Mick Mulvaney Taking a Closer Look at CFPB Investigations

ACA International applauds Mulvaney’s efforts to review how the CFPB is using its enforcement authority and looks forward to greater clarity from the bureau on future enforcement actions.

12/8/2017 3:32 PM

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Mick Mulvaney Taking a Closer Look at CFPB Investigations

ACA International welcomes news that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney intends to review more than 125 active investigations during a 30-day moratorium he placed on regulations.

Mulvaney, who also serves as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said he is reviewing the investigations to “make sure that we are not going beyond the mandate, that we are not abusing our position, and that we are not getting in the way of the proper functioning of the financial services and capital markets,” according to The Washington Times.

Despite heavy criticism, under former Director Richard Cordray, the CFPB brazenly pursued a  “regulation by enforcement” strategy.  By skirting its rulemaking obligations, debt collectors and other entities regulated by the CFPB have been forced to rely on enforcement actions to try and decipher CFPB interpretations of lawful behavior.  This stands in contrast to a rulemaking where an agency proposes a rule and obtains feedback through notice and comment before adopting regulations. 

ACA has been highly critical of the CFPB’s regulation by enforcement approach and welcomes recent efforts to ensure the CFPB is operating within its statutory authority. Going forward, instead of relying on enforcement actions to develop de facto regulations, the CFPB needs to clearly outline the rules of the road using proper procedural mechanisms and expressly state what it views as unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices in the debt collection context.

Cordray's recent resignation signals a new direction for the bureau as evidenced by Mulvaney’s willingness to dig through enforcement matters.

Indeed, in The Washington Times article, Mulvaney said: “I’ve got a notebook in front of me with 28 enforcement matters in litigation right now that I’m reviewing. There are 14 open enforcement matters that are in settle-to-sue authority that Mr. Cordray gave [and] that I’m reviewing. Then there are 90 enforcement investigations which are ongoing. That’s what I’m combing through.”

Mulvaney has been a vocal critic of the CFPB, previously stating that its structure and funding make it unaccountable to those it serves. During his confirmation hearing to lead the OMB, Mulvaney addressed President Trump’s focus on regulatory reform.

Now, using his acting role at the helm of the bureau, Mulvaney is focusing on making the CFPB more responsive to requests about its operations from members of Congress, according to The Washington Times.

In other business, because of concerns about data security, Mulvaney said the CFPB is halting its collection of personal information, such as through the consumer complaint database. ACA will follow up on this announcement next week.

Mulvaney may serve as acting director for a maximum of 210 days. President Trump is expected to announce a nominee for the position early next year. 


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Mick Mulvaney Taking a Closer Look at CFPB Investigations

ACA International welcomes news that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney intends to review more than 125 active investigations during a 30-day moratorium he placed on regulations.

Mulvaney, who also serves as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said he is reviewing the investigations to “make sure that we are not going beyond the mandate, that we are not abusing our position, and that we are not getting in the way of the proper functioning of the financial services and capital markets,” according to The Washington Times.

Despite heavy criticism, under former Director Richard Cordray, the CFPB brazenly pursued a  “regulation by enforcement” strategy.  By skirting its rulemaking obligations, debt collectors and other entities regulated by the CFPB have been forced to rely on enforcement actions to try and decipher CFPB interpretations of lawful behavior.  This stands in contrast to a rulemaking where an agency proposes a rule and obtains feedback through notice and comment before adopting regulations. 

ACA has been highly critical of the CFPB’s regulation by enforcement approach and welcomes recent efforts to ensure the CFPB is operating within its statutory authority. Going forward, instead of relying on enforcement actions to develop de facto regulations, the CFPB needs to clearly outline the rules of the road using proper procedural mechanisms and expressly state what it views as unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices in the debt collection context.

Cordray's recent resignation signals a new direction for the bureau as evidenced by Mulvaney’s willingness to dig through enforcement matters.

Indeed, in The Washington Times article, Mulvaney said: “I’ve got a notebook in front of me with 28 enforcement matters in litigation right now that I’m reviewing. There are 14 open enforcement matters that are in settle-to-sue authority that Mr. Cordray gave [and] that I’m reviewing. Then there are 90 enforcement investigations which are ongoing. That’s what I’m combing through.”

Mulvaney has been a vocal critic of the CFPB, previously stating that its structure and funding make it unaccountable to those it serves. During his confirmation hearing to lead the OMB, Mulvaney addressed President Trump’s focus on regulatory reform.

Now, using his acting role at the helm of the bureau, Mulvaney is focusing on making the CFPB more responsive to requests about its operations from members of Congress, according to The Washington Times.

In other business, because of concerns about data security, Mulvaney said the CFPB is halting its collection of personal information, such as through the consumer complaint database. ACA will follow up on this announcement next week.

Mulvaney may serve as acting director for a maximum of 210 days. President Trump is expected to announce a nominee for the position early next year. 


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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