees May Marginalize Career Staffers

Although there are fewer than two months left for Mick Mulvaney as the CFPB’s interim director, he continues to bring in his people to key positions in almost all divisions of the bureau, potentially weakening the role of career staffers. It is the first time that the consumer agency has experienced a political transition, and the new leadership appears to have adopted a dramatically different approach on how to treat consumers and the industry. To help reset the new political agenda at the ...


May 14, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

RESPA Clock Effectively Wound Back to Pre-CFPB State

PHH Corp. decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a lower court ruling that effectively overturned the CFPB’s controversial interpretation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act under former Director Richard Cordray. The lender’s lawsuit also unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the CFPB. In January, the en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with PHH on the RESPA components of the dispute, invalidating ...


May 11, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Wall Street Group Meets With CFPB on Litigation Against ABS Trusts Based on Servicer Activity

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should not take enforcement action against securitization trusts for the acts of servicers, the Structured Finance Industry Group said.


May 10, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Chooses Not to Appeal PHH RESPA Sec. 8 Ruling But Gives No Clear Signal on Future Policy

Neither PHH Corp. nor the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will ask the Supreme Court of the United States to review a lower court decision that overturned the agency’s controversial interpretation of anti-kickback provisions in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.


May 3, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mulvaney Wants to Hide Consumer Complaint Database, But Changes Won’t be Very Soon

Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is thinking about ending public disclosure of the agency’s controversial consumer-complaint database. The idea is consistent with his goal of limiting the bureau to activities that are specifically required by law.


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief: Complaint Database; Wells Fargo $1B Fine

Mick Mulvaney Wants to Hide Consumer Complaints from Public View. Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney said last week that he wants to shut down public access to the CFPB’s consumer complaint database. “I don’t see anything in here that says I have to have a Yelp run by the federal government,” he said at an American Bankers Association event. Consumer Groups Say the Wells Fargo $1 Billion Fine a Flawed Settlement. The CFPB recently has fined [Includes two briefs] ...


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Trade Groups Call for Less Burdensome CIDs

Industry trade groups suggested numerous changes to the CFPB’s civil investigation processes aimed at reducing burdens for financial institutions and ending the bureau’s “regulation by enforcement.” The civil investigative demand is a measure used by the bureau’s Office of Enforcement to gather information from entities against which the bureau may take enforcement action. Trade groups representing those regulated entities suggested changes on every single element of the ...


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Altisource Says the CFPB Won’t Take Action Against It

Altisource Portfolio Solutions disclosed that the CFPB won’t take any enforcement action against the company regarding its relationship with Ocwen Financial Corp., which was sued by the bureau for mortgage misconduct last year. The vendor – started years ago by Ocwen and then spun off – revealed last week that it received a letter from the CFPB on April 3 that the bureau has completed the investigation of the service provider and is currently not recommending any enforcement ...


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

What is the Name of the Consumer Bureau: CFPB or BCFP

Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the consumer bureau created under the Dodd-Frank Act, is serious about changing the agency’s name to “correct” its designation from the CFPB to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Since its creation during the Obama administration, the agency has been branded as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB. Mulvaney said its title in the Dodd-Frank Act is the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, or BCFP ...


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Address Guidance, Insurance

Two bipartisan bills recently introduced in Congress would force the CFPB to provide better guidance to the industry and keep the agency from regulating the insurance market. The Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance Act, or GUIDE Compliance Act (H.R. 5534), was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-WI, and cosponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-CO. It would compel the CFPB to issue legally binding guidance and establish time ...


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Political Hire Spins Senior Staff Carousel Faster at CFPB

Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has hired an experienced bureaucrat to fill a top political post overseeing the CFPB’s rulemaking, while another senior staffer who has been at the agency since its establishment has left. Mulvaney appointed Thomas Pahl, a former acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, to oversee the agency’s rulemaking. He joined the CFPB in April as a political appointee. The bureau is still under a freeze on hiring career ...


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Fixes “Black Hole” Issue In the TRID Rule

The CFPB last week finalized a proposed amendment to its “Know Before You Owe” rule, fixing what is commonly known in the industry as the “black hole” issue. The final rule adopts a July 2017 proposal with only minor, technical changes. In broad terms, it gives lenders more flexibility in issuing revised closing disclosures that comply with the complex disclosure requirements mandated by Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ...


April 30, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Democrats Ask Mulvaney to Resign, Yet No Director Nomination

Democrats are howling after Mick Mulvaney’s blatant “pay to play” comments at a banking industry event last week, calling for him to step down as acting director of the CFPB. Mulvaney said in a speech to the American Bankers Association that he only met with lobbyists who gave him financial donations when he served on Capitol Hill. “We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” said Mulvaney, former member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina. “If you’re a lobbyist who never ...


April 19, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Report Shows Concerns Over Shuffling Of the CFPB’s Fair Lending Functions

Recent structural changes and new priorities at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will significantly reduce the bureau’s ability to police discriminatory lending, the Brookings Institute said.


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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] ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


April 16, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

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 ...


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