Mulvaney Vows to Enforce the Law Without Targeting Companies that Operate Legally

ACA International members discussed the consumer complaint database as well as other timely regulatory issues with BCFP Acting Director Mick Mulvaney during the Washington Insights Conference.

5/23/2018 8:00 AM

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Mulvaney Vows to Enforce the Law Without Targeting Companies that Operate Legally

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Acting Director Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday told ACA International members that while the bureau is serious about enforcing the law and holding bad actors accountable, “we are not going after people who are not breaking the law.”

Mulvaney served as keynote speaker for ACA International’s annual Washington Insights Conference, which kicked off with a reception Monday, May 21, followed by an extensive program and Congressional visits on Capitol Hill.  U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Leonard Lance, R-N.J., preceded Mulvaney in addressing the crowd of about 90 ACA members who gathered from around the country to take part in this important event.

Without question, the theme of the day was “getting involved in the process.” Mulvaney and Luetkemeyer praised ACA members for visiting Washington and taking the time to share important information with members of Congress.

“When you talk to us, tell us stories about how what we do impacts your business,” Luetkemeyer told the group during his presentation. “What you do is important, and I want you to know that we are working in concert with you.”

Mick Mulvaney

Mulvaney took a similar approach during his 30-minute presentation, also fielding questions from an eager audience who sought clarification associated with some actions and authority of the BCFP.

Of particular interest to the industry is information about the much-discussed consumer complaint database. Indeed, Mulvaney admitted that the BCFP does not do “as good a job as we could verifying the nature of complaints” that it collects through the consumer complaint database in reference to the accounts receivable management industry.

ACA has long held that the bureau—at a minimum—needs to develop and implement fair and transparent metrics to normalize the complaint data it makes publicly available on the database, narrow the definition of a “complaint” so that it covers only alleged conduct that would be unlawful if true, and to consistently use prominent disclaimers that appropriately describe the limitations of published complaint data.

When audience members reminded Mulvaney that oftentimes individuals filing complaints are simply angry that they are being contacted by an accounts receivable management company and, when you consider the volume of calls made by industry, the level of complaints is minimal. Mulvaney agreed that was true, but also noted that the industry needs to be responsible in responding to complaints and to Requests for Information published by the bureau (a task ACA has wholeheartedly engaged in.)

Meanwhile, Mulvaney devoted some of his presentation to reading directly from the bureau’s statute noting that he’s not required to make the consumer complaint database publicly available. The New York Times  previously reported that Mulvaney hinted he may end public access to the complaint database altogether.

As acting director, Mulvaney consistently quotes the BCFP’s statute as a means of drawing attention to its vague language that can be interpreted—or misinterpreted—in many ways, compared to its strong language that keeps the bureau from Congressional oversight and the appropriations process.

“Why Congress doesn’t want [the bureau] as part of appropriations is not clear to me,” Mulvaney said, noting the bureau is the brainchild of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. He has consistently and publicly noted that the bureau’s structure and lack of oversight should be reviewed and reconsidered as it cannot continue to appropriately operate if it doesn’t have the same level of credibility as other government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission or  Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

In response to ACA Treasurer Roger Weiss’ question about the timeline and possible candidate to serve as a permanent BCFP director, Mulvaney reiterated that he’s unsure who will be selected, but did feel confident that President Donald Trump would name someone before June 22, the last day that Mulvaney can legally serve as acting director unless Trump has nominated a permanent replacement.

The Washington Insights Conference concludes Wednesday at noon following a lineup of regulatory speakers. ACA International will provide ongoing coverage in the coming days.

Pictured above: BCFP Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is joined by Rick Perr (left), ACA’s board president 2017/18 and attorney at Fineman, Krekstein and Harris P.C.; Randall Kamm, board advisor at Law Office of Robert A. Schuerger LPA; Mark Neeb, ACA International CEO; and Robert Perrin, CEO of Williams & Fudge Inc.


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

Mulvaney Vows to Enforce the Law Without Targeting Companies that Operate Legally

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Acting Director Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday told ACA International members that while the bureau is serious about enforcing the law and holding bad actors accountable, “we are not going after people who are not breaking the law.”

Mulvaney served as keynote speaker for ACA International’s annual Washington Insights Conference, which kicked off with a reception Monday, May 21, followed by an extensive program and Congressional visits on Capitol Hill.  U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Leonard Lance, R-N.J., preceded Mulvaney in addressing the crowd of about 90 ACA members who gathered from around the country to take part in this important event.

Without question, the theme of the day was “getting involved in the process.” Mulvaney and Luetkemeyer praised ACA members for visiting Washington and taking the time to share important information with members of Congress.

“When you talk to us, tell us stories about how what we do impacts your business,” Luetkemeyer told the group during his presentation. “What you do is important, and I want you to know that we are working in concert with you.”

Mick Mulvaney

Mulvaney took a similar approach during his 30-minute presentation, also fielding questions from an eager audience who sought clarification associated with some actions and authority of the BCFP.

Of particular interest to the industry is information about the much-discussed consumer complaint database. Indeed, Mulvaney admitted that the BCFP does not do “as good a job as we could verifying the nature of complaints” that it collects through the consumer complaint database in reference to the accounts receivable management industry.

ACA has long held that the bureau—at a minimum—needs to develop and implement fair and transparent metrics to normalize the complaint data it makes publicly available on the database, narrow the definition of a “complaint” so that it covers only alleged conduct that would be unlawful if true, and to consistently use prominent disclaimers that appropriately describe the limitations of published complaint data.

When audience members reminded Mulvaney that oftentimes individuals filing complaints are simply angry that they are being contacted by an accounts receivable management company and, when you consider the volume of calls made by industry, the level of complaints is minimal. Mulvaney agreed that was true, but also noted that the industry needs to be responsible in responding to complaints and to Requests for Information published by the bureau (a task ACA has wholeheartedly engaged in.)

Meanwhile, Mulvaney devoted some of his presentation to reading directly from the bureau’s statute noting that he’s not required to make the consumer complaint database publicly available. The New York Times  previously reported that Mulvaney hinted he may end public access to the complaint database altogether.

As acting director, Mulvaney consistently quotes the BCFP’s statute as a means of drawing attention to its vague language that can be interpreted—or misinterpreted—in many ways, compared to its strong language that keeps the bureau from Congressional oversight and the appropriations process.

“Why Congress doesn’t want [the bureau] as part of appropriations is not clear to me,” Mulvaney said, noting the bureau is the brainchild of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. He has consistently and publicly noted that the bureau’s structure and lack of oversight should be reviewed and reconsidered as it cannot continue to appropriately operate if it doesn’t have the same level of credibility as other government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission or  Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

In response to ACA Treasurer Roger Weiss’ question about the timeline and possible candidate to serve as a permanent BCFP director, Mulvaney reiterated that he’s unsure who will be selected, but did feel confident that President Donald Trump would name someone before June 22, the last day that Mulvaney can legally serve as acting director unless Trump has nominated a permanent replacement.

The Washington Insights Conference concludes Wednesday at noon following a lineup of regulatory speakers. ACA International will provide ongoing coverage in the coming days.

Pictured above: BCFP Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is joined by Rick Perr (left), ACA’s board president 2017/18 and attorney at Fineman, Krekstein and Harris P.C.; Randall Kamm, board advisor at Law Office of Robert A. Schuerger LPA; Mark Neeb, ACA International CEO; and Robert Perrin, CEO of Williams & Fudge Inc.


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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