The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website is up and interested people can subscribe to updates by visiting it. Visit consumerfinance.gov.
Even from their featured logo you can tell they plan to be the cop on the financial beat.
The enforcement chief of the CFPB is Richard Cordray. Cordary has already indicated he plans to come out swinging with enforcement actions. “I will be seeing to it that we will be ready with some of our priorities immediately,” Cordary is quoted as saying.
Mr. Cordray said mortgages, credit cards and student loans are high on his enforcement agenda. No decisions will be made until the agency digs into problem areas and sets its “priorities accordingly,” he said. “I don’t prejudge what we’re going to find.”
In addition to banks, credit unions and securities firms, the new agency has oversight powers for thousands of payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, debt collectors and other financial companies.
Firms operating on “much more of a wild and woolly basis” than big banks are the most likely source of “aberrant and abusive practices,” he said. “Consumer protection in the financial area has … taken a second place in most of the regulatory bodies, but we’re going to have a different focus.” – Source
I have been saying for some time that the entire debt relief industry, both for-profit and nonprofit providers need to pay close attention to the actions of the CFPB and while the FTC did not have the authority to regulate nonprofit credit counselors the CFPB does. Recently I covered those issues here.
One especially angry commenter who used to run a debt settlement company has been violently complaining that regulations killed the debt settlement industry. (Look here for comments from TheTruth and Fines for Steve!)
No matter how hard I try to warn consumers about bad actors in the debt relief world, consumers still wind up being harmed by disreputable companies. Harmed consumers lead to more regulation and more regulation leads to fewer options for people in financial trouble.
The CFPB will be picking up the torch in the financial world and moving to help protect consumers from bad actors. If you want to help prevent unintended consequences in your part of the debt relief world than I suggest you keep sending me tips and evidence of who the bad actors so we can stop them before more regulation is needed.
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