BCFP Director Confirmation Hearing Sets the Stage for Continued Discussion of Reform at the Bureau
ACA International CEO Mark Neeb says the hearing and consideration of new leadership at the bureau is an important time to review improvements to the bureau’s policies and procedures and the legislation to change its structure and operations.
7/12/2018 1:00 PM
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection director nominee Kathy Kraninger will appear before the Senate Banking Committee July 19 for her first confirmation hearing and ACA International is calling for consideration of improvements to the bureau’s regulatory policies and procedures as members of Congress review her nomination.
In a letter to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman U.S Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Ranking Member U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ACA International CEO Mark Neeb outlined areas for consideration, including debt collection pre-rule activities, transparency in BCFP enforcement processes and support of legislation to improve the bureau's structure and operations.
“Since the inception of the bureau, there have been many instances where it has failed to fulfill its statutory mission and obligations, which require it to make markets for consumer financial products and services work in a fair, transparent and competitive manner,” Neeb said. “As the new leadership of the agency considers how to make improvements to bureau practices and as the Senate considers the nomination for a new permanent director, we look forward to continuing our engagement about issues that are important to the credit and collection industry.”
For example, ACA’s member companies, which play a key role in helping consumers fulfill their financial goals and responsibilities while facilitating broad access to the credit market, support fair, objective rulemaking from the bureau to help clarify legal obligations for debt collectors and solve problems for consumers and regulated entities at the same time.
“As the BCFP takes steps toward proposed rules for the credit and collection industry, we urge Congress to work closely with the bureau to ensure that any new rules protect consumers, and also the interest of small and medium-sized business owners in your state, and the thousands of constituents they employ,” Neeb wrote in the letter.
ACA also supports providing a better understanding and perspective of the debt collection marketplace as the bureau reviews its consumer complaint database and continues to release complaint data without context.
As the bureau looks at its policies and procedures under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney's leadership, ACA appreciates the Request for Information (RFI) series initiated at the beginning of the year and the bureau’s willingness to consider input from industry and consumer groups.
“It is important that the bureau works to understand how it can help provide clarity surrounding rules for the industry and support the work of the industry, which will ultimately also benefit consumers,” Neeb wrote. “Specifically, it is essential that the permanent director of the BCFP use the information collected during the RFI process to create a clear and not unnecessarily overly burdensome operating environment for those participating in the financial services marketplace. This includes not creating one-size-fits-all policies that disproportionately harm small businesses.”
Finally, ACA supports several pieces of legislation that would create a five-member, bipartisan commission at the bureau and transfer its funding from the Federal Reserve system to congressional appropriations, among other changes.
What to Expect in Kraninger’s Hearing
As Kraninger’s committee confirmation hearing approaches, according to media reports, she will face questions on immigration and environmental issues based on her role as associate director with the Office of Management and Budget.
In her role at the OMB, Kraninger oversees the budget development and execution for several executive branch agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and Treasury. She joined the OMB in 2017 after working in the Senate, where she served as the clerk on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which provides DHS with its $40 billion discretionary budget.
CNN previously reported that Kraninger will face a tough Senate battle in her journey to the leadership role as she is expected to follow Mulvaney’s lead in implementing common-sense reforms and programs that have been viewed unfavorably by consumer groups and others on Capitol Hill.
ACA will follow the July 19 hearing and provide updates in ACA Daily.
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