Bank Regulation

ABA Urges CFPB To Scrap Debt Collection Survey (And They Did)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), under the leadership of Mick Mulvaney, has withdrawn its request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct online surveys of consumers as part of research on debt collection disclosures. This move came after the American Bankers Association (ABA) urged the Bureau to do so.

According to a report in The National Law Review, last month the CFPB submitted the request to the OMB and set a Dec. 14 deadline to solicit comments. The CFPB’s withdrawal on Tuesday (Dec. 19) comes amid a 30-day freeze of all regulatory moves, which was instituted by Mulvaney when he took over. Mulvaney was President Donald Trump's pick for the role of acting director following Richard Cordray’s resignation.

According to the report, the notice withdrawing the request says the “Bureau leadership would like to reconsider the information collection in connection with its review of the ongoing related rulemaking.”

The CFPB had planned on conducting an online survey of 8,000 individuals. Back in July of 2016, the Bureau had issued an outline of the proposals it was considering in regard to changing the debt collection discourse rules.

This move on the part of the CFPB comes as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a series of letters that newly installed head Mulvaney has been seeking to install political allies in various roles at the Bureau. Reuters reported that Warren wrote to Mulvaney, and also to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), that bringing in those appointees would be both inappropriate and possibly illegal, and would violate civil service laws.

In one letter to Mulvaney, Warren wrote that “your naked effort to politicize the consumer agency runs counter to the agency’s mission to be an independent voice for consumers with the power to stand up to Wall Street banks. In a separate letter to the OPM, she said that the agency should review “unprecedented and unjustified” plans.

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