Will New CFPB “Consumer Advisory Board” Weigh in on Reverse Mortgages?

To assist in its oversight of banks and nonbanks in the financial products and services sectors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Wednesday it has appointed a 25-member consumer advisory board. The board consists of “consumer experts” from non-government entities and will advise the agency leadership on a range of consumer financial issues and market trends.  Some appear to have more background in housing and senior topics than others. 

“This group of experts truly represents the interests of the diverse people and communities we serve,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The Consumer Advisory Board will be a key resource to the CFPB and I look forward to working with its members to further our mission to protect American consumers.”

Members of the board come from across the country and hold a variety of different roles from big business to academia and housing organizations. 

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The list includes some members that may have more input on reverse mortgages than their counterparts. Several representatives appear to have backgrounds in housing, as well as the mortgage market. Board member Gary Acosta is co-founder of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, sits on the boards of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and the National Housing Conference and has served on boards and advisory councils for National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase. Another, Maeve Brown, is currently the Executive Director of the Housing and Economic Rights Advocates and has served as Director of Predatory Lending, Section 8 Homeownership and Rural Housing Service Foreclosure Avoidance Initiatives at the National Housing Law Project.

Yet others may have a vested interest in products as they relate to aging Americans—board member Elizabeth Costle has been the Director, Consumer and State Affairs at the AARP Public Policy Institute since 2010. BIg business representatives include a former senior executive roles from HSBC and Washington Mutual as well as a current executive with American Express. And the list also includes many former public sector representatives as well as lawyers, policy analysts and judges. 

The board has been established as a requirement of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. By the Bureau’s definition, the board represents communities that have been significantly impacted by higher-priced mortgage loans. 

In addition to the consumer advisory board, the agency also announced appointments for advisory councils to inform its policy development, research, rulemaking and engagement: The Credit Union Advisory Council and the Community Banks Advisory Council. The members must be employed by a company with total assets of $10 billion or less, and cannot be affiliates of companies with total assets of more than $10 billion.

View the consumer advisory board members list and biographies. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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