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CFPB Director Chopra Testifies Before Congress

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra with Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee

The House Financial Services Committee recently held a hearing titled, “Consumers First: Semi-Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” where CFPB Director Rohit Chopra testified before the Committee as part of the agency’s semi-annual report to Congress.

Director Chopra discussed the work the CFPB is doing to protect consumers and hold financial institutions accountable for abusive practices that harm consumers.

The Committee heard in detail from Director Chopra about the work the CFPB has done over the past year to support the priorities of the Bureau, including:

  • Standing up for consumers: The CFPB has followed suit by holding mortgage lenders accountable for illegal practices like redlining and housing discrimination; protecting families from illegal eviction or foreclosures; working to root out appraisal bias, once and for all, and ensure that automated appraisal models are accurate and fair.
  • Cracking down on repeat offenders: The CFPB has taken several enforcement actions against companies including TransUnion, MoneyGram, FirstCash, CashWest, ACE Cash Express, and venture capital-backed fintech LendUp.
  • Fighting to give harmed consumers the relief they deserve: The CFPB has taken more than 20 enforcement actions against financial companies on behalf of consumers and the results have been incredible. As it stands, the agency has secured $275 million in total consumer redress and $270 million in civil money penalties.
  • Holding credit reporting companies accountable: Credit reporting systems are riddled with problems, including inaccuracies and the inclusion of junk data. The CFPB has swung into action to tackle this problem by issuing guidance to ensure those problems no longer hurt customers’ access to credit, housing, and jobs.
  • Help small businesses secure access to credit: The CFPB is finalizing rules to increase transparency in the lending marketplace, which will help root out discrimination in lending and direct resources to help small businesses gain access to the credit they need and deserve.
  • Taking action against overdraft fees: The CFPB’s efforts to shine a spotlight on the financial burdens junk fees and overdraft fees have on families have sparked competition and changes in overdraft fee policies at major financial institutions. Estimates show that consumers will save $3 billion every year due to recent changes in banks’ overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee policies.
  • Combatting the negative effect of medical debt: The CFPB’s efforts to expose the burden of medical debt on consumers have led to recent policy changes by Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, to remove 70% of medical debt from consumer credit reports.

Since opening its doors in 2011, the CFPB has protected consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, and taken action against companies that break the law. The CFPB has sent more than 3.3 million consumer complaints to companies with a 98% timely response rate by financial firms to those complaints. Since its founding, the CFPB has delivered over $14.9 billion in monetary compensation, principal reductions, cancelled debts, and other consumer relief through its enforcement and supervisory work. The CFPB has also issued numerous rulemakings since its creation related to consumer protection.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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