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CFPB’s Mulvaney: “The Bureau is Far Too Powerful”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) managed approximately 317,000 consumer complaints between October 2016 and September 2017, according to the semi-annual report of the CFPB for the period of April 1, 2017, to September 30, 2017, that was released on Monday.

In his opening message for the report, Acting Director Mick Mulvaney recommended four changes to the Dodd-Frank Act that would increase CFPB’s accountability to the consumers.

“The Bureau is far too powerful, with precious little oversight of its activities,” Mulvaney said in a statement. “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.”

Among his recommendations, Mulvaney lists funding the CFPB through Congressional appropriations; requiring legislative approval of major rules; ensuring that the Director answers to the president in the exercise of executive authority; and creating the post of an independent Inspector General for the Bureau.

Apart from these recommendations, the report throws light on CFPB’s work between April and September 2017, before Mulvaney was appointed as the Acting Director of the bureau. It includes details on a task force that was created to help identify and reduce unwarranted regulatory burdens, the guidance issued by CFPB on topics such as maintaining compliance management systems, combating elder abuse, responding to natural disasters, and ensuring accuracy in credit reporting.

According to the report the most-complained about products or services received by the bureau during the period related to debt collection and credit reporting at 27 percent each of the total complaints, followed by complaints on mortgages at 13 percent of total complaints. Around 80 percent of all consumer complaints were submitted through the CFPB website and companies responded to around 93 percent of complaints sent to them for response during this period.

The report also detailed the Bureau’s enforcement work during the period, which included actions taken against illegal practices in mortgage servicing, student loan servicing, credit reporting, and debt collection.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and editor. A former Online Editor and currently a reporter for MReport, she is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.

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