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CFPB Director Looks Back on 2019

Wednesday, December 11, marks the one-year anniversary for Kathleen L. Kraninger in her post as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On the day of the anniversary, she released a statement calling it an “honor and privilege” to serve at the bureau and highlighting some of the bureau’s accomplishments under her direction.

“In this last year we’ve greatly enhanced consumer protection by harnessing the resources provided by Congress to be more effective and comprehensively utilized,” she said.

Her statement comes as the bureau awaits a Supreme Court hearing on whether its structure is constitutional or whether too much power is afforded to its singular director.

Kraninger offered examples of the bureau’s progress over the past year in five categories: “Providing Clear Rules of the Road Through Rulemaking,” “Creating a Culture of Compliance,” “Enforcing the Law Against Bad Actors,” “Educating and Empowering Consumers to Make Better Informed Financial Decisions,” and “Enhanced Inter-Agency Coordination.”

Some of the most notable actions the CFPB has taken in regards to housing finance in the past year include requesting comment on a TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule assessment; assessing the effectiveness of the Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule; issuing an interpretive rule regarding screening and training requirements for mortgage loan originators; and announcing plans to allow the GSE qualified mortgage patch to expire at the start of 2021 or after a possible extension.

The bureau has also made a few announcements in regards to HMDA data, including proposing rules to increase loan volume reporting thresholds for both closed-end mortgages and open-end lines of credit.

In her first year as CFPB Director, Kraninger also launched the American Consumer Financial Innovation Network, a team of federal and state regulators aiming to “facilitate innovation through coordination” in the financial market.

Kraninger said the bureau will “continue to use all of our tools to not only go after bad actors that break the law, but also to prevent harm in the first place by building a culture of compliance throughout the financial system.”

In order to “create a culture of compliance,” Kraninger said the bureau is working to outline clear rules and supervise banks and nonbanks for compliance.

Over the past year, financial institutions have paid restitution to more than 247,000 consumers as a result of CFPB supervision, the bureau stated.

The CFPB has also ordered institutions to pay more than $777 million in consumer relief over the past year.

The bureau has launched several efforts to educate consumers about financial products and personal finance, including publishing education materials and offering email courses and other training.

In order to improve inter-agency coordination, the bureau also coordinated with other federal agencies on several issues. For example, the CFPB, the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a higher threshold for special appraisal requirement exemptions for higher-priced mortgage loans starting in 2020.

The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, and the CFPB together made an announcement “on the use of alternative data in credit underwriting, underscoring the potential for expanding access to credit and enabling consumers to obtain additional products and more favorable pricing and terms.”

Lastly, the bureau noted efforts to make the bureau itself more inclusive, more effective, and more efficient, including updating its diversity and inclusion strategic plan.

 

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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