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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 02, 2018

Mulvaney recommends statutory changes to CFPB in semi-annual report

By Stephanie K. Mann, J.D.

In his first semi-annual report as Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney has offered four recommendations for statutory changes to the Bureau.

"The Bureau is far too powerful, with precious little oversight of its activities," said Mulvaney. "The power wielded by the Director of the Bureau could all too easily be used to harm consumers, destroy businesses, or arbitrarily remake American financial markets. I’m requesting that Congress make four changes to the law to establish meaningful accountability for the Bureau. I look forward to discussing these changes with Congressional members."

In the report’s introduction, Mulvaney made the following recommendations to modify the Dodd-Frank Act:

  1. fund the Bureau through congressional appropriations;
  2. require legislative approval of major rules;
  3. ensure that the Director answers to the President in the exercise of executive authority; and
  4. create an independent Inspector General for the Bureau.

Guidance. The semi-annual report primarily covers the CFPB’s significant work from April 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2017, when the Bureau issued guidance on topics such as maintaining compliance management systems, combatting elder abuse, responding to natural disasters, and ensuring accuracy in credit reporting. The CFPB’s enforcement work included actions taken against illegal practices in mortgage servicing, student loan servicing, credit reporting, and debt collection.

Consumer complaints. According to the report, during the period Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017, the Bureau handled approximately 317,200 consumer complaints, with 80 percent submitted through the CFPB’s website. The most-complained-about products or services were debt collection at 27 percent, credit reporting at 27 percent, and mortgages at 13 percent. According to the Bureau, companies have responded to approximately 93 percent of complaints sent to them for response during the period.

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